Responding to today’s dynamic and complex policy problems puts significant pressure on governments to deliver on their policy goals and mandates. A public governance system that supports effective policy development, strategic planning, and decision-making processes to address multifaceted challenges is critical to foster citizens’ trust in public institutions’ ability to deliver. Uniquely placed to align the machinery of government around strategic priorities, centres of government (CoG) play an essential role in the prioritisation of high-level policy objectives and the co-ordination of the design and implementation of policy responses across government. They are increasingly asked to move beyond their traditional focus on preparing cabinet meetings and reviewing the legal conformity of proposals. Strengthening centre of government capacity has thus emerged as a crucial factor in meeting broader democratic and political commitments.

This Centre of Government Review of Brazil provides an assessment of the CoG’s capacity to create a more reliable and favourable institutional environment for defining and implementing cross-cutting policy priorities. Brazil has requested the support of the OECD in enhancing its ability to address policy challenges and creating an outcomes-oriented CoG. In doing so, it hopes to solidify the CoG as a lynchpin of the government, capable of supporting decision-making processes and steering government action to define and achieve high-level priorities.

The review identifies some limitations linked to the institutional fragmentation of the CoG, and recommends clarifying the respective responsibilities of its constitutive bodies. It also suggests current practices at the centre mainly focus on processes at the expense of outcomes; this could be mitigated by clearly linking a performance management framework to a small number of cross-government strategic objectives. Focusing on the capacities of the CoG to contribute to budget strategy and the federal budget, the review considers how the CoG can ensure that medium- and long-term plans align with the budgetary framework and how the budget can support policies in a coherent manner. The review further examines the CoG’s role in monitoring and evaluating the performance of policy priorities and the use of this information to improve policy-making and service delivery. Following the recent reorganisation of public communication structures, the review also analyses how the role of public communication can be consolidated and reinforced as a strategic lever of government and enabler of open government. The recommendations contained in this review seek to promote an integrated forward-looking approach to public governance, and, ultimately, help Brazil deliver better results for citizens and promote trust in government.

The Centre of Government Review of Brazil draws on a wide range of international experiences and practices used to establish outcome-oriented, problem-solving centres of government. The review builds on the insights gathered from the OECD’s networks and communities of practice including the Network of Senior Officials from Centres of Government. The review also greatly benefited from the OECD’s peer engagement process which allowed practical, evidence-based dialogue between Brazilian officials and their peers from centres of government in OECD member countries.

The Review was approved and declassified by the Public Governance Committee on 13 June 2022 and prepared for publication by the Secretariat.

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