Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, speaking at the opening of the IV Global Forum on Corruption Combat, in the middle of a storm involving accusations of corruption against his own party, the PT,Â explained what his administration is doing to fight corruption.
According to the President, 70 civil servants are being investigated at the moment for outward signs of wealth incompatible with their income tax declarations.
Lula went on to explain that the office of the Controller General (Controladoria Geral da União) (CGU) constantly audits municipal governments to check on the use of federal funds.
Every month the CGU picks 60 cities at random for an audit inspection, regardless of what political party is in power. Annually the Brazil federal government releases around US$ 36.5 billion (90 billion reais) to municipal governments.
The president also announced that since August 2003, the Federal Police have run 46 different operations specifically directed at corruption activities.
“As a result,” said Lula, “over one thousand two hundred arrests have been made, resulting in over eight hundred indictments so far. Among those arrested are businessmen, judges and civil servants. Politicians have also been arrested, regardless of their political parties.”
Lula declared that the government is committed to fighting the irregular use of public funds and organized criminal activities.
He said that corruption would end only when the guilty are punished. He called on the Judicial branch to assist in the fight against misuse of public monies.
Lula said that Brazil has been a staunch ally in the international war on corruption, pointing out that the country is a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption, which was signed at the III Global Forum in 2003.