2. Strengthening the institutions of the Brazilian Public Integrity System (SIPEF)

Chapter 1 emphasises the central role of the Integrity Management Units (Unidade de Gestão da Integridade, UGI) in the new Public Integrity System (SIPEF) and their potential to contribute to overcome the mainstreaming challenge in the federal executive. The UGI can be become the visible and pivotal area responsible for preventing corruption, fraud and other integrity violations and for promoting cultures of public integrity in their organisations.

Currently, Ordinance 57/2019 are mentioning three responsibilities of the UGI: 

  • Co-ordinate the structuring, implementation and monitoring of the Integrity Programmes.

  • Provide guidance and training to public servants in areas related to the Integrity Programmes.

  • Promote, together with other units of the public entity, other actions related to the implementation of the Integrity Programmes.

Today, all 186 public entities of the federal executive have designated an UGI and the monitoring portal from the CGU indicates that they are active, even though this data does not allow drawing conclusions concerning the quality of the implementation. For instance, 166 UGI have realised an assessment of integrity risks, all 186 UGI have approved an Integrity Plan and 159 UGI have established internal procedures for analysing consultations submitted by public servants concerning potential conflict-of-interest situations (Data from paineis.cgu.gov.br/integridadepublica).

The OECD Survey carried out in 2020 for this project shows that in this early stage of their existence, the UGI were focusing their time and resources mainly on their co-ordination function and the elaboration of the Integrity Programmes (Figure 2.1). Only a few UGI provided guidance or trainings and “other actions”. These “other actions consist, for example, in communicating on public integrity or ensuring the involvement of and reporting to the highest authorities of the public entity (CGU, 2018[1]).

The three areas of Ordinance 57/2019, and in particular the first two, are certainly core competences of the UGI, and should be maintained. Nonetheless, the CGU could consider using the opportunity provided by the recent SIPEF to revise and fine-tune the guidance provided to the UGI and focus the mandate of these units on promoting an open culture of organisational integrity in line with the OECD Recommendation of Public Integrity (OECD, 2017[2]; OECD, 2020[3]). The UGI have a key role in promoting Integrity Programmes that are context dependent, i.e. reflecting the specificities of the respective public entity, behavioural, i.e. aimed at achieving actual change, and risk-based.

Following the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity, such an open culture of organisational integrity:

  • invests in integrity leadership to demonstrate a public sector organisation’s commitment to integrity

  • promotes a merit-based, professional, public sector dedicated to public-service values and good governance

  • provides sufficient information, training, guidance and timely advice for public officials to apply public integrity standards in the workplace

  • supports an open organisational culture within the public sector responsive to integrity concerns and where ethical dilemmas, public integrity concerns, and errors can be discussed freely

  • applies an internal control and risk management framework to safeguard integrity.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, the existence of a dedicated unit for public entity does not entail that this unit should be responsible for implementing all activities related to integrity itself. Quite on the contrary, it is important to understand and strengthen the role of “complementary” internal integrity actors with key support functions such as human resource management, transparency and citizen engagement or investigation and sanctioning of integrity violations. Indeed, ensuring a merit-based recruitment, general capacity building as well as incorporating integrity measures throughout the HR management cycle is a core responsibility of the HR units, for example. Similarly, ensuring appropriate responses to all suspected violations of public integrity standards by public officials and all others involved in the violations should not be carried out by the UGI, but by the Federal Inspectors. Nonetheless, in both cases, the UGI plays a role in ensuring coherence with other elements of the Integrity Programme.

As such, the revised guidance to the UGI could focus, again, on three core competences, which will be developed in more detail below:

  • Co-ordination, planning and monitoring of the Integrity Programmes.

  • Providing guidance and training on areas on public integrity, including for example guidance and trainings on values, dealing with ethical dilemmas, developing skills for ethical leadership.

  • Provide guidance and support integrity risk management, including management of conflict of interests.

As indicated by Figure 2.1 above, the UGI have spent most their time and resources on co-ordinating and establishing the Integrity Programme. Indeed, a core function of the UGI is to co-ordinate efforts regarding the design of the integrity plans, lead internal co-ordination between the different integrity units and monitor the implementation of these plans to provide a degree of assurance for the head of the entities regarding compliance with the standards and policies. This includes, for example, alerting the head of the entity to the need of strengthening any of the areas relevant for ensuring an open culture of integrity.

Internal co-ordination is a challenging and time-consuming task. Figure 2.2 shows some of the main challenges to an effective internal co-ordination. According to the responses received, confirmed in a Focus Group carried out with selected UGI, a main challenge relates to the fact that today most UGI are not dedicated units, but have to carry out other functions, not related to public integrity and this aspect will be discussed in the section below (see also Figure 2.3). A further challenge relates to the administrative burden that comes along with co-ordination, such as the need to seek for approval from hierarchies before agreeing to goals committing two or more units or before making commitments of time and resources. Finally, the answers show that the quality of co-ordination depends heavily on the individuals that happen to be in place in the other units. As a popular saying states: “Everybody agrees that co-ordination is necessary, but nobody likes being co-ordinated”. Indeed, this last point indicates the relevance of ensuring that the UGI has sufficient convening power to ensure an effective co-ordination, which should be reflected in its position in the organigram. Again, this aspect will be picked up below.

Co-ordination is of particular relevance for another core function of the UGI, which is leading the development of an institutional Integrity Plan. The cross-cutting relevance of integrity for safeguarding the achievement of the mission of the public entity and its policy goals call for an effective implementation of integrity measures throughout the public entity. To ensure relevance and ownership, the UGI should not focus so much on the content of the Integrity Plans and what exactly other units should do, but rather promote a bottom-up approach through a participative internal planning methodology to develop the Integrity Plans.

As mentioned above, 100% of the UGI have already approved the Integrity Plans, but it remains unclear to what extend these Plans were elaborated in such a participative way. In fact, while the Guide provided to the UGI does highlight that the Integrity Plan should respond to identified integrity risks and be approved by the highest authority of the federal entity, it does however neither provide guidance on a participative planning process nor emphasise this aspect (CGU, 2018[1]). While the CGU could consider elaborating guidance on how to conduct such a planning process and help building the required competences (see the section on the CGU), the UGI should already aim at using the development of the Integrity Plans as a core co-ordination instrument to raise awareness, build ownership and promote the implementation of targeted measures.

For example, the French Anticorruption Guide emphasises the relevance of a participative planning process to ensure the accuracy of assessing the specific organisational integrity risks (Agence Française Anticorruption, 2020[4]). The Guide underlines that, when conducting corruption risk mapping, entities should hold discussions, in form of collective workshops and/or individual interviews, with staff members from all hierarchical levels and all relevant functions chosen for their operational command of these processes. These discussions allow participants to freely express their views and are written up in reports. They aim to identify, per process, the risk scenarios to which the public sector entity is exposed in terms of its activities and certain lines of work in order to design tailored measures to manage these risks more effectively.

Indeed, in Brazil, the CGU Guide emphasises that Integrity Plans should be based on an integrity risk analysis, which is an opportunity to ensure a clear theory of change underlying the measures included in the Integrity Plans. This allows to identify measures addressing and mitigating the identified risks and contributing to achieving the overall objective, which is achieving behavioural and cultural change within the entity. A related task consists in the establishment of relevant and actionable indicators. This process, again, allows to clarify what exactly is the desired change that the public entity wants to achieve, can avoid proposing activities just for the sake of “doing something” and facilitates the monitoring and the evaluation process of the Integrity Plans. At an early stage, “change” is likely to be defined mostly on process and product levels (unit is in place, channels have been established, trainings have been implemented etc.). In the medium to long term, more ambitious, outcome indicators, based on regular surveys or administrative data, could be identified and added.

In addition, experience shows that goals that are not included explicitly into the organisational planning, budgets and internal accountability mechanisms, such as performance evaluations, are unlikely to be taken seriously by managers. While it makes sense to have an Integrity Plan separate from the “normal” strategic and operational planning of the public entity to ensure visibility and raise awareness, the Integrity Plans should be aligned with the institutional planning and include clear responsibilities, objectives and resources to ensure their implementation.

Finally, co-ordination is also a key element of the monitoring function of the UGI. Indeed, it is important not to confuse monitoring with ensuring compliance. The core objective of monitoring is to identify challenges and opportunities in a timely manner to inform decisions and enable adjustments during implementation (OECD, 2017[5]). As such, monitoring should always be understood as contributing to an effective public management and not be perceived as a control mechanism aimed at naming and shaming. Monitoring thus needs to be clearly communicated as a joint exercise to analyse and overcome challenges and linked with the process of decision-making and implementation. To achieve this, clear mechanisms and procedures to discuss progress should be established internally by the UGI, for instance through regular meetings to discuss progress and challenges. Such a task requires specialised staff with knowledge about planning and monitoring, but also a sound level of diplomatic and communication skills. This is, again, an argument in favour of having a dedicated UGI where such skills can be cultivated and where this task is not at risk of being confounded with other non-integrity related responsibilities of the unit that took over the responsibilities of acting as UGI. In addition, the CGU could consider providing guidance in relation to the process of monitoring and help building the required competences, similar to those required for leading the planning process (see the section on the CGU below).

Both the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity and the OECD Recommendation on Public Service Leadership and Capability are emphasising the relevance of a values-driven culture and leadership in the civil service. Values are providing the moral compass for doing the right thing. They are the foundation for achieving organisational cultures of integrity throughout the public sector and are enabling a working environment that is more innovative, productive and, ultimately, also more ethical and humane. Providing guidance on shared values and their relevance for public servants is therefore a core aspect of promoting public integrity (OECD, 2020[3]).

A second core responsibility of the UGI thus relates to promoting guidance and training on matters relating to the Integrity Programme, as indicated in the SIPEF. In particular, this means providing ad hoc guidance as well as trainings aimed at promoting an understanding of the practical relevance of values for the day-to-day work and for managing conflict of interest and enabling the capacities of public servants to deal with ethical dilemmas.

Currently, the Code of Professional Ethics (Decree 1171/1994) has been the main instrument setting standards of conduct for public officials in Brazil. In addition, several federal entities have implemented their own code of ethics and/or conduct to complement the Code of Professional Ethics. However, the Code of Professional Ethics is drafted as a legal document and does not lend itself to be useful as a moral compass in day-to-day work. Indeed, behavioural research suggests that a set of values or key principles ideally should have no more than seven elements to be easily memorised (OECD, 2018[6]; Miller, 1955[7]). Rather than adding another legal layer, values should above all be of practical relevance and memorable for public employees and target the informal level and social aspects that are shaping human behaviour. Driven by this consideration, countries such as Australia and Colombia have reviewed their approach to ethics codes and significantly reduced the number of values (Box 2.1). Similarly, the UK Civil Service Code outlines just four civil service values, Law 2016 outlines four core values for the public duties in France, and the Danish “Kodex VII” defines seven central duties to guide civil servants.

Inspired by such international good practices and with support from the OECD in the context of this project, the CGU has led in 2020 a participative process to identify the core values of the Federal Public Service in Brazil (Valores do Serviço Público Federal). After an extensive consultation process, civil servants identified which are today the seven Values of the Federal public service (Box 2.2).

These Values, through their clarity and practical relevance, provide an excellent entry point to promote a values-based approach to public integrity in Brazil. The ongoing revision of the Code of Professional Ethics and the Code of Conduct of the High Federal Administration mentioned in Chapter 1, provides an excellent opportunity to make these values the foundation for unified guidance to public servants from all levels with respect to public integrity.

Furthermore, the values can be used by the CGU and the UGI for trainings and to provide guidance on reflecting about ethical dilemmas, managing conflict of interest, including dealing with nepotism or how public servants should relate with lobbyists, for example. In particular, the CGU and the UGI could aim at promoting integrity leadership in the public entities by raising awareness and developing skills for leaders at all levels of public managements (OECD, forthcoming[8]).

Public servants, in particular, need guidance and support on how to deal with ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemmas are a key challenge for integrity policies, as dilemmas arise in cases where there are no clear legal “right” of “wrong” answers or where there may be conflicts between different values or principles. For instance, the ability to regulate, apply coercive power, and control systems and processes that have a broad impact on society (e.g. defence, health, social welfare) increasingly blurs the boundaries between public sector organisations and their complex partnerships with other sectors, which can lead to ethical dilemmas (OECD, 2020[3]). In Australia, for example, the REFLECT model provides public officials with general sequenced steps and reflections on how to proceed when confronted with ethical dilemmas (Box 2.3). Brazil could aim at developing similar guidance, using the new values as a moral compass.

Implementing risk management in the public sector is a challenge; implementing integrity risk management perhaps even more (OECD, 2019[9]). In fact, many countries struggle with implementing the conceptual frameworks and promoting a culture of integrity risk management in public entities. In Brazil’s Federal Executive, integrity risk management became mandatory for all federal public entities with Decree 9203/2017. Integrity risk management is a key element of the Integrity Programmes and the Integrity Plans and now of the SIPEF. Integrity risks are the foundation on which to elaborate the Integrity Plans. Along these lines, a third core responsibility of the UGI, as a unit of the second line of defence, is supporting public managers in integrity risk identification and management.

By the time of this report, according to the monitoring platform of the CGU, 89% of all federal entities have realised a first integrity risk assessment. The CGU provides a methodology for integrity risk assessments, laid out in the Practical Guide to Integrity Risk Management (CGU, 2018[10]). The document provides guidance on the implementation of integrity risk management, raises awareness and delivers concrete “how-to” steps as well as insights on generic integrity risks and cases. The Guide reinforces the notion that managing integrity risks is the responsibility of the managers. Specifically, it requires that managers establish, monitor and improve risk management and internal control systems. This includes the identification, evaluation, treatment, monitoring, and critical analysis of risks that may affect the achievement of organisational objectives when fulfilling the institutional mission. However, CGU’s ongoing evaluation of the UGI and the OECD fact-finding revealed that integrity risk management in federal entities not always follows the CGU methodology and that there are significant differences in levels of maturity and in promoting risk management cultures amongst public managers. The methodology for integrity risk management proposed by the CGU, as well as the challenge of promoting a culture of integrity risk management are considered in depth in another OECD report in the context of this project (OECD, forthcoming[11]).

In general, the UGI can play a key role in promoting an integrity risk management culture, both through their mandate to provide guidance and trainings and through the specific mandate to coordinate the management of risks to integrity (see Box 1.4 in Chapter 1). Indeed, the focus groups with UGI, the interviews and the responses to the OECD Survey evidenced that integrity risk management still faces challenges in the day-to-day implementation. While it is true that there is a degree of heterogeneity of the maturity of integrity risk management in the Federal executive, with some public entities being more advanced than others, there is an overarching acknowledgement that there is still a long way to go to normalise integrity risk management.

As such, the UGI could promote a better understanding of the relevance of integrity risk management and support to managers in carrying out integrity risk assessments. This responsibility is key as the quality of the Integrity Plans and the proposed internal controls depend heavily on the quality of the integrity risk assessments in the first place. On the one hand, the UGI should be able to clearly communicate about the rationale of integrity risks and contribute to demystify the concept and to reduce fears and misunderstandings related to them. On the other hand, the UGI need to develop skills in making integrity risk assessments as simple as possible to managers.

A particular risk where misunderstandings amongst public servants is particularly high is the area of conflicts of interest. Of course, effectively managing conflict of interest corresponds to managing one of the major integrity risks, and it includes sensitive areas such as how to deal with contracting friends or family, communicating with outside stakeholders that have vested interests in the decisions, actions or non-actions of the public entity or outside activities. The 2003 OECD Guidelines for Managing Conflict of Interest aim at helping countries to promote a public service culture where conflicts of interest are properly identified and resolved or managed, in an appropriately transparent and timely way, without unduly inhibiting the effectiveness and efficiency of the public organisations concerned (OECD, 2004[12]). The G20 High-Level Principles for Preventing and Managing ‘Conflict of Interest’ in the Public Sector encourage countries to nurture an open organisational culture in the public sector, taking steps to promote the pro-active identification and avoidance of potential conflict-of-interest situations by public officials (World Bank, 2018[13]).

Essentially, the effectiveness of policies for managing conflict of interest rests upon the understanding that public servants have about the concept of conflicting interests and their capacity to identify when being in such a situation and understanding the risks related to this situation. As such, similar to the challenge of promoting a risk management culture amongst public managers, managing conflict of interest requires much more than normative frameworks and tools to submit potential conflict of interest situation. Again, the UGI can and should play a key role in promoting this cultural change that requires more than putting in place channels for consultations or requiring public servants to fill out interest declarations.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, the current framework allows that other units can perform the functions of the UGI. This means that the position of the UGI in the internal governance structure can vary and that, typically, the UGI is a unit where integrity has just been added to other existing responsibilities. Figure 2.3 shows the distribution of units carrying out the functions of the UGI. Strikingly, 78 out of the 186 entities at federal level have not reported back on their location in the public entity. For several reasons, this currently undermines significantly the potential impact of the UGI and the role they could play in carrying out the functions attributed to them within the SIPEF.

First, as mentioned in Chapter 1, the UGI should be separated from any functions related to auditing or enforcement to clarify institutional responsibilities and to allow a clear focus on prevention and the promotion of open cultures of integrity (OECD, 2018[6]). Currently, the CGU recommends that the functions of the UGI should not be carried out by the internal audit units or internal control areas, for example. However, along the same lines, any other unit related to integrity policies, such as the federal inspectorates (corregedorias), the ombudsmen (ouvidorias) or the Ethics Commissions should be maintained separate from the UGI. This also avoids potential conflicts between the requisites for sectorial units of the respective federal systems.

Second, the OECD fact-finding indicates that the UGI themselves perceive the fact of not being a dedicated unit with professionalised staff as a weakness. During the focus group, they mentioned the need to have professionalised staff that is exclusively dedicated to integrity. They emphasised that they are often lacking the specific capacities needed to carry out their work and that they are often overwhelmed by tasks that are unrelated to integrity but also part of their responsibilities. They further perceive that not being a dedicated unit reflects a lack of commitment by senior management and reported that the situation makes difficult to access to the higher administration. Overall, they perceive that the support from the highest authority correlates with the position of the UGI in the organisational structure. Not having a direct access affects the ability of the UGI to communicate with the highest authority, playing their role as advisor, but also undermines the convening power of the UGI to articulate the Integrity Programme with other units, as mentioned previously.

Indeed, the commitment of both the entity’s head and the senior leadership, identified as a key component of the Integrity Programmes and the SIPEF, in order to gain credibility, needs to be reflected in the continuity of integrity policies and in dedicating sufficient human and financial resources to effectively implement the SIPEF beyond a check-the-box approach (Brinkerhoff, 2000[14]). In particular, the allocation of resources should be proportionate to the public sector entity’s integrity risk profile. Finally, from a behavioural insights perspective, again, the fact that the UGI is sharing responsibilities for integrity with other non-integrity related functions, reduces the salience of integrity in the organisation and makes it more difficult for public servants to clearly identify and associate the UGI as such (OECD, 2018[6]).

Therefore, the CGU could consider taking the recent SIPEF as an opportunity to rethink the organisational underpinning of the system within federal entities and require the establishment of dedicated UGI. If, as recommended above, the UGI take over the preventive functions of the Ethics Commissions and the Federal Inspectorates are responsible for investigating and sanctioning integrity violations, the UGI could take the place of the Ethics Commissions in the organigram (see Chapter 1). Seen from another perspective, and similar to what has been recommended to Mexico, the Ethics Commissions could be transformed into UGI, but as units with permanent staff, where the competences and skills required for the UGI can be developed over time (OECD, 2019[15]; OECD, 2017[16]).

The dedicated unit should report directly to the highest authority and to the CGU, which exercises a technical supervision of the activities related to the Integrity Programmes and the UGI as emphasised in the SIPEF (see next section) to guarantee that it can carry out its functions of alerting to the need of strengthening any of the integrity areas. In addition, a certain degree of administrative autonomy, for example when recruiting personnel, and financial autonomy through a specific budget, would allow a more effective work of the UGI. Furthermore, as in France, to enhance the effectiveness of the UGI’s work, it would be useful to guarantee its access to all relevant information regarding the public sector entity’s activities (and consequently, their associated risks) and its capacity to have a real influence on the other departments (Agence Française Anticorruption, 2020[4]). This autonomy, along with the second accountability channel towards the CGU, will help to guarantee a certain degree of independence and power to address also more sensitive risks and challenges with management.

To sum up, as dedicated units, the UGI would be able to address several challenges and current weaknesses identified above and significantly enhance their capacities to deliver their mandate and functions.

In particular, as highlighted in Box 1.6 in Chapter 1, this would allow the following advantages:

  • Promote internal clarity and visibility within the federal entity with respect to who is responsible for supporting the promotion of public integrity. Currently, there is a risk that public servants unconsciously associate the UGI with the other non-integrity related functions of the area that took the responsibilities of the UGI. This could make more difficult to communicate clearly on public integrity. In fact, the fact-finding evidenced that public officials and other areas within public entities currently not always understand the mandate and functions of the UGI. A dedicated UGI, in turn, would be able to develop a clear profile and own identity.

  • Facilitate the function of advising the highest authority, articulating the Integrity Programme and steering the development and monitoring of the Integrity Plans. As already mentioned, co-ordination requires a certain degree of convening power to ask for participation of or information from other internal units. This is more likely if the UGI is a dedicated unit that reports directly to the head of the entity. For example, in Paraguay, the Law mandates that heads of the Anti-Corruption Units report directly to the head of the respective institution.

  • Building the different sets of competences and skills required to promote open culture of public integrity (co-ordination, planning, monitoring, guidance and integrity risk management). To develop the required skills over time and allow a learning process, the UGI should ideally count with permanent staff, recruited as career civil servants with a stable position. This would also allow the development of a relationship build on trust between UGI staff and staff from other units within the entity. This is indispensable for an effective co-ordination and for public servants to feel comfortable to approach the UGI about any doubts or concerns.

The advantages of structuring the SIPEF and harmonising the design of the UGI shall not disregard the fact that there are diverse realities in the federal executive; diversity with respect to the size of entities and their resources, but also diversity in integrity risks that they face. The establishment of the UGI should take existing resources and proportionality into account to limit additional bureaucratic layers. Similar to what has been recommended in Mexico or Peru, Brazil could thus consider allowing small entities to have smaller UGI; for very small entities, e.g. with staff under 100, it could even be considered to exceptionally allow an Integrity Manager as a unit instead of a team (OECD, 2019[17]; OECD, 2019[15]). Nonetheless, the decision about the size of the UGI ideally should not to be taken by the public entity alone. Rather the CGU could support and validate the proposals from federal entities and, in case of disagreement, could be able to veto a proposal and impose the design that it deems pertinent.

Finally, although not covered by the obligation of Decree 9203/2017 and 10756/2021, some administrative units, due to their size, complexity and related integrity risks, could benefit from establishing an Integrity Programme and an UGI. This is the case for federal hospitals and other administrative units attached to a Ministry, such as Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police and the Internal Revenue Service. Under the SIPEF, the CGU therefore could continue making efforts to foster the implementation of Integrity Programmes in such administrative units. In addition, the CGU could consider including generic guidance concerning such units into the SIPEF, by revising the Decree 10756/2021, and request the implementation of Integrity Programmes in such administrative units, following certain characteristics such as size and integrity risks.

The Secretariat of Transparency and Corruption Prevention (Secretaria de Transparência e Prevenção da Corrupção, STPC) in the CGU has been playing a key role in promoting public and private integrity and fostering transparency and social control in the federal public administration. Furthermore, it proposes and develops measures to identify and prevent conflict of interest situations and serves as executive secretary of the Council for Public Transparency and Combating Corruption (Conselho de Transparência Pública e Combate à Corrupção, CTPCC).

Recently, the STPC has been designated as the Central Body of the SIPEF with the responsibilities for establishing the rules and procedures for the exercise of the competences of the units that are part of SIPEF and the attributions of the directors for the management of Integrity Programmes. The STPC shall guide activities related to risk management for integrity and carry out communication and training actions related to integrity as well as coordinate activities that require joint actions by the UGI. As oversight body of the SIPEF, the STPC exercises the technical supervision of activities related to the Integrity Programmes managed by the UGI, monitors and evaluates the performance of the UGI and shall inform the federal entities of facts or situations that may compromise their Integrity Programmes and may recommend the adoption of the necessary remedial measures.

The STPC is currently divided into three Directorates:

  • The Directorate for Transparency and Social Control (Diretoria de Transparência e Controle Social, DTCS) is responsible for policies related to open government, transparency, citizen education and social control (for an in-depth discussion of the DTCS, see OECD Open Government Review (OECD, forthcoming[18])).

  • The Directorate for Integrity Promotion (Diretoria de Promoção da Integridade, DPI), which has a unit dedicated to public integrity and a unit dedicated to the promotion of Integrity within the private sector.

  • The Directorate for the Prevention of Corruption (Diretoria de Prevenção da Corrupção, DPC), which has a unit dedicated to public ethics and prevention of conflict of interest and a unit responsible for innovation and corruption prevention.

Table 2.1 provides an overview of the current responsibilities of the DPI and the DPC, which are the most relevant Directorates from the perspective of public integrity and the issues discussed so far.

The fact-finding of this project indicates that re-thinking the division of labour within the STPC, in particular between the current DPI and the DPC, could significantly enhance its impact by ensuring coherence and avoiding frictions and overlaps. Indeed, similar to the recommendations above related to the Federal Ethics Management System and the Public Integrity System, the distinction between public integrity, public ethics, preventing conflict-of-interest and corruption is conceptually blurred and leads to a lack of clarity about responsibilities and risks of mixed messages, misunderstandings and therefore potentially a waste of scarce resources.

On the one hand, the CGU should consider strengthening the DPI by streamlining the tasks related to public integrity and the SIPEF under its responsibility. Indeed, the DPI has established itself as the unit leading public integrity and co-ordinating as well as supporting the UGI. In line and coherent with the recommendations in Chapter 1 and with respect to the UGI, a separation between public integrity, public ethics, managing conflict of interest and integrity risk management does not make sense and is not helpful to provide clarity for public servants about the concepts and the responsibilities for guidance. As such, it is recommended that these aspects are bundled under the umbrella of public integrity and that the DPI leads the development of related policies and guidance.

On the other hand, the DPC has recently made progress in promoting surveys and exploring the use of innovative tools related to the use of data and data analytics or joint research projects with academia. The CGU could therefore consider strengthening the current DPC by building on this and expanding its capacities as a unit responsible for providing methodological and research advice to the DPI and the DTCS. This could include, for example, commissioning and supervising research projects, support for designing and implementing surveys, identifying and analysing relevant data, developing new analytical tools and providing methodological support for conducting experiments and impact evaluations. All these areas require specific skills that could significantly support the work of the operational DPI and DTCS. In addition, the CGU could consider changing the name of the DPC to reflect this new focus.

Finally, while the adoption and enforcement of state and municipal anti-corruption and integrity standards is a competence of local entities, CGU’s DTC started to provide support and guidance to states and municipalities in the implementation of federal laws on anti-corruption and integrity, internal control, transparency, and access to information (Box 2.4). Indeed, when federal laws refer to the national interest, they shall inform regulation in all 26 states, the Federal District and the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities. That is the case, for example, of the Anti-Corruption Law (Law No. 12,846, of August 1st, 2013), which provides for the objective administrative and civil liability of legal entities for violations of standards against the public administration and which should be implemented by the Federal Government, States and Municipalities in their constitutional jurisdictions. As of December 2020, 21 States had already regulated the Anti-corruption Law, either partly or in full. Therefore, the CGU could continue building on these efforts to promote a mainstreaming beyond the federal executive branch and reach states and municipalities.

As the central organ of the SIPEF, the relationship between the STPC and the sectorial units, the UGI, is key to make the SIPEF work. The STPC provides directions and guidance to the UGI, but it is important to emphasise that the UGI also can provide key information from the bottom-up to the CGU. Indeed, the UGI are closer to the realities in their respective federal entities and therefore to the specific challenges and opportunities. To work as a system, the STPC should ensure to acknowledge this two-way relationship by providing opportunities for feedback from the UGI when designing new regulations or policies and by allowing a degree of flexibility to the UGI in adapting the directives and guidance issued by the CGU to their realities and priorities.

In line with the recommendations aimed at strengthening the UGI above, the STPC could therefore continue and build on its current efforts to strengthen the UGI and focus in particular on the following five core work streams.

  • Provide guidelines, trainings and ad hoc support on integrity policies. In line with the suggested focus of the UGI on promoting open cultures of organisational integrity mentioned above, this support by the DPI could focus on:

    • providing guidance and building capacities on how to steer and co-ordinate an internal, participative planning exercise

    • building a theory of change to avoid a check-the-box approach focusing on implementing and complying with a series of actions without having a clear vision of the desired change

    • skills and tools to facilitate the monitoring of the implementation of the Integrity Plans

    • the elements of an open organisational culture of integrity, to provide conceptual clarity and coherence across the federal executive branch and to suggest ways to promote and support the implementation of the different elements

    • how to provide ad hoc advice and guidance to public servants that seek support or clarifications on integrity issues (e.g. guidance on identifying and managing conflict of interest, ethical dilemmas etc.)

    • how to promote integrity risk management cultures and how to use the information of the integrity risk assessments to inform their decisions and activities.

  • Support integrity risk management of the UGI. The STPC, by collecting the risk assessments from the federal entities and relying on the feedback from the UGI can carry out analysis that go beyond single entities (e.g. sectors, regions, or standard high-risk processes such as public procurement or human resource management). The STPC could complement these risk assessments by using data from other sources, carrying out advanced data analytics and feed this information back to the UGI to support and fine-tune their own risk analysis (OECD, forthcoming[11]). Within the STPC, ideally, the DPI identifies the needs and seeks support for the analysis of the data by the DPC, or the new name of this Directorate.

  • Strengthen the evidence base to support the UGI and the SIPEF. The STPC could identify relevant data from administrative sources and surveys and identify gaps where additional data could be collected. In particular, the STPC could consider developing a standard survey to measure the integrity climate in the public entity, including aspect related to integrity leadership, to support and inform the UGI (OECD, forthcoming[8]). Again, the content part should be led by DPI with methodological support for survey design and data analysis from the DPC. 

  • Continue to support and promote exchanges between UGI, leveraging new technologies. The COVID-19 crisis triggered and showed both the opportunities and limitations of the use of online discussion platforms, videoconferences and webinars. The STPC could consider to learn from this experiment and prepare for a future where the in-person and online meetings will co-exist and can be leveraged. In particular, the STPC could consider continue its current practice to promote capacity building and dialogue through webinars. In addition, regular online network meetings between the UGI could significantly facilitate the exchange on common challenges and good practices and be an opportunity for the STPC to hear back from the UGI.

  • Monitor the implementation of the Integrity Programmes and regularly evaluate the SIPEF. Similar to the role of the UGI in monitoring the Integrity Plans at institutional level, the STPC should continue monitoring and evaluating the Integrity Programmes, the UGI and now, more generally, the SIPEF. Though interconnected, it is important to distinguish between monitoring and evaluation.

    • Monitoring corresponds to a routinized process of evidence gathering and reporting to ensure that resources are adequately spent, outputs are successfully delivered, and milestones and targets are met (OECD, 2020[21]). Again, it is important here that the STPC does not confuse monitoring with control (OECD, 2017[5]) and aims at promoting a constructive dialogue with the UGI about challenges and solutions. Currently, the public monitoring platform provided by the CGU (paineis.cgu.gov.br/integridadepublica) focuses on establishing units and procedures, reflecting the early stages of the Integrity Programmes. The STPC could thus consider adding indicators that also capture the quality of or the use of these unites and procedures. Furthermore, the STPC could consider establishing an internal monitoring mechanism to allow for honest reporting by the UGI, while maintaining accountability towards the whole of society through a public platform with more generic indicators.

    • Evaluation, in turn, is an assessment of an ongoing or completed initiative, its design, implementation and results. Evaluations determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability, as well as the worth or significance of a policy (OECD, 2020[21]). As such, the STPC should continue its good practice reflected in the current, ongoing, evaluation of the UGI through surveys and in-depth interviews, allowing for a learning exercise and an incremental strengthening of the SIPEF over time.

Finally, given that the CGU is also part of the SIPEF, as its central organ, it may be interesting to consider a regular external independent evaluation of the overall system to identify and address possible shortcomings of the SIPEF. A recent OECD study demonstrated that generally, countries show strong commitment to policy evaluation. Some countries have embedded policy evaluations in their constitutions, and around two-thirds of responding countries have developed some kind of legal framework for policy evaluation. Similarly, most countries have adopted guidelines on policy evaluation applicable across government (OECD, 2020[21]).


[4] Agence Française Anticorruption (2020), The French Anti-Corruption Agency Guidelines, Agence française Anticorruption (AFA), Paris, https://www.agence-francaise-anticorruption.gouv.fr/files/2021-03/French%20AC%20Agency%20Guidelines%20.pdf (accessed on 20 September 2021).

[14] Brinkerhoff, D. (2000), “Assessing political will for anti‐corruption efforts: an analytic framework”, Public Administration and Development, Vol. 20, pp. 239-252, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1099-162X(200008)20:3%3C239::AID-PAD138%3E3.0.CO;2-3/abstract (accessed on 5 January 2015).

[10] CGU (2018), Guia Prático de Gestão de Riscos para a Integridade: Orientações para a Administração Pública Federal direta, autárquica e fundacional, Controladoria Geral da União (CGU), Brasilia, https://www.gov.br/cgu/pt-br/centrais-de-conteudo/publicacoes/integridade/arquivos/manual-gestao-de-riscos.pdf (accessed on 4 August 2021).

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[19] CGU (2017), Como Fortalecer Sua Gestão: Lei Anticorrupção e Programa de Integridade, Controladoria-Geral da União, Brasilia, https://www.gov.br/cgu/pt-br/centrais-de-conteudo/publicacoes/transparencia-publica/colecao-municipio-transparente/arquivos/como-fortalecer-sua-gestao-lei-anti-corrupcao-e-programa-de-integridade.pdf (accessed on 24 August 2021).

[20] CGU (2017), Sugestões de Decretos para a regulamentação da Lei Anticorrupção em Municípios, Controladoria-Geral da União, Brasilia, https://www.gov.br/cgu/pt-br/centrais-de-conteudo/publicacoes/transparencia-publica/colecao-municipio-transparente/arquivos/cartilha-sugestoes-de-decretos-para-a-regulamentacao-da-lei-anticorrupcao-nos-municipios.pdf (accessed on 24 August 2021).

[7] Miller, G. (1955), “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information”, Psychological Review, Vol. 101/2, pp. 343-352, http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/peterson/psy430s2001/Miller%20GA%20Magical%20Seven%20Psych%20Review%201955.pdf (accessed on 24 January 2018).

[21] OECD (2020), Improving Governance with Policy Evaluation: Lessons From Country Experiences, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/89b1577d-en.

[3] OECD (2020), OECD Public Integrity Handbook, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/ac8ed8e8-en.

[15] OECD (2019), Follow up report on the OECD Integrity Review of Mexico: Responding to citizens’ expectations, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/gov/ethics/follow-up-integrity-review-mexico.pdf (accessed on 19 August 2021).

[9] OECD (2019), La Integridad Pública en América Latina y el Caribe 2018-2019: De Gobiernos reactivos a Estados proactivos, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/gov/ethics/integridad-publica-en-america-latina-caribe-2018-2019.htm.

[17] OECD (2019), Offices of Institutional Integrity in Peru: Implementing the Integrity System, OECD, Paris, https://www.oecd.org/gov/ethics/offices-of-institutional-integrity-peru.pdf (accessed on 19 August 2021).

[6] OECD (2018), Behavioural Insights for Public Integrity: Harnessing the Human Factor to Counter Corruption, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264297067-en.

[5] OECD (2017), Monitoring and Evaluating Integrity Policies, Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials GOV/PGC/INT(2017)4, Paris.

[16] OECD (2017), OECD Integrity Review of Mexico: Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264273207-en.

[2] OECD (2017), OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity, http://www.oecd.org/gov/ethics/Recommendation-Public-Integrity.pdf.

[12] OECD (2004), “OECD Guidelines for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service”, in Managing Conflict of Interest in the Public Service: OECD Guidelines and Country Experiences, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264104938-2-en.

[8] OECD (forthcoming), Behavioural Insights for Public Integrity: Strengthening integrity leadership in Brazil’s federal executive branch, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[11] OECD (forthcoming), Modernising Integrity Risk Management in Brazil, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[18] OECD (forthcoming), Open Government Review of Brazil, OECD Publishing, Paris.

[13] World Bank, O. (2018), G20 Good Practice Guide: Preventing and Managing Conflicts of Interest in the Public Sector, Prepared at the request of the G20 Anticorruption Working Group by the World Bank, OECD and UNODC, https://www.unodc.org/documents/corruption/Publications/2020/Preventing-and-Managing-Conflicts-of-Interest-in-the-Public-Sector-Good-Practices-Guide.pdf (accessed on 26 January 2021).

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