In his TV address to the nation, yesterday, June 23, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva presented a balance of the actions executed by his government to combat corruption.
According to the President, various of these actions are unprecedented. “The Federal Police has never been this independent, resourceful, and efficient. And the Ministry of Public Defense has never received this much cooperation in fulfilling its Constitutional responsibilities,” he affirmed.
According to Lula, since the beginning of his Administration, 1,006 individuals have been arrested on corruption charges, including important public figures, such as entrepreneurs, judges, police commissioners, politicians, police officers, and high-ranking civil servants.
The President explained that planning for these actions began the moment he formed his government.
“When I invited one of the country’s most important jurists, Dr. Márcio Thomaz Bastos, to be Minister of Justice, I also entrusted him with the mission of combating corruption with absolute determination and in every way possible,” he recalled.
Various measures were adopted to eliminate corruption, according to Lula: “I doubled the budget of the Federal Police and determined that, in my Administration, the police would not follow political criteria, arresting the small fry and overlooking the big shots.”
Lula also observed that it is up to the government “to anticipate corruption,” “creating instruments of control and inspection to keep it from happening.”
“That is why, right after taking office, I created an important organ, the Federal Comptroller-General’s office (CGU),” he declared.
The President referred to the accomplishments of the CGU, led by minister Waldir Pires.
According to Lula, the office has already carried out more than 7.5 thousand audits in federal government organs and “has done what was unheard-of in this country: auditing the federal funds that are transferred to the municipalities, to weed out corruption.”
The results of these municipal audits, according to Lula, have been “surprising”: “Many of the 700 municipalities that have already been audited commit serious irregularities in their handling of funds and have been reported to the Ministry of Public Defense.”
Lula also highlighted the creation of the Transparency Portal, an Internet site that allows citizens to accompany government spending.
He invited people to visit the page at www.portaldatransparencia.gov.br. “You don’t even need a password,” the President remarked.
According to Lula, the fight against corruption in the country requires popular participation.
“We want the Brazilian people to be encouraged to do its part in control and inspection. Brazil needs to rely more on the participation of society and its leaders in the battle against corruption.”
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br