Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Could you provide an overview of corruption and anti-corruption initiatives in the health, agribusiness and construction sectors in Brazil?

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Sectoral approaches to anti-corruption
  3. Health sector
  4. Agribusiness sector
  5. Construction sector

Main points

  • There are advantages to sectoral approaches in assessing and addressing corruption. Governments are the biggest clients for healthcare companies in Brazil, and corruption still presents a substantial risk in procurement proceedings.
  • The agribusiness sector has been rocked by a recently uncovered corruption scheme, pushing integrity to the forefront of the sector’s agenda.
  • Construction companies were at the centre of corruption schemes uncovered by Operation Carwash, prompting increased scrutiny over their activities.
  • Self-regulation and governmental initiatives designed to promote integrity have emerged in all three sectors, but their impact is still difficult to ascertain.

Summary

There are advantages to sectoral approaches in assessing and addressing corruption. In Brazil, where multiple challenges remain, it allows actors to prioritise and define specific strategies for each sector. In the health sector, major corruption-related issues still persist in the procurement of goods and services, as well as in the clientelist relationship between politicians and voters. As for the agribusiness sector, corrupt dealings between companies and health inspectors have been recently uncovered, damaging the industry and its reputation. Land grabbing, especially in the Amazon, remains a major problem. The construction sector has been hit particularly hard by Operation Car Wash, which has forced companies to adopt or improve their compliance programmes. Self-regulation initiatives have arisen in both the construction and the health sectors. There is ample research material in global initiatives with sector-specific foci.

Authors

Guilherme France, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Reviewer:

Nieves Zuniga, Transparency International

Date

01/04/2020

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