The Rio de Janeiro Justice determined this afternoon (3) that the State Center for Statistics, Research and Training of Public Servants of Rio de Janeiro (Ceperj) suspend payments “in the mouth of the box” for temporary workers. Conditions were also imposed for new hires.
The preliminary decision was signed by Judge Roseli Nalin, of the 15th Public Treasury Court of the Capital. She complied with a request made in the morning in a lawsuit filed by the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ), which points to a lack of transparency from the creation of a “secret payroll” involving more than 18,000 positions.
When determining the suspension of payments, the magistrate considered that there is “danger of damage or risk to the useful result of the process, being the state financial contribution to the projects executed by the Ceperj Foundation, having already been paid in 2022 the amount of R$ 288,435 .129.15, with an estimated additional expense of BRL 338,732,208.00 until December 2022”. It established a fine of BRL 50,000 for each contract entered into or payment made in breach of the decision.
Linked to the state government, Ceperj works to train civil servants and other professionals, organize small public tenders, carry out specialization courses and produce statistical data that help in the elaboration of public policies. In March of that year, Governor Cláudio Castro signed State Decree 47,978, expanding the agency’s powers. The foundation assumed responsibility for the execution and support of projects involving state public administration bodies.
Based on this change, Ceperj has been supplying labor for a determined period to several state agencies, through direct contracting by Autonomous Payment Receipt (RPA). Recruited workers are paid for their services through cash withdrawals from the bank’s bank teller.
The MPRJ denounces in the action that there is no public information that allows the identification of the individuals hired and the amount of payments. It also points out that the significant increase in expenses with contracting via Cederj was boosted with revenues obtained from the auction of the State Water and Sewerage Company of Rio de Janeiro (Cedae).
According to estimates presented to the Justice of Rio de Janeiro, expenses would exceed R$ 55.8 million per month with the conclusion of the planned recruitments. For the MPRJ, the lack of transparency violates money laundering prevention rules and facilitates the hiring of political appointees in the pre-election period. In addition, the circulation of public resources “outside” the financial system would make it impossible to verify their effective destination, making it difficult, for example, to identify the practice of rachadinha (payback).
wanted by Brazil Agency, Ceperj reported that “it is complying with all the guidelines of the control bodies”. The State Court of Auditors (TCE-RJ) had already made several recommendations in process 102.759-0/2022, in which it pointed out that paid individuals were not included in the computerized public expenditure control system. According to the court, the lack of information makes it impossible to inspect any possible accumulation of ties with the state administration.
The biggest expenses are related to the Esporte Presente projects, developed in partnership with the Sports Superintendence of Rio De Janeiro (Suderj); Work and Income Agents, in partnership with the Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Work and Income (Setrab); Observatory of the RJ and RJ Pact for All, both in partnership with the Secretariat of Government; and Culture for All, in partnership with the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy.
Judge Roseli Nalin’s decision prohibits payments and contracts from being carried out the way they had been. It determined the need for public selection processes and the obligation of prior publication on Ceperj’s electronic portal of the work plan, with a breakdown of the functions to be performed, the workload and remuneration. It also demanded the disclosure of the payroll and the list of professionals linked to each project.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News