Participatory Audits on the Constructions of Brazilian Host Cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup (BR0058)
to carry out participatory audits in all Brazilian host cities for the 2014 World Cup, focusing on the constructions of ports and airports, as a means of ensuring compliance to human rights and to the requisites for negotiations and agreements with social and labor movements. The audits shall be carry out jointly by government and civil society and aim at identifying critical points in projects, environmental licenses, expropriations and other technical and social barriers that may pose risks to the projects and to the population affected by them.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 2.20. Participatory Audits on the Constructions of Brazilian Host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup
Commitment Text: To carry out participatory audits in all Brazilian host cities for the 2014 World Cup, focusing on the constructions of ports and airports, as a means of ensuring compliance to human rights and to the requisites for negotiations and agreements with social and labor movements. The audits shall be carry out jointly by government and civil society and aim at identifying critical points in projects, environmental licenses, expropriations and other technical and social barriers that may pose risks to the projects and to the population affected by them.
Responsible institution: General Secretariat of the Presidency
Supporting institution: None
Start date: Not specified End date: 14 October 2014
The commitment aimed to carry out participatory audits — instruments of social oversight that include the participation of organised civil society — in each of the 12 host cities of the 2014 World Cup. The government sought to work directly with the “World Cup Popular Committee” (Comitê Popular da Copa), a mobilisation of civil society groups, social movements, universities, and social organisations.
All 12 World Cup headquarters received participatory audits. Each audit resulted in a report that documented the government’s actions, presented a general overview of proven problems, and proffered instructions for supporting complaints. Additional details can be found in the IRM Midterm Progress Report.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Marginal
Civic participation: Marginal
Public accountability: Marginal
By design, the commitment had the potential to open government significantly since participatory audits include citizens’ participation by default. The goal of the commitment was for an auditing team to visit the 12 World Cup cities and partner with a civil society organisation. They would then publish a final report to disclose problems found from the perspectives of both government and civil society. Once published, the report would be sent to the federal government council responsible for organizing the World Cup and addressing the issues found by the team.
In spite of its potential, the commitment made only a marginal contribution to open government. The auditing team successfully engaged local CSOs in monitoring World Cup spending in all cities, forwarding the findings to the government, and publishing the report for public access. Nonetheless, there was little evidence of uptake of the final participatory audit recommendations. This opinion was shared by both government and civil society. In this sense, the commitment was more of a process of documenting irregularities, using civil society as a source of information, than a participatory exercise involving collaboration between government and civil society to identify and resolve public problems.
In addition, the audits focused on the relationship between human rights and public works in preparing for the World Cup. Though this was a major issue, the audits did not satisfy civil society’s demand for identifying issues related to transparency and public integrity in the financing of public works. In 2013, following the completion of the audits, the Popular Committee of the World Cup and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro indicated that “there remain situations of clear lack of respect for human rights and for the collective rights of city residents, including the right to housing, mobility, the environment, work, participation, and others.”[Note 79: Right to Housing, “Megaeventos e Violações dos Direitos Humanos no Rio de Janeiro,” 17 May 2013, http://direitoamoradia.org/?p=20277&lang=en.]
The commitment cannot be continued, since the event has concluded. However, the participatory audits reflect important values of open government, and could be replicated for other types of projects.