Brazil's Federal Court of Accounts

Insight and Foresight for Better Governance

image of Brazil's Federal Court of Accounts

Brazil’s Federal Court of Accounts, the Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU), is seeking to go beyond its traditional oversight role and help improve policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. This report identifies ways TCU can achieve this by applying principles of good governance to areas such policy coherence, strategic and long-term budgeting, internal control and risk management, and monitoring and evaluation. It suggests concrete steps TCU can take to adapt its own strategies, approaches and audit programming to provide valuable insight and foresight to policy makers in the centre of government. In this way, it can help ensure that policies and programmes are forward looking and based on evidence.


Auditing for greater policy coherence in Brazil

Government-wide policy coherence is the quality of having unified and consistent public policies and programmes. It requires an overarching view of the functioning of government, and often falls under the remit of central institutions. Supreme Audit Institutions too can leverage audits across public sector entities, sectors and programmes to deepen the understanding of policy coherence in government. At Brazil’s federal level, there are numerous entities with decision-making power but with little incentive or requirement to co-ordinate. A siloed approach does not work in an era marked by cross-cutting policy challenges, and intertwined commitments to sustainable development, that require co-ordinated action. This chapter explores how Brazil’s supreme audit institution, the Tribunal de Contas da União (TCU), can promote (i) strengthening of institutional mechanisms for coherence and (ii) an understanding of policy interactions and policy effects. It is informed by activities of other supreme audit institutions seeking to reduce waste and inefficiency across government that is borne by a lack of coherence.


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