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São Paulo, Brazil

Fight Against Corruption (SAO0010)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Sao Paulo Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Municipal Comptroller General’s Office (CGM

Support Institution(s): Municipal Secretariat of Management (SG); Municipal Secretariat of Finance (SF); Municipal Secretariat of Subprefectures (SMSUB); Secretariat of Municipal Government (SGM); Municipal Secretariat of Innovation and Technology (SMIT); Municipal Secretariat of International Affairs (SMRI)26; Municipal Court of Accounts (TCM)., Transparência Brasil; Fundação Escola de Comércio Álvares Penteado (FECA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Anti-Corruption, E-Government, Fiscal Openness, Local Commitments, Open Contracting and Public Procurement, Open Data, Public Procurement, Publication of Budget/Fiscal Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Sao Paulo Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Commitment no. 5: “Fight Against Corruption”
Guarantee the accessibility of public data in open format, through integration and betterment of the information made available on contracts, bids and budgetary/financial execution of the city of São Paulo, improving existing mechanisms, enabling better conditions for citizen monitoring of bidding processes.
Commitment start and end date: January/2019 - August/2020
Lead implementing agency/actor
Municipal Comptroller General’s Office (CGM)
Commitment description
What is the public problem that the commitment will address?
Data on the bidding processes and budgetary/financial execution of the City of São Paulo are made available at different portals and systems, such as the Transparency Portal, the Official Gazette of the City of São Paulo, the Budget and Finance System (SOF) and e-Business of the City of São Paulo. However, the information is not always provided in its complete form and/or in open format. In addition, many of the mechanisms that make it possible for citizens to oversee the bidding processes are still unknown to the population.
Overall objective(s) and expected result(s)

By implementing this commitment, we expect to foster greater integration of information related to the bidding processes and budgetary/financial execution. Another objective is to provide citizens with more information on the existing citizen monitoring mechanisms, thus ensuring more effective forms of social control.
How will the commitment contribute to solve the public problem?

Seeking to understand the ways of making the data mentioned above available, it will be possible to point out its possible limitations and possibilities for improvement. In addition, the internal flows of information availability are planned to be improved, aiming at more complete and qualified communication of data, as well as training actions aimed at citizens and civil servants that work with bidding, giving them better follow-up and performance conditions.
Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
The actions in this commitment aim to improve the transparency mechanisms of the City of São Paulo, allowing greater social control, especially in relation to bidding processes and public procurement. In addition to seeking to improve transparency, the commitment is also relevant to the strengthening of public integrity, as it addresses one of the procedures most popularly associated with embezzlement and misconduct in public administration, increasing responsiveness and accountability by the government.
Additional Information

Milestone activity with a verifiable deliverable
Start date:

End date:
Make a diagnosis on the information and systems of the City of São Paulo related to contracts, public bidding and budgetary/financial execution.
January/2019
August/2019
Present a proposal to improve the availability of information in an open and integrated way, relating it, to the territorial aspect when possible.

August/2019

August/2020
Encourage, through “Agentes de Governo Aberto” Program (“Open Government Agents”) public notice, the submission of
January/2019
August/2020

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Fight against corruption

Commitment text:

Guarantee the accessibility of public data in open format, through integration and betterment of the information made available on contracts, bids and budgetary/financial execution of the city of São Paulo, improving existing mechanisms, enabling better conditions for citizen monitoring of bidding processes.

Milestones

5.1 Make a diagnosis on the information and systems of the City of São Paulo related to contracts, public bidding and budgetary/financial execution.

Commitment Overview

Verifiability

OGP Value Relevance (as written)

Potential Impact

Completion

Did It Open Government?

Not specific enough to be verifiable

Specific enough to be verifiable

Access to Information

Civic Participation

Public Accountability

Technology & Innovation for Transparency & Accountability

None

Minor

Moderate

Transformative

Not Started

Limited

Substantial

Completed

Worsened

Did Not Change

Marginal

Major

Outstanding

5. Overall

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

5.2 Present a proposal to improve the availability of information in an open and integrated way, relating it, to the territorial aspect when possible.

5.3 Encourage, through “Agentes de Governo Aberto” Program (“Open Government Agents”) public notice, the submission of projects related to public bids and public procurement subjects.

5.4 Expand and improve the training of the public servants working with bids.

5.5 Standardize and better the publications of the public bids on the Official Gazette of the City of São Paulo and on PubNet.

5.6 Improve the flows and processes for regular feeding of the records on disreputable and suspended companies.

Start Date: January 2019

End Date: August 2020

Editorial note: to see the complete text, visit

https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Sao-Paulo_Action-Plan_2018-2020_EN.pdf

Context and Objectives

Overall objective and relevance

The last commitment is about the “Fight against Corruption”, and, more specifically, seeks to strengthen the transparency on the procurement processes. Its goal is to provide public data access in an open form through the integration and improvement of the available information on contracts, bidding, and budget execution by revamping the existing mechanisms, enabling better conditions for citizen oversight of the bidding processes.

The information and process of the bidding procedures are currently scattered across different platforms and channels: the Transparency Portal, the Official Journal of the City of São Paulo, the Budget and Financial System (SOF), and the São Paulo City e-Business portal. The main goal of the commitment is to consolidate the information and make it more accessible, which would render oversight of the budget execution and procurement much more effective.

The procurement process in São Paulo has witnessed important changes over the past six years. Probably the most relevant change was the regulation of the “electronic bidding” procedure, which was brought about by executive decrees nº 54.102/2013 and nº 55.427/2014, which instituted its guiding principles. As a result, this bidding model that was previously used in 56.1% of the auctions reached 88.4% of the procedures in 2015, leading to an estimated savings of R $600 million (around US $150 million) [32].

In 2015, the Office of the Municipal Comptroller launched the “Open Contracting” programme. The agency organised a hackathon to develop systems to improve the way the official journal should change the standard of publishing information so procurement data could be systematized into a database, allowing tools to be developed, transparency to be increased, and access to information to be improved. [33]

However, challenges remain, as this information is not easily accessible. This commitment seeks to tackle this aspect of the bidding process and is relevant to access to information. Milestones 5 and 6 presume improvements in websites and software making the commitment relevant for Technology and Innovation.

Verifiability and potential impact

The milestones follow sequential logic. The first task is to run a diagnostic about the information and systems of the São Paulo City Hall related to contracts, bidding and budget execution. Then, the second milestone provides the presentation of an improvement proposal potentially relating to a territorial dimension. The third step would be to encourage projects from the Open Government Agents programme related to public procurement to be shortlisted in order to support the measures. Additionally, the fourth milestone tackles the issue related to the capacity building of civil servants that work directly with procurement.

Another crucial milestone to enable the whole process has to do with the standardizing and improvement of the procurement information published at the Official Journal of the City of São Paulo and at the PubNet platform. Finally, the last milestone seeks to improve the flows and processes to regularly update the credential of disreputable and convicted companies.

The commitment, as written, contains clearly stated objectives and actions, and can be verified through future assessment processes. It is about making very specific changes to render the procurement process more open and transparent and each milestone contribute to this end.

This objective of this commitment ticks a couple of boxes related to the principles of open government, showing a high degree of relevance: it is very much related to the improvement of the access to information. Although it does not seek to disclose more information that is currently restricted, it does have as its first goal to essentially improve the quality of the information disclosed. In that sense, milestone 5 is critical because it would solve a problem previously identified by the Office of the Municipal Comptroller: the lack of standardization of information being published in the official journal of the city. What is less clear is its relation to technology and innovation: it is not specified how the integration of systems and platforms will take place and to what extent the standardization of the Official Gazette, which would mean indeed a clear improvement, does constitute a real innovation.

As for commitment 3, the portals and systems mentioned in the present commitment have a very different nature, and they are maintained by different Secretariats, turning into a challenge to any attempt at integration.

If the commitment, as written, is completed, it could have a moderate impact on the way the bidding processes work. The electronic bidding process has already resulted in efficiency gains for City Hall. If the city is able to increase transparency and access to information through the standardization of information and make it available in an open format, it could potentially have some impact, reducing information asymmetries and preventing price fixing and anti-competitive practices. This would result in a reduction of transaction costs and increase further the efficiency of public expenditures.

Next steps

Although the commitment is very detailed and with a good potential to deliver a moderate impact, there are aspects to take into consideration that were not stated in the action plan. As the commitment is related to several digital platforms, integration of databases and systems, it will require a high level of coordination capacity among different Secretariats: Management, Finance, CGM, SMIT, and others.

Also, it is worth noting that this commitment contains a strong overlap with the commitment 3, related to the integration of platform of public information from City Hall. Therefore, efforts should be taken in coordination to achieve the integration of the platform to complete both commitments.

In relation to milestone 1, the implementation team could be more ambitious and try to develop a research-action type of diagnosis, to ensure policy recommendations will be implemented and tested as the survey is carried out, so that relevant research work is not gone to waste.

In relation to the standardization and improvement of publications of procurement information, the IRM researcher recommends that the procedure be more straightforward and simple so that the public servant publishing documents comply with standards, without having to consult with manuals or diverge from the desired guidelines.

It is also advisable to be more specific about the goals to be attained with the capacity building activities, defining specific gaps to be addressed and connecting them to the main objective of the commitment.

As the IRM researcher has recommended for commitment number 3, in this case, the city also could benefit from co-creation dynamics and crowdsourcing. Civil society and citizens in general might rely on a series of skills and knowledge that might render the integration process better and faster. Moreover, it is important to retrieve and to take into considerations the reflection, research and learnings from the initiatives undertaken by the Office of the Municipal Comptroller, in its COPI department, in particular the Open Contracting programme, [34] to make quicker advances and avoid institutional knowledge going to waste.

Also, it would be important to integrate key stakeholders (civil servants that work directly with procurement and supplier companies) not only at the end stage, as it is provided, but also at the earlier stages, before and during the concrete actions to integrate the procurement information, as they will probably play a role in improving data.

The IRM researcher believes this could be a commitment that should be given priority and continued in the future, as it has a potentially major impact, but it might require a longer time to be running at full speed. But it also has measurable objects (purchases) that can be used as baselines for policy evaluation in the future.

[32] Office of the Municipal Comptroller of São Paulo (2016). Controladoria Em Casos. Available at https://www.prefeitura.sp.gov.br/cidade/secretarias/upload/controladoria_geral/arquivos/CC_Final2.pdf
[33] A presentation on the subject was held during the Cafe Hacker on Public Contracting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh2Gf5xAURw
[34] This programme was developed by the Integrity Promotion Coordination and it was coached by Govlab Academy Coaching Programs/Open Contracting Projects: http://thegovlab.org/govlab-academy-coaching-programs-updates/

Commitments

  1. Budget

    SAO0006, 2018, E-Government

  2. Decentralization and Local Development

    SAO0007, 2018, Environment and Climate

  3. Information System, Participatory Communication and Transparency

    SAO0008, 2018, Access to Information

  4. Education

    SAO0009, 2018, E-Government

  5. Fight Against Corruption

    SAO0010, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Increase the Power of Intervention of the Municipal Participative Councils in Each Subprefecture (City District), Creating Deliberative Open Sessions to Receive Proposals and Demands from the Citizens.

    SAO0001, 2017, E-Government

  7. Expand the Training Program “Open Government Agents”, Becoming a Permanent Education and Citizenship Program, Ensuring Territorial Mobilization and Ramification in Order to Reach the Largest Number People in São Paulo.

    SAO0002, 2017, Capacity Building

  8. Increase the Use of Means of Communication by São Paulo City Hall to Spread Open Government Actions in Newspapers, TV Channel, Buses, Public Municipal Venues, Alternative Media, Dialoguing with the Legislative Branch, in Order for These Means to Become Strategic and Permanent Ways of Communication.

    SAO0003, 2017, Capacity Building

  9. Create a Network of Civil Servants Involving All City Hall Secretariats, Entities and Public Venues, Dialoguing with Ciga (The Intersecretarial Committee on Open Government) and São Paulo Aberta (Open São Paulo Initiative).

    SAO0004, 2017, Capacity Building

  10. Improve the Innovation Technology Laboratory (Labprodam), Turning the Lab More Open, Mapping Groups Already Working on Free Technology, Such as Youth Groups, Startups and Collectives to Create Projects Similar to São Paulo’S Urban Mobility Laboratory (Mobilab).

    SAO0005, 2017, Access to Information

Open Government Partnership