Integrity in the public service is vital to ensure that resources are used to serve the public interest and pursue the government’s policy goals. Ultimately, integrity policies seek to promote the application of shared values and to achieve sustainable change in organisational cultures in the public administration and in the behaviour of public servants. Without such change, integrity policies may end up existing primarily on paper or, at best, becoming a check-the-box exercise of ensuring compliance with regulations and standards without real ownership and commitment.

Public sector entities vary widely in terms of their mandates, resources and capacities, as well as the context operate in and the integrity risks they face. A strategic vision of public integrity therefore avoids a one-size-fits-all approach, allows public entities to set relevant and realistic objectives and prioritises actions based on actual integrity risks and opportunities.

In Brazil, a federal country with a complex and diverse public administration, implementing such a strategic vision can be a challenge, as it requires mainstreaming integrity regulations and policies throughout the public administration, ensuring that standards are met, promoting coherence and avoiding mixed messages to public servants, whilst acknowledging differences and allowing public entities to adapt to their specific characteristics.

This report is part of an ongoing project through which the OECD provides support to the Office of the Comptroller General of the Union, which leads integrity policies at the federal level, in strengthening its policies, methods and institutions to promote integrity in the federal executive branch. The project has three components: a review of the integrity risk assessment methodology; the application of behavioural insights to public integrity; and strengthening the Integrity Management Units (UGI). In July 2021, during the implementation of this project, Brazil established the Public Integrity System of the Federal Executive Branch (SIPEF) and the UGI became the sectorial units of this new system, directed by the CGU. The scope of this report subsequently broadened to look not only at the UGI but at the SIPEF and the CGU as its central organ.

This report contributes to OECD work to support countries in effectively implementing the OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity. It provides concrete recommendations on how to strengthen the Brazilian integrity system at the federal level by improving the coherence and the visibility of integrity in view of offering better guidance to public servants. As such, its findings and recommendations can also inspire other countries facing similar issues. In addition, this report provides an input to the forthcoming OECD Integrity Review of Brazil.

The review was approved by the OECD Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials (SPIO) on 11 November 2021 and declassified by the Public Governance Committee on 3 December 2021.

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