First seminar of the Regulation in Numbers project gathers field experts in Rio
The 1st Seminar of the Regulation in Numbers Project of FGV’s Rio de Janeiro Law School (Direito Rio) was held on December 12. The event featured two panels and an opening lecture held by the school’s Dean, professor Sérgio Guerra. “Regulation on numbers” is a project developed by Direito Rio’s Center for Research in Law and Economics (CPDE) to help produce and disseminate knowledge on the different activities of federal regulatory agencies, including normative production, contracts, conflict mediation, monitoring and overseeing services, among several others.
Professor Ivar A. Hartmann (Direito Rio) mediated the first panel of the Seminar, covering the subject “Participation Mechanisms of Regulatory Agencies”. Professor Natasha Salinas (Direito Rio) kicked off the panel by presenting the preliminary results of a survey on participation mechanisms of regulatory agencies. According to the researcher, the study revealed differences between regulatory agencies, making it necessary to develop new formats and models of public hearings and consultations that meet specific sector needs.
In addition, Salinas also explained how they struggled to access the information needed to carry out these analyses. Besides the lack of clarity in information provided by the agencies, the professor also underlined the lack of available data. Next, Marcos Augusto Peres, from USP, talked about the importance of society’s involvement in public administration. According to him, it is natural for the market and society to protect their interests and try to influence decisions that concern them. In this sense, Peres believes that the participation mechanisms are channels through which this can be accomplished in a clear and transparent manner.
FInally, the professor underlined that, besides the inefficiency or information access problems revealed by the previous lecturer, two other issues have a negative impact on the effectiveness of participation mechanisms, such as the lack of communication strategies to engage the population.
The second panel was mediated by the director of the Brazilian Institute of Economics (IBRE), Luiz Guilherme Schymura de Oliveira, under the subject “Social Control, Organization and Management of Regulatory Agencies”. Egon Bockmann Moreira (UFPR) spoke about PL 6621/2016. According to him, the alternate bill has a retrospective-bureaucratic logic that does not ensure the independence of agencies. For Moreira, the PL’s legislative technique must be improved in order for it to become a definitive solution, rather than a temporary workaround.
Professor Patrícia Sampaio, from Direito Rio, sought to answer three major questions: “What does it mean to be an autarchy under special regime?”, “What does it mean to have financial autonomy?”, and “Does Regulation really have to be SMART?”. Finally, Leandro Molhano (Direito Rio) and Natasha Salinas presented a descriptive/exploratory study on how legislative production is carried out in Brazilian Congress regarding Regulatory Agencies.
The study sorted 689 bills into subjects: budget, personnel, control, institutional, and competencies/regulation. The study found that there was an upsurge in the number of initiatives to change how federal regulatory agencies work; legislative initiatives in post-election periods and in situations of institutional or economic-financial crises; initiatives to stop agency rulings; indications that bills submitted by the executive branch have a better chance of passing, and indications that the government base is more engaged in proposing legislative initiatives.