Minas Gerais Government Transparency Portal is an instrument of transparency and control of state governmental actions by its citizens. The data available on the portal allows citizens to inspect and monitor public expenses of the government, contributing to greater transparency and prevention of corruption. Since its creation, the portal has been improved and complies to regulations and standards of public information and has a user friendly interface.
With the maturing of the Transparency Policy in the Brazilian Federal Executive Branch, there was a need to broaden the assessment of the implementation of the Access to Information Act. The innovation here lies in the methodology adopted, which was previously quantitative and is now also qualitative, allowing an improvement in the answers provided to citizens and the extension of the transparency culture, favoring all stakeholders: public bodies under assessment, citizens and the Government.
The project of monitoring open government commitments was developed with the objective of guaranteeing the fulfillment of the Brazilian initiatives in the scope of the Open Government Partnership. It is a process carried out jointly, periodically and proactively by government and civil society, with significant results for society as a whole. This approach is materialized through specific monitoring and evaluation actions that provide transparency regarding the implementation of Brazilian OGP commitments.
The methodology of the “Brazil Transparency Scale” Survey consists of a checklist on 17 categories that cover all relevant aspects of the access to information regulation at the local level, the existence and functionality of the electronic Citizen Information Service (passive transparency), as well as the information disclosure of public funds, revenue, expenditure, public bidding, etc. (active transparency). The final evaluation score ranged from zero to ten.
Not only is transparency in Brazil taken as the principle of publicity in public administration, but also as a Public Policy, led by integrated actions focused on achieving specific goals.
Brazilian Government has reaped concrete quantitative and qualitative transparency-driven results: saving of resources, reformulation of public policies and inhibition of misconduct and corruption acts.
The Transparency Portal is the core of the policy and central tool to promote results through transparency.
The Internet has facilitated online services for citizens, but it has also facilitated Internet searches of service-seeking citizens by public officials, triggering conscious or unconscious bias. Via freedom of information (FOI) requests, academics provided evidence of this phenomenon at work. Brazil's Comptroller General (CGU) responded by implementing a check-box in its online FOI requesting system so that requesters could choose to remain anonymous. This innovation is a first for FOI regimes.