Congress to Publish Act to Give ‘Transparency’ to So-called ‘Secret Budget’ Amendments | Policy

The president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), informed this Thursday (25) that a joint act of the Chamber and the Senate will be published this Friday (26) with the implementation of mechanisms to “increase publicity and the transparency” of the rapporteur’s amendments, which became known as the “secret budget”.

Unlike individual amendments, which follow very specific criteria and are evenly divided among all parliamentarians, rapporteur amendments do not follow usual criteria. In this type of resource allocation modality, there is the identification of the budgetary agency, the action that will be developed and even the one favored by the money. However, the name of the congressman who indicated the allocation of funds is hidden.

  • Understand the ‘secret budget’

In practice, the allocation of resources is defined in informal arrangements between allied parliamentarians and the federal government. Therefore, these transfers are the target of criticism from experts.

One of the objectives of the act announced by Pacheco is to comply with the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) which, earlier this month, upheld a decision by Minister Rosa Weber and suspended this type of amendment, in the case of the “secret budget”. The act announced on Thursday is a response by congressmen to that decision of the Court.

'Secret budget' in the STF: 8 out of 10 jurists vote for suspension

‘Secret budget’ in the STF: 8 out of 10 jurists vote for suspension

On the 18th of this month, Pacheco met with the president of the Supreme Court, Minister Luiz Fux, to try to find a solution for amendments to the so-called ‘secret budget’. This Thursday (25), the president of the Congress said that he will meet with Minister Rosa Weber.

Pacheco on the suspension of the rapporteur's amendments by Rosa Weber: 'There is no dispute between the powers, there is an impasse'

Pacheco on the suspension of the rapporteur’s amendments by Rosa Weber: ‘There is no dispute between the powers, there is an impasse’

“Our objective is precisely, through this joint act of the Chamber and Senate Tables, to establish compliance with the STF decision. I will present to Minister Rosa Weber the work that has been carried out and establish the guidelines for the future in relation to the budget, but above all the budgets 2020 and 2021 because Congress is attentive to the court order and will comply with it,” said the President of Congress.

According to the President of Congress, the mechanisms provided for in the act will be used to give transparency to the rapporteur’s amendments in the 2020 and 2021 Budgets.

Pacheco also stated that there is no “concealment” regarding the rapporteur’s amendments. “What we are proposing is a normative adjustment to meet the essence of the Supreme Court’s decision, which is to guarantee transparency in the use of the budget,” said the president of the Senate.

A bill to address the amendments for the next few years will be voted on in Congress this Friday (26). The rapporteur of the proposal, senator Marcelo Castro (MDB-PI), maintains that the rapporteur’s amendments cannot be demonized, but they need a limit.

“It is not possible to demonize the rapporteur’s amendments, which have always existed and will continue to exist. The problem is in the quantity, an excess that needs to be corrected. I defend that a limit be stipulated for these resources and that the bench and bench amendments be strengthened. commissions, analyzed by parliamentarians who have extensive knowledge of specific themes and the priority demands of their states,” stated Castro.

The text of the act that will be published this Friday (25) says that the details of the budget execution of expenses related to the rapporteur’s amendments will be published in the official journals of the Chamber and Senate, by amendment, budgetary agency, updated appropriation, committed, settled and paid.

It will be up to the Mixed Budget Committee (CMO) to monitor the budget execution of the expenses.

According to the document, periodically updated reports will be made available, containing the identification of the beneficiaries. There will also be a link to access the personalized consultation on the Mais Brasil platform, which will allow the monitoring of execution and other resources for transfers from the Union.

Requests for resource allocation will be published on the Internet by the CMO and forwarded to the Executive Branch.

In the act that will be published, the president of the Senate says that, with the decision of the STF, there is a “serious, imminent and irreparable risk” arising from the non-implementation of the rapporteur’s amendments until the end of this year.

According to the act, the expenses classified as rapporteur’s amendments are:

  • R$7.5 billion are related to actions in the health area;
  • R$ 5.7 billion to Regional Development actions;
  • R$1.2 billion, actions in Agriculture, Livestock and Supply;
  • R$795 million to actions in the area of ​​Citizenship;
  • R$781 million to actions in the Education area;
  • R$350 million to actions in the Defense area;
  • R$ 350 million to actions in the area of ​​Economy;
  • R$ 75 million to actions in the area of ​​Science and Technology.

“With serious damage to services and works committed or in progress, and with the waste of public resources resulting from its stoppage”, says the document.

The president of the Senate also says that the act is necessary given the “legal uncertainty” and the risk of “large-scale judicialization”.

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