The Brazilian Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) has created, with the support of the EUROsociAL programme, a federal system of ombudsmen (Ouvidorías), to better address corruption complaints and access to information, and to promote greater citizen participation in public affairs.
Coordinated by the Ombudsman General of the Union (OGU), an institution associated with the CGU, the public Ombudsmen in Brazil are the institutions responsible for receiving, examining and forwarding complaints, claims, praise, suggestions and information requests from citizens with respect to the procedures and actions of civil servants, bodies and agencies of the Federal Executive Authority. The ultimate objective is to improve public services through these communication channels between the State and citizens.
With the objective of improving the coordination and standardization of the procedures of the 286 Ombudsmen of the Federal Executive Authority that exist in Brazil, and to stimulate greater communication with citizens, the CGUrequested the support of the EUROsociAL programmewithin the framework of the “Transparency and the fight against corruption” action, which is being coordinated by the FIIAPP with the CEDDET Foundationas its operational partner.
EUROsociAL’s collaboration was channelled through a technical assistance action for the standardization of citizen complaints in the federal system of ombudsmen, a comparative analytical report on the experiences of the European Union and Latin America in the area of digital democracy, which includes a proposal for the conceptual design of citizen participation tools for the Ouvidorias.gov portal, and through support for an event for publicizing the new proposals.
As a direct result of the programme’s technical assistance, new rules were established for reception, handling and response to citizen requests; a new computerized system was created to handle these requests; and an electronic site was set up for interaction between society and federal public administrations.
On 6th and 7th November, a National Meeting of Ombudsmen was held, an event that gave the CGU the opportunity to present the new mechanisms and services to more than 200 ombudsmen from all over Brazil. The activity was attended by José Eduardo Romao, Ombudsman General of the Nation, and by Ignacio Soleto, Coordinator of the Democratic Governance and Public Finance Unit of EUROsociAL, the European Commission cooperation programme.