Accountability, Corruption and Local Government: Mapping the Control Steps
The central purpose of this paper is to map out the Brazilian web of accountability institutions and observe how institutions establish links with each other in order to control corruption cases that reach them. Focus is on institutions that are part of the Brazilian anti-corruption agenda, which include the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, the Federal Police, the Office of the Comptroller General, the Federal Court of Accounts, the Federal Justice and the Ministries. In the literature, the most widespread argument is that, despite recent institutional improvements, the result produced by this web in terms of coordination is still weak. This article tests this claim by looking at the program called 'Inspections from Public Lotteries'. Through a longitudinal approach, I observed the flux of control activities among the institutions, especially the establishment of investigative and judicial proceedings. Not only I explored the extent to which corruption impacts the establishment of interactions, but I also investigated how the interactions affect the speed of judicial proceedings – using logistic regressions and survival analysis. The conclusion is that the Brazilian web is able to articulate itself in order to hold public officials accountable (something new in this recent democracy), but not in a homogeneous way across all institutions (something the literature has missed). Furthermore, I demonstrate that the entire web of accountability institutions is unable to arrive at a decision in a timely manner.