TCU asks inspectors for success stories in Codevasf works – 03/19/2023 – Power

TCU asks inspectors for success stories in Codevasf works – 03/19/2023 – Power

The TCU (Tribunal de Contas da União) demanded that the agency’s inspection bring “successful cases” in paving bids by the state-owned company Codevasf, which have been marked by suspicions of corruption, cartel and irregularities.

The determination is contained in a vote by Minister Jorge Oliveira, appointed to the court by former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), in a trial in which the TCU auditors show exactly the opposite, by indicating irregularities in several cases and situations in which the state-owned company put asphalt even on streets that were already paved. The guidance was approved by the collegiate of the court.

The TCU judgment, held in February, ensures continuity in the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) of a loose model of tenders and works by Codevasf that has loopholes for corruption, embezzlement and overbilling, according to the court’s inspectors.

This last month’s decision also marks yet another episode in the clash between the TCU’s technical area and the ministers, who arrive at the court by political appointment.

The divergences come from mid-2021, when the collegiate endorsed the bidding maneuvers despite a recommendation to the contrary by the auditors.

During the Bolsonaro administration, Codevasf (Companhia de Desenvolvimento dos Vales do São Francisco e do Parnaíba) was handed over to the centrão in exchange for support, and cases of suspected corruption in paving works carried out using a loose model, which allows bidding without specific projects for the works.

Currently, umbrella contracts are made to accommodate parliamentary amendments, generally destined by exclusively political criteria to electoral strongholds. According to the model, paving works can be budgeted as if they were a flooring service in a house, charging per square meter.

The rapporteur of the judgment cited by the report, Jorge Oliveira, for example, was Minister of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of Bolsonaro before being appointed by the president to the TCU.

according to Sheet As shown, Oliveira’s choice made room for the government to create consensus in the body in favor of infrastructure projects, 5G auction rules, privatization of Eletrobras and even Bolsonaro’s accounts.

Despite the comments made by the technical sector on the paving works, one of the determinations of the judgment reported by Oliveira is that the technical team “carry out an inspection aimed at the general evaluation of the methodology for contracting paving works through the implementation of a price registration system , collecting not only the detected problem situations, but also the successful cases”.

The judgment (document with the votes and the result of the judgment) still brings a collection of information about the appeals executed through this system and comparative with different systematics.

As the TCU indicated changes last year, in the organ’s view, there is still not “sufficient density of events to enable the relevant study to be carried out”, which could happen in the second half of this year.

With that, for the time being, this bidding model must proceed with the consent of the court, although individual cases can be preventively remedied if the need is found.

The report sought out TCU and Jorge Oliveira, but neither the court nor the minister responded.

Despite the request to look for good examples, the document also drew attention to a point that it considers serious, which consists of laying paving over places where this type of structure already exists.

“As highlighted by the technical unit, in a scenario of shortage, the existence of this waste is reprehensible, characterized by the repaving of roads that have already received prior attention, with the pretermination of the opening of works on new fronts, without the slightest motivation of the administrative act”, stated.

The case concerns the 2020 auction for paving in several municipalities in Rio Grande do Norte, in which the inspection found the removal of existing paving, contrary to established technical criteria.

The ruling dates back to February, when new problems in this type of tender continue to surface. In the same month, the CGU (Controladoria-Geral da União) released inspections on contracts of the type that caught a combo of irregularities in three states, including asphalt that crumbles like farofa and forms craters, in addition to makeup in the rendering of accounts and signs of overbilling .

In October, Minister Jorge Oliveira was also the rapporteur of a case in which there was a clash with the technical area of ​​the court.

It was a case that involved amendments by the rapporteur authored by Senator Davi Alcolumbre (União Brasil-AP), in which the TCU auditors pointed out that the congressman directed the contractor Engefort, suspected of leading a cartel in Codevasf.

In the letter he sent to the state-owned company in which he chose the cities to be benefited and the type of pavement they would receive, Alcolumbre even attached a spreadsheet with the builder’s stamp.

In this case, the auditors also saw an attempt to divert material by the contractor, who sought to charge for placing gravel in a work without the material having actually been used, in addition to signs of overpricing and overdimensioning.

The rapporteur of the case, Minister Oliveira, did not see Alcolumbre favoring Engefort.

He accepted the argument that the construction company had won all the bids for different types of paving in Amapá, and so, anyway, it would take the contracts in the state.

As for the fact that Engefort charged for unused material, Oliveira considered that there was only one “failure” that was admitted and corrected by the contractor. Oliveira’s vote was followed by the collegiate and the case was archived.

Despite the problems, the direction of Codevasf, currently in charge of engineer Marcelo Moreira, should also be maintained by the Lula administration. Moreira was nominated by deputy Elmar Nascimento (União Brasil-BA) to preside over the company in 2019, at the beginning of the Bolsonaro government, and should remain in office with the approval of the mayor, Arthur Lira (PL-AL) and senator Davi Alcolumbre.

Codevasf, when questioned about the tenders, states that they occur within the scope of regional development projects and actions, using methods that provide transparency and economy of resources to the administration.

Suspicions of corruption, cartel formation, overbilling, vote buying and other illegalities involved led to the opening of several investigation fronts.

Most originated from or were influenced by revelations from the Sheet. One of the publications led the TCU to open an investigation that found evidence of the formation of a cartel to rig bids that reached R$ 1 billion.

In October, the TCU communicated the evidence to the Federal Police, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the CGU, “in order to contribute to ongoing investigations and/or support new lines of investigation”.

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