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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Case Study PFM Reforms in the Brazilian State of Tocantins

Ambassador Addor Neto, the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of American States (right), introduced Doris de Miranda Coutinho (left), President of the Audit Court of the State of Tocantins in Brazil. The State of Tocantins was formed in 1988. Ambassador Neto described Mrs. Coutinho as a pioneer in financial management.

Mrs. Coutinho introduced the control systems for performance and audit implemented by the State of Tocantins. Mrs. Coutinho suggests that the State is reaching maturity. Tocantins is in an area of poverty, but is showing economic growth.

The State of Tocantins has improved capacity through increasing salaries. Independent courts, Parliament and audit organizations are responsible for control and oversight. There is a decentralized approach that includes municipal treasuries.

Mrs. Coutinho introduced a series of problems in financial management experienced in Tocantins including:

  • Low budgetary resources
  • Poor use of public monies
  • Lack of transparency
  • Lack of technical capacity in the government
  • Inefficient political system
  • Mistrust of government
  • Lack of societal control

The Court of Accounts has been moving from older paradigms. It has been difficult to move to this new model of management. There have been some successful management programs including training public agents and citizens.

Mrs. Coutinho described the multi-year training program, FORMAP, to improve public agent capacity. Costs for in-person training was found to be too expensive. Distance learning was begun in 2008 and is showing very good results.

The expansion of 59 to 139 municipalities has disrupted financial management. Some municipalities are unable to generate very much revenue.

SICAP, a computerized Integrated System of Control and Public Accounting has been implemented. This system has been used by other States in Brazil. The system allows control over municipal budgets and enables eliminating budget items that are unlikely to be beneficial.

Participatory budgeting is supported. Plenary sessions of the Court are broadcast to improve transparency. A transparency portal provides procurement, contracts and budgetary information to citizens. This has resulted in increased participation and has reduced non-compliance.

Mrs. Coutinho recognized that programs need financing in order to be sustainable.
Tue 200 Coutinho

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Tue 200 Coutinho Port

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Tue 200 Coutinho Sp

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Tue 200 Coutinho Fr

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