June 9th, 2010
Last year the Brazilian House of Senate went through a careful financial inspection, which concluded there was an excessive expenditure with third party sanitation contractors – suggesting demissions should be made. That was the first of a torrent of denounces about the Senate’s excessive expenses with unnecessary employees, crass irregularities in the biddings, undue extra-pays for overtime that never happened, ghost employees*, deliberate misuse of public money and nepotism. It culminated with the #ForaSarney campaign on Twitter*, headed by a brazilian media-man and TV anchor (@marcelotas). The scandal had such broad proportions that the Brazilian Senate got the prowess of being called “The House of Horrors” in an article published by The Economist last year. (link to original text)
Well… now, after the dust settled, everything seems to be going back to what it was. The Senate is signing up for 1.600 sanitation jobs with salaries from $1.200,00 to $6.000,00 Brazilian Reais (a lot for the Brazilian pattern) – with
*facepalm* the same contractor that triggered last year’s scandal! The contractor happens to be a firm that doesn’t pay their employees when it’s due, and for that reason it has been already fined by the Senate itself in 4 million Brazilian Reais — fine which the firm hasn’t payed yet, I must add. All that will cost the brazilian tax-payers 72 million Brazilian Reais a year. I understand the Senate is very filthy place, but 72 mi is a lot even for the dirtiest politician.
Also, the Senate is renewing the contract with “Plansul Planejamento e Consultoria”, a firm in the communication and media sector, for 327 jobs that will cost 17 million Brazilian Reais to tax-payers. Those are jobs like ‘spokesperson’, ‘substitute-spokesperson’, ‘spokesperson-assessor’, ‘spokesperson secretary’, ‘spokesperson manicurist‘ and so on.
I feel embarrassed as a Brazilian citizen for the shamelessness of my corrupt politicians.
*Ghost Employee is a corruption phenomena in Brazilian politics: it’s a bogus public employee that only exists in the payroll, while someone else deliberately and illegaly (a politician or another public employee) receives his salary.
*The #ForaSarney campaign on Twitter was a movement that aimed to bring down the president of the Senate and former-President of Brazil, José Sarney. It wasn’t restricted to Twitter, people also protested in the streets. By now I think you could have guessed it didn’t work.