The Financial Oversight Commission in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies (Comissão de Fiscalização Financeira e Controle da Câmara dos Deputados) is launching a pamphlet with instructions for citizen oversight of public spending (“Cartilha de Fiscalização Financeira e Controle – Um Manual de ExercÀcio da Cidadania”).
In 55 pages the pamphlet explains different types of public funds, how their use should be controlled, and ways to ensure that fraud and malfeasance does not occur. It deals specifically with public health and educational funds, garbage collection, school lunch programs and public works.
In another development, the Ethics Council of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies approved an opinion emitted by the legislative legal counsel barring the Council from dismissing any suit to revoke legislators’ mandates.
According to the legal counsel, once it has been instituted, the process no longer depends upon the will of the representative.
As a result, even if the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) withdraws the motions against deputies José Dirceu and Sandro Mabel, the cases will continue to be subject to the Council’s deliberations.
The president of the Council, Ricardo Izar, from the São Paulo PTB, explained that a process, when it is filed with the Council, becomes part of the “public domain.”
He affirmed, however, that anyone who feels harmed by the decision has the right to appeal to the Constitution and Justice Commission or the presiding body of the Chamber.