Brazil Fines Left and Right But Collects Less than 4%

Brazil's Ibama It’s election season in Brazil. General elections are on October 3 and with its strict, rigid and detailed election laws, the country has seen fines for election law violations flying left and right.

A good moment for the Brazilian equivalent of the GAO (Tribunal de Contas da União – TCU) to release a report on just how much money the government collects from the fines it levies.

According to the TCU, between 2005 and 2009, federal inspection  agencies handed out over 518,000 fines with a nominal amount totaling almost 25 billion reais. But only 900 million reais effectively made it into the Treasury.

According to the author of the report, Raimundo Carreiro, a member of the TCU, that works out to a grand total of 3.7%.

Carreiro cites the case of the Environmental Protection Agency (Ibama) where the fines flew thick during the five-year period – a total of 14.7 billion reais – the highest in the government, but only 1% of the fines were actually collected.

Fraud in Financing

In a report on government finances, the Brazilian GAO (Tribunal de Contas da União – TCU) says that besides collecting little from the many fines it levies, the government has not been monitoring NGOs that have contracts for governmental services.

The TCU says it has discovered that this is a growing problem that is getting worse. Basically, NGOs receive public money but do not account for it in timely fashion.

According to the TCU, this was a problem with 5,546 contracts in 2006 involving a sum of around 2.8 billion reais. In 2009, the problem had spread to 6,132 contracts worth 4.5 billion reais..

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