Known by Brazilians by its acronym TCU, the Tribunal de Contas da União has emerged as a key national institution since the reinstatement of democracy in Brazil in 1985. Equivalent to the United States’ General Accounting Office, the TCU functions as the national audit court and is a well-respected institution. Its decisions on the legality and regularity of tax, budgetary, and spending decisions by the executive often generate controversy and are amply covered by the media. The TCU rulings are produced by nine judges, or ministers, two third of which are appointed by the National Congress. They are assisted in their work by a highly sophisticated professional staff of 2,400 individuals, and operate a budget of $700 million.
On May 6th, the President of the TCU, Minister Augusto Nardes, will lead a conversation about the achievements and challenges of making governments at all levels accountable for their use of public funds. A native of Rio Grande do Sul and a former businessman and member of the Brazilian Congress, Nardes will visit the U.S. to attend meetings of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions on financial modernization and regulatory reform. He is the current president of OLACEFS, the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean National Audit Courts.
Photos courtesy of flickr user Blog do Planalto