Ever since the “bloodsucker” case of 2006 — shameless skimming from a budget line item intended for the noble purpose of universalizing the availability of ambulance services — it has been apparent that the Brazilian federal government needs to lean more closely over the shoulders of state and municipal recipients of federal aid.
The founding of the CGU — the audit authority of the federal executive — in 2001-2 was a step in that direction, and came to be used more aggressively during the Lula years.
Controversy remains, however, over who to hold responsible, and when, and why, as well as how to investigate and prosecute. Ticklish constitutional issues abound.
Take the example, of presidential candidate and former São Paulo governor José Serra, Cardoso’s health minister at the time, who was photographed at an ambulance-christening event in a frontier state in the company of several “bloodsuckers.” There was no evidence linking him to the scheme, but arguments raged about where the buck should stop.
In recent years, it was a failed 2007 congressional inquiry — The CPI of the NGOs — and then the current federal president who introduced the topic of “ghost NGOs,” in the most recent case amid a minor scandal in the Ministry of Sports and elsewhere in the permanent bureaucracy.
As another current case of “ghost NGOs” at work indicates,
More than one third of funds funneled to the conspiracy came from the federal government. Federal prosecutor finds lack of effective oversight and cost controls.
Reported by: Raphael Gomide
Duque de Caxias is a city of some 900,000 in Rio state, by the way. Continue reading
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