The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Cláudio Castro, announced today (4) the decision to dismiss the president of the State Center for Statistics, Research and Training of Public Servants of Rio de Janeiro (Ceperj). In an extra edition of the Official Gazette of the State, the dismissal of Gabriel Lopes, who until then held the position, is mentioned. The publication records that the dismissal was at the request of the president of the entity. The name of the replacement was not released.
The exoneration was announced on the governor’s social networks after the repercussion of the action filed yesterday (3) by the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ), in which the lack of transparency is questioned from the creation of a “secret payroll” involving more than 18 thousand positions for hiring temporary workers. On Wednesday itself, the Rio de Janeiro court determinedin an injunction, the suspension of payments in the “mouth of the box”, as had been happening.
Suspicions involving signings at Ceperj had been raised in the press for a few months. It is the first time that Cláudio Castro has commented on the situation. According to him, a commission coordinated by the Secretary of State for the Civil House had already been set up to investigate the questions. “We suspended payments, carried out inspections in the field and cross-referenced contractors’ data to determine other links and looked into possible weaknesses”, wrote the governor, saying he was the most interested in clarification of the facts.
Linked to the state government, Ceperj works to train civil servants and other professionals, organize small public tenders, carry out specialization courses and produce statistical data that help in the elaboration of public policies. In March of that year, the governor signed State Decree 47,978, expanding the agency’s powers. The foundation assumed responsibility for the execution and support of projects involving state public administration bodies.
Based on this change, Ceperj has been supplying labor for a determined period to several state agencies, through direct contracting by Autonomous Payment Receipt (RPA). Recruited workers are paid for their services through cash withdrawals from Bradesco branches. According to Cláudio Castro, the bank has been refusing, since November last year, to create bank accounts for professional payments. Sought by Agência Brasil, Bradesco did not respond.
The biggest expenses are related to the Esporte Presente projects, developed in partnership with the Sports Superintendence of Rio De Janeiro (Suderj); Work and Income Agents, in partnership with the Rio de Janeiro Secretary of Work and Income (Setrab); Observatory of the RJ and RJ Pact for All, both in partnership with the Secretariat of Government; and Culture for All, in partnership with the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy.
The State Court of Auditors (TCE-RJ) had already made several recommendations in Process 102.759-0/2022, in which it pointed out that paid individuals were not included in the computerized public expenditure control system. According to the court, the lack of information makes it impossible to inspect any possible accumulation of ties with the state administration.
When yesterday determining the suspension of payments, Judge Roseli Nalin, of the 15th Public Treasury Court of the Capital, considered that there is “danger of damage or risk to the useful result of the process, being the state financial contribution in the projects executed by the Ceperj Foundation”. , having already been paid in 2022 the amount of BRL 288,435,129.15, with an estimated additional expense of BRL 338,732,208.00 until December 2022″. It also established the need for public selection processes for new hires and the obligation to previously publish the work plan on Ceperj’s electronic portal, with a breakdown of the functions to be performed, the workload and remuneration.
The MPRJ considers that there is no public information that allows the identification of the individuals hired and the amount of payments and points out that the significant increase in expenses with hiring via Cederj was boosted with revenues obtained from the auction of the State Water and Sewerage Company of Rio de Janeiro. de Janeiro (Cedae).
According to estimates presented to the Justice of Rio de Janeiro, expenses would exceed R$ 55.8 million per month with the conclusion of the planned recruitments. For the MPRJ, the lack of transparency and the circulation of public funds “outside” the financial system violates money laundering prevention rules and would make it impossible to verify the effective destination of payments, making it difficult, for example, to identify the practice of cracking (wages refund).
There are suspicions of hiring resulting from political appointments. Among those recruited are advisers stationed in councilors’ offices in Campos dos Goytacazes (RJ) who are close to state deputy Rodrigo Bacellar (PL), leader of the Cláudio Castro government in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj). Today, he addressed the plenary on the subject. Bacellar said he was proud of the government, defended the projects monitored by Ceperj and demanded that investigations take place without politicization. “We have to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff in order to ensure that good citizens, on the edge, in the countryside, do not pay the bill for media shows”, he said.
In addition to announcing the dismissal of Ceperj’s president, Claudio Castro also stated that the government proposed to the MPRJ the immediate signing of a Conduct Adjustment Term (TAC). According to him, the objective is “to correct directions and not harm important social programs”.