- Problems in appointments of regulatory agency directors
The aim was to describe the processes of nominating and appointing the directors of regulatory agencies, as well as their characteristics and their relationship to positions during terms in office.
The methodology used involved the compilation and analysis of official primary sources, including acts of appointment and dismissal, rules governing regulatory agencies, messages to the Senate, reports, and votes and statements by the Infrastructure Commission. The details of 18 regulatory agencies (six federal and 12 state) were analyzed and organized.
It was found that the majority of regulatory agency directors come from public-sector organizations, whether in the executive, legislature or judiciary, and 25% come from within regulators’ workforces themselves. Just 58% of agencies’ directors have a professional career linked to the function for which they were appointed, and 27% of appointees are members of parties. It was also found that one in five terms are not completed, due to changes of government, among other reasons.
On average, the federal government takes between two months and one year to appoint new directors, and this means that positions remain unfilled or occupied on an interim basis (the average time they are vacant for is 353 days). This is caused by delays in the president nominating names to the Senate. On average, this stage takes 188 days, while the Senate takes 36 days to appoint directors. (The Senate has never formally rejected a candidate nominated by the president.)
Of the federal agencies analyzed – in the areas of land transportation (ANTT), waterway transportation (ANTAQ), civil aviation (ANAC), electricity (ANEEL), oil, natural gas and biofuels (ANP) and telecommunications (ANATEL) – only the latter has never experienced decision-making paralysis, meaning a failure to achieve quorums for decisions due to vacant positions.