The main concern of the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts is the incessant fight against corruption, waste, and the misuse of federal resources.
Therefore, besides carrying out audits that are directed by Congress or originated by denunciations or petitions, twice a year the Court establishes a schedule of audits to verify the correct use of public funds by the organizations and entities under its jurisdiction.
Such inspections are called compliance audits. Worthy of note are, as an example, audits carried out to scrutinize public works that have received federal funds in order to report their status to Congress. This allows members of Congress to form an opinion as to the convenience or not, of disbursing budgetary funds for the maintenance or for resuming the works.
When the Court finds serious irregularities in such public works, Congress suspends the disbursement of funds until such faults are remedied. As a result, an appendix is added to the Annual Budgetary Law listing the works in serious violation so that the transfer of funds is blocked until they are brought into compliance.
When necessary, compliance audits are conducted to aid in the evaluation of personnel activity that is subject to the Court's scrutiny, such as the admission or retirement of civilian and military retirements or federal public service pensions.
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Performance auditing is an independent, objective and reliable examination of whether government undertakings, systems, operations, programs, activities or organizations are operating in accordance with the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness and whether there is room for improvement.
Performance audits deliver new information, knowledge or value by: providing new analytical insights (broader or deeper analysis or new perspectives); making existing information more accessible to various stakeholders; providing an independent and authoritative view or conclusion based on audit evidence; providing recommendations based on an analysis of audit findings.
The main objective of performance auditing is to promote economical, effective and efficient governance. It also contributes to accountability and transparency by assisting those with governance and oversight responsibilities to improve performance. Performance auditing focuses on areas in which it can add value for citizens and which have the greatest potential for improvement.
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Brazil holds the world's largest tropical rain forest and one of the largest fresh water reserves on Earth. Deterioration of environmental conditions on a regional and worldwide scale has caused the private and public sectors to adopt environmental policies and management tools.
Environmental audits have the purpose of examining and evaluating the legal, technical, and administrative aspects of institutional activities that are directly or indirectly related to the environment, in order to improve their performance with respect to the preservation of our natural resources.
The Court's main activities in this regard include the performance of environmental audits; taking into consideration, whenever possible, the environmental aspects as other types of audits are conducted; the identification of the environmental impact of the government's main projects and programs; the creation and maintenance of a database of environmental legislation and jurisprudence; membership in the Special Technical Commission on the Environment of the Latin American and Caribbean Superior Auditing Institutions - OLACEFS and the organization of seminars, together with other auditing entities, for the exchange and publicizing of information related to environmental issues.
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Over the last few decades, privatization has been the mechanism employed by many countries for implementing meaningful State reforms.
Often privatization entails the transfer of public property to private ownership. Therefore, the National Privatization Program is inspected by the National Congress, as mandated by the Brazilian Constitution. Such inspection is conducted in conjunction with the Brazilian Court of Audit.
The Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts monitors all stages of the privatization processes by examining the applicable documentation and conducting inspections and audits of the company being privatized.
During the follow-up, the Court evaluates the compliance of the proceedings and the adequacy of the minimum prices being established. Whenever necessary, on behalf of the public interest and the preservation of the public treasury, the Court determines applicable corrections to be performed, as has been the case on several occasions.
As a matter of Quality Control, the Court has imposed the inclusion of Quality of Service indicators and criteria of evaluation in the contracts, to allow end users the ability to demand, from the concessionaires and from the grantor, the excellence of service agreed upon. The Court also monitors the outsourcing of public services under the Union's responsibility, thus controlling on behalf of the common interest, the performance of the concessionaires.
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