After one year and seven months as head of the TCU, Minister Ana Arraes retires from public life
"It filled me with great pride that as minister I was able to discuss issues that were relevant for our country and our people and, as president, coordinate the debates that took place here. Today these feelings seem even stronger because this is the last session in which I will be a member of the Court’s deliberative body", minister Ana Arraes said as she began her farewell speech from the Brazilian Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), during Wednesday’s Full Court session (July 20).
Ana Arraes emphasized the fight against injustice and inequality when discussing her role as minister and head of the TCU. "I will need to focus on some of the initiatives related to two issues that I have noticed throughout my life: the under-representation of women in various positions of influence and the huge disparity between our country's federative entities."
Ana Arraes is the only woman among TCU ministers and the second to assume the Presidency, after Élvia Castello Branco, who held the position in 1994. "Unfortunately, this proportion was not very different in the public spaces I previously occupied."
During her tenure as head of the Federal Court of Accounts, Minister Ana Arraes made a point of increasing the female participation in strategic leadership positions in the Court. As of 2021, the number of women in leadership positions has increased from 12% to 30%, representing parity with the total number of women in the staff.
When addressing Cristina Machado da Costa e Silva, prosecutor general of the Public Prosecution Office within the TCU (MPTCU), the President said: "Your Excellency is a source of pride for proving that we can achieve our highest aspirations.”
Born in Recife (PE), Ana Arraes is the daughter of former Pernambuco governor Miguel Arraes, a prominent figure in Brazilian politics. She was a two-time federal deputy. During her parliamentary term, she wrote the Practical Guide of Defense for Violence Against Women (Chamber of Deputies Publishing, 2008).
The minister also mentioned the disparity between regions, states, and municipalities in her speech. "Given the vast size of Brazil, it is understandable that the entities do not share the same structure and knowledge of public resource management. I don't believe it's fair to punish the most unaided manager for not knowing what to do. It would be even less equitable to deny access to basic goods and services to people living in municipalities with fewer resources."
In this regard, one of the top priorities of her administration was the establishment of the Support Program for Responsible Municipal Management - TCU+Cities. Launched in March 2021, the program offers municipal managers a variety of products to assist them in improving their performance and making the best use of public resources.
Minister Ana Arraes’s tenure as head of the Federal Court of Accounts coincided in large part with the Covid-19 Pandemic. She remained unfazed despite the need to overcome adversities, within a remote work policy, and, at the same time, maintain productivity and constantly exercise creativity to meet the Institution's goals and objectives. The Minister also faced the challenge of guaranteeing a safe return of the staff to the in-person format by making it possible for collaborators to fulfill their activities on a hybrid work basis.
The TCU's second female president, who left office on July 25, said goodbye to the Court but left a legacy of a stronger and more inclusive TCU as well as of an administration that was committed to the many "Brazils" that make up the country.
Minister Bruno Dantas, will be acting president until the institution's internal elections, which are scheduled for next December, according to the TCU bylaws.