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The TCU prosecutor asked for 10 times more investigations into Bolsonaro’s government

From 2015 to 2018, the agency conducted 65 inquiries to analyze illegalities or violations in the field of public administration. Between 2019 and 2022, that number reached 618

Constança Rezende
Brazil D.F

The Public Prosecutor’s Office with the TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União) increased requests to open cases almost tenfold during the four years of Jair Bolsonaro’s (PL) administration.

From 2015 to 2018, the agency conducted 65 inquiries to analyze illegalities or violations in the field of public administration. Between 2019 and 2022, that number reached 618.

The record holder for requests during that period was TCU Deputy Attorney General Lucas Furtado, who filed 539 representations. In 2022 alone, there were 122 inquiries, most of which were based on complaints published in the press.

Of this number, 45 have been archived, 17 have been attached to other processes, and the rest are awaiting bureaucratic judicial processes.

Furtado presented the so-called rapporteur against the changes, which are used as political bargaining currency in the Bolsonaro administration, and on the changes to the criteria for granting payday loans from Auxílio Brasil by Caixa Econômica Federal after the elections.

There were also requests to investigate the costs of PL (Bolsonaro’s party) actions to cancel the second round of elections, as well as the suspension of dividend advances by Petrobras, as well as the president’s interference in pricing. policy by the company.


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This list also includes an analysis of possible omissions by the PRF (Federal Highway Police) in the fight against roadblocks by truck drivers after the elections and the case of the transfer of R$6.2 million by the federal government to two “shelf NGOs”. former player Emerson Shayk and right-back Daniel Alves of the Brazilian soccer team.

To be admissible in court and become a proceeding, representations must show evidence of irregularity or illegality and be within the jurisdiction of the court. The analysis is carried out by the auditors, and the investigation is left to the accountable minister.

Proceedings can lead to the suspension or cancellation of bids, banning companies from contracting with government agencies, fines and deadlines to comply with decisions.

Domestically, members of the court attribute the increase in representation to Bolsonaro’s response to attacks on democratic institutions.


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This will involve the emptying and inertia of bodies like the MPF (Ministry of Public Prosecutions) and the PF (Federal Police) over the period.
On the other hand, there are people who believe that the tool loses its meaning when it is used so many times, because it reduces the possibility of monitoring each case and seeing it clarified.

Furtado told Folha that he left office for health reasons (a stroke) and when he resumed his work, Brazil was in the top position in the Transparency International ranking, prompting the Public Ministry’s concern about TCU.

He admitted that the vast majority of cases had yet to be made, but said that if 1 in 100 were accepted, “your work will pay off.”

“I have great respect for the work of the investigative press, and the vast majority of my submissions are based on it. What was previously raised was not deepened by the state authorities. We can do it,” he said.


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“There are cases that are very difficult to verify, for example, to verify whether a given service was actually provided. Is there a way to know if something has been built, but show, for example, how to confirm that it has been provided, without spending a lot of money on this verification? And there are always problems with hiring without an application, such as emergency contracts to fight against Covid,” he said.

Elisio Freitas, who specializes in TCU and is an attorney for the Federal District, said the representations followed an active tradition of public ministry.

“Timely and cost-effective operations naturally focus on those who hold the pen. In addition, the procedure is not excessive only because of their number, because they are opened based on the information that has come to light,” he said.


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Regarding the issue, TCU’s public prosecutor’s office noted that “it is important to note that the action is not limited to representations.”


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He also stated that they are “the fruit of the individual action of each member, based on the interpretation of the facts in the light of the law, thus obviously not reflecting the unanimous opinion of the entire Parquet de Contas Federal.”

Established in 1892 by order of the court, TCU’s Office of Public Prosecutions has seven attorneys and deputy attorneys.

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