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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Informing Citizens to Make Governments Accountable

Ernesto Saboia, President, State of Accounts in Northern Brazil spoke about leveraging civil society to improve auditing and reducing corruption.

Why does Brazil have a poor rating from Transparency International? Denmark has 100 auditors for each group of 100,000 people. Brazil has 8. This means that Brazil is not well-audited. Hiring auditors is unrealistic given the financial crisis. Therefore, the Government tried to be creative by training journalists and engaging civil society. This distance learning course is being taken by 35,000 people.

The transparency portal that was created reports on all budget expenditures of the state and municipalities. These portals need to be simple so that citizens can understand what governments are doing. Mr. Saboia, also pointed out the power of social networking tools. The government wishes to harness this power.

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