Brazil’s open-budget portal

Brazil has long suffered from corruption. The country is ranked 69 among 175 countries in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, which also reports that the country’s legal system is “plagued with inefficiencies and corrupt judges”. Brazilian elections are also believed to be infiltrated by corruption and, despite public outrage, politicians with prior convictions are often voted back to office. In 2004, the Brazilian Office of the Comptroller General (CGU) created the Transparency Portal, a tool that aims to increase fiscal transparency of the Brazilian Federal Government through open budget data. Developed in partnership with the Federal Data Processing Service, the Transparency Portal relies on the collaboration of diverse ministries and bodies of the Federal Public Administration to advance transparency and to offer a tool that stimulates citizen participation. As the quality and quantity of data on the portal have improved over the past decade, the Transparency Portal is now one of the country’s primary anti-corruption tools, registering an average of 900,000 unique visitors each month. The project is regarded as one of the most important e-government initiatives with regard to control over public spending. Local governments throughout Brazil and three other Latin American countries have modelled similar financial transparency initiatives after Brazil’s Transparency Portal.