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Brazil

Increasing public transparency of the Labor Relations Secretariat of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (BR0055)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Brazil Second Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2013

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Ministry of Labor and Employment

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Labor

IRM Review

IRM Report: Brazil End-of-Term Report 2013-2016

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

to increase transparency of the Labor Relations Secretariat of the Ministry of Labor and Employment by disclosing its Technical and Informative Notes on the internet, as well as the listing of processes related to ongoing union registration together with orders for analysis within the agency. Thus, the commitment shall provide for the disclosure of clear and transparent information, with the aim of demonstrating the impartiality of the procedure of union registration and of process analysis, as well as the integrity of other information disclosed by the agency.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2.18. Increasing public transparency of the Labour Relations Secretariat of the Ministry of Labour and Employment

Commitment Text: To increase transparency of the Labor Relations Secretariat of the Ministry of Labor and Employment by disclosing its Technical and Informative Notes on the internet, as well as the listing of processes related to ongoing union registration together with orders for analysis within the agency. Thus, the commitment shall provide for the disclosure of clear and transparent information, with the aim of demonstrating the impartiality of the procedure of union registration and of process analysis, as well as the integrity of other information disclosed by the agency.

Responsible institution: Ministry of Labor and Employment

Supporting institution: None

Start date: Not specified                          End date: 14 July 2014

Commitment aim

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MTE) maintains and updates the registry of union organisations, and guarantees respect for union independence. The commitment aimed to give transparency and speed to the process of union registration, which faces strong criticism from civil society and unions that complain of biases in public service delivery.[Note 75: Intersindical, “Dificuldades e desafios do movimento sindical”, 28 August 2015, https://goo.gl/lHdJJh .] There have been various reports in national journals that suggest a lack of transparency and possible irregularities in the process of union registration.[Note 76: Claudio Dantas Sequeira, “Eles fabricam sindicatos,” Isto é, 11 August 2011, http://bit.ly/2hAy7vj. ]

Status

Midterm: Limited

The commitment was completed to a limited degree. Between 2012 and 2014, information on the process of union registration requests was partially published and updated online. However, the “Technical and Informative Notes” part of the registration process was not published. This information includes the actual content of the registration process, such as documents, analysis, and responses, rather than just information on protocol dates and other system indexing information.

End of term: Substantial

The government disclosed more information online as to the unions’ registration process, including past decisions and precedents. However, not all Technical and Informative notes were published. The government is yet to publish the analyses of union registration requests.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

The topic of union registry is very important in Brazil. The commitment addressed a bureaucratic —but key — aspect of union procedures in the country. In Brazil, only registered unions can have access to certain public funds for their activities and, in some cases, depending on certain labour categories, funds are distributed through a winner-take-all system. In this context, unions have accused the government of bias in the registration process.[Note 77: “Mundo do Trabalho: centrais querem mudar registro de sindicatos,” Febranor, 7 May 2012, http://febranor.org.br/febranor/?p=3419.  ] As a result, public access to information on the process and status of union registrations is key to allaying concerns of possibly corrupted procedures.

However, the commitment improved only marginally the transparency of the system and the perceived low transparency of the process among some union representatives. The main contribution of the commitment was to publish the names of the unions that applied for registration, as well as when they applied. This is important, given that unions are registered (and, therefore, eligible for funding) on a first-come, first-served basis. Unions and citizens can now check if and when processes have started. Still, the newly published information does not address the transparency of the process. This will only improve once more information is available to the public, for instance, why certain applications were processed first, and how each registration request was analysed and classified.

According to one of the largest unions in Brazil — the Brazilian Federation of Working Men and Women (Central dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Brasil, CTB) — the commitment has not resulted in greater transparency, given that the underlying structure of union registration is still not transparent. In the view of the CTB, while the order of applicants determines the order in which requests are distributed, the process of analysing requests is not transparent. For this reason, the CTB recommends greater transparency with regard to the structure of the process, and a push e-mail system to notify applicants of changes in the status of their registrations.[Note 78: Portal CTB, “Em audiência pública, CTB apresenta ao MTE propostas para agilizar emissão do registro sindical,” 18 September 2015, http://bit.ly/2nTEWwJ.]

Carried forward?

The commitment is not included in Brazil’s third action plan. The IRM researcher recommends allowing access to the full Informative Notes, and strengthening participatory mechanisms for the unions in the reforms.


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