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Sampa > The New Sheriff

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São Paulo is witnessing a remarkable campaign against corruption thanks to the role of the municipal comptroller (Controladoria Geral do Município, or CGM) created by Mayor Fernando Haddad.

During the Lula years, the TCEs (state accounting tribunals) were rotten with nepotism and bribery themselves — in the news recently, the umpteenth magistrate who ruled to table a case against himself –and so the Lula government created a parallel system of federal tribunals at the cabinet level, headed by Jorge Hage.

But these efforts and results trace their roots back to 2001-2004, when Marta Suplicy was running the city. The results of those efforts, however, were slow in catching the public eye, before the election in which the Serra-Kassab administration took the city

The current hiatus represents the rebirth of a previous system, stronger than the old, but tracing its roots back ten years.

The ombudsman of the city of São Paulo is one of the main branches of the city comptroller, together with the Comptroller General — the latter responsible for enforcing rules and correcting administration irregularities in the city government — and the Coordinators of Internal Auditing (AUDI) and the Integrity Promotion (COPI) office, which foment transparency and corruption prevention on behalf of the  Comptroller Geral (COPI)

In the meanwhile, prior to the creation of the Comptroller by Law 14,349 of 2007, the ombudsman was one of the first state agency to fill this role. Created in January 2001, immediate after Suplicy took office, the ombudsman served a dual role. (1)

Autonomous and independent, the ombudsman concentrated on oversight of acts and omissions of public agents, and is not subject to any high authority. Initiatives such as Via Rápida, which works with the district attorney to help accelerate the conclusion of more serious crimes and  Plantas On-line, which deals with issues relating to land ownership and occupation, making large construction projects more rapid to execute and more transparent. All these improvements were implemented by the Ombudsman and created by former mayor Suplicy.

In press coverage of the Suplicy years as mayor, very few of these initiatives were deemed worthy of notice. The numbers can be found in the annual reports published on the page of the Comptroller. These records show that in the four years of the Ombudsman program (2001-2004) more than 28 thousand complaints, demands and suggestions were opened and more than 160 civil servants lost their jobs as a result. In 2001, the year it was created, there were 669 investigations into serious criminal abuse of office.

The CGE and its cooperation with the Municipal Public Ministry, is not something invented by the current administration. Interaction with the federal attorney general and the federal comptroller (CGU) and other instruments of investigation and correction, was initiated by the Ombudsman, who also suggested adopting instruments of control that will make transactions of the government more transparent.

Clearly, the current CGE is better prepared, better staffed, and enjoys partnerships with other agencies, such as the tax authority, and cutting-edge tech for its intelligence sectors, such as the electronic asset statement. And all of these initiative thanks to the political will of Haddad.

From the mayor`s current Wikipedia in Portuguese page, on the political process.

Amid a wave of protests, the Datafolha published a survey in which 40% of city dwellers considered the Haddad government as bad or very bad, 35% as neutral and 18% as good or excellent.

In a  survey published on 18 June by the same institute , 55% found the mayor`s handling of street demonstrations bad or very bad.

This index began to fall successively from 50% to 55% in the next two polls (based on a  Datafolha survey from 21 to 28 June. At the end of his first year as mayor, only 18% approved of his administration.

By September 2014, however, a fresh survey by Datafolha was published, reporting that rejection of the Haddad government fell 47% to 22%, and the neutral vote grew from 37%  to 44%.

80% favor Haddad`s plan for integration of bicycle traffic into new construction and well-worn infrastructure …

After an initial flurry — or more of a cascade — of less than informative reporting and rumor-mongering on the  case between March and April, the CGU has not leaked  anything since.

It is eagerly awaited by the tabloid press, which has nothing to communicate about the case other than a diffuse eagerness.

It was recently announced that Federal Police involved in such cases must restrict their activities as directed by the MPF, the Attorney General, in a bid to dial down the psychological operations practiced the more ambitious senior agents.

] …

Screenshot from 2014-08-01 14:07:58

Remind me to tell you the tale of Bruna, the little surfer girl and PF Agent Bruno, the recording of whose street-side auction of evidence in an election-eve scandal that really showed the major media for what it is.