Expansion of the Database of the National Debarment List (CEIS): (BR0079)
to increase, through partnerships, the amount of information on the National Debarment List – a database maintained by the Office of the Comptroller General, with the aim of consolidating the list of companies and individuals that have suffered penalties that hinder the participation on procurements and the celebration of contracts with the Public Administration.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
Commitment 4.2. Expansion of the database of the National Debarment List (CEIS)
Commitment Text: To increase, through partnerships, the amount of information on the National Debarment List – a database maintained by the Office of the Comptroller General, with the aim of consolidating the list of companies and individuals that have suffered penalties that hinder the participation on procurements and the celebration of contracts with the Public Administration.
Responsible institution: Office of the Comptroller General
Supporting institution: None
Start date: Not specified End date: 14 December 2014
The National Debarment List (CEIS) comprises businesses and people banned from the right to sign contracts with the public administration. The commitment intended to improve the CEIS by consolidating information on companies and individuals who have violated public contract or procurement rules in the country. This information was previously available, but not indexed with other major open datasets.
During the period of implementation, the Anticorruption Law (12.846/13) came into force. This law significantly expanded the reach of the CEIS by requiring all public entities to maintain and update the registry of penalised companies. It also created the National Registry of Penalised Companies (CNEP), which lists the companies in violation of the new anti-corruption legislation. The government produced the new deliverables required by both the law and commitment by creating the Integrated CEIS/CNEP Registry System. Public bodies directly submit to the Registry System the names of companies they have sanctioned for violating contracting or procurement rules, or the Anticorruption Law. The data from this system are now publicly available at the Federal Transparency Portal. According to the government’s self-assessment, since the implementation of the new system, five states had joined, while others were in the process of doing so.
Did it open government?
Access to information: Major
Public accountability: Major
The commitment enhanced the transparency of a key registry system to fight corruption and improve public service delivery: the National Debarment List – a database that consolidates the names of companies and individuals who have broken public contracting or procurement rules. For the first time, this database is now public, rather than limited to internal government use. In addition, the linkage of data on companies that have transgressed the Anticorruption Law, as well as the use of state and municipal datasets when possible, considerably increased the effectiveness of this list. By December 2016, the CEIS recorded 7,000 new entries in the course of the year.[Note 117: Antonio Carlos Vasconcellos Nóbrega, “Lei Anticorrupção melhorou relações entre setores público e privado,” http://bit.ly/2idxoVh. ] As of January 2017, there are more than 13,000 data entries on the site, which allows filtering by type of sanction, such as declaration of bad standing, suspension, and ban.[Note 118: Portal de Transparência, Cadastro Nacional de Empresas Inidôneas e Suspensas (CEIS), http://www.portaldatransparencia.gov.br/ceis. ] According to the government, 87 organisations and subnational agencies (including state and municipal governments) were using the CEIS and CNEP by July 2016.
Civil society has largely been supportive of the commitment. According to Transparency Brazil, the CEIS is:
“a relatively simple measure to implement, but fundamental for guaranteeing that sanctioned companies are not eligible for public contracting. The lack of a single registry, however, reveals common management and communication problems between the different entities of the public administration and spheres of government that need to be corrected immediately. It is common for information released by the administration to be under-utilised, if not lost. The judiciary, the courts of auditors, the comptrollers, and other auditing agencies need to work together since isolated efforts will produce limited results.”[Note 119: Natália Paiva (President, Transparency Brazil), e-mail correspondence with the IRM researcher.]
The Ethos Institute presented a proposal for a similar registry of companies involved in corruption as far back as 2004.[Note 120: Paulo Itacarambi, “Lei anticorrupção aprovada na Câmara beneficia empresas responsáveis,” 26 April 2013, http://bit.ly/2iW5MUG. ] Today, the CEIS has become an important tool, mentioned often in the media, to draw attention to corrupt corporations.[Note 121: O Globo, “CGU declara inidônea empresa investigada na Lava-Jato,” 23 December 2016, http://glo.bo/2juXYdw. See also http://bit.ly/2j06CA0 for an article about 96 companies in Espírito Santo that are prohibited from contracting with the government. ] In this way, the commitment has significantly improved public access to information on government anti-corruption practices and relations with the private sector. Moreover, given that the government is not allowed to procure from companies on the CEIS, citizens now have an important new tool to hold it accountable for its procurement practices.
The commitment was not carried forward to Brazil’s third action plan. Nonetheless, the IRM researcher recommends expanding the registry to include other branches and agencies of government, especially the judiciary. The IRM researcher also recommends putting in place consultation mechanisms regarding other data to be incorporated into the system, and strengthening accountability mechanisms for those registered who may have problems with the data.