Brazil Supreme Rules that Civil Servant’s Salaries May Be Shown in Internet

    São Paulo mayor, Gilberto Kassab

    São Paulo mayor, Gilberto Kassab
    Brazil's Supreme Court held on July 8 that the mayor of the municipality of São Paulo could order the salary of all municipal civil servants to be put online. The Superior Court of São Paulo had previously suspended the mayor's decision to do this, on grounds of personal security.

    On 16 June 2009, the Mayor of São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab, decided that the new website, Keeping an Eye on Public Costs (De Olho nas Contas) – http://deolhonascontas.prefeitura.sp.gov.br – should include a nominal list of all civil servants attached to the municipality – including 147,000 employees of the central administration and another 15,000 employed indirectly – with their posts, salaries and place of work.

    Two associations of civil servants (representing professors, engineers and architects) filed lawsuits against this decision. They were granted an urgent provisional decision by the Superior Court of São Paulo, and the information was taken off-line. The Municipality appealed to the Supreme Court, which canceled the provisional decision and held that the information could be disseminated.

    The two associations argued that the disclosures would, among other things, breach their constitutional rights to privacy and security of person. The Municipality argued that to refuse to disclose the data would be a violation of the constitutional right to information and principles of publicity of all administrative acts.

    The São Paulo Superior Court held that the information could put people at risk, and also accepted some procedural arguments. The Supreme Court judge who ruled on the case, Justice Gilmar Mendes, referred to the fact that the Internet has transformed the citizen-State relationship, particularly in relation to social control over public expenditure.

    The judge recognized that in some cases, openness could legitimately be limited. However, in this case, the public interest in having the information was stronger than the rights of civil servants, and "public order" would be violated by enforcing a judicial decision that undermined the Municipality's policy of transparency, in favor of individual rights.

    The press freedom organization Article 19 has released a note welcoming the decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court and calling on the Brazilian judiciary to apply such standards in all right to information cases.

    Genuine acceptance of the right to information will sometimes require balancing with other rights, reason Article 19, and the forward-looking stance of the Supreme Court in undertaking this balancing, rather than simply falling back on accepted notions of privacy and security, which are more established in the jurisprudence, is very welcome.

    The international organization has also praised what it called the progressive position of the mayor of São Paulo and asked other public bodies also to adopt strong measures on openness of information.

    "This is particularly pertinent and important in light of the new bill on the right to information presented by President Lula to Congress in May 2009," they argue.

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (1)

    • buy steroids

      hu
      ….Supreme Court judge who ruled on the case, Justice Gilmar Mendes, referred to the fact that the Internet has transformed the citizen-State relationship

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Being a Monopoly Contributed to Brazil’s Varig Airline’s Demise

    If Varig is eventually declared bankrupt, passengers of the airline will suffer at least ...

    Fox to Brazil and Argentina: ‘Stop Stalling the FTAA’

    Rioting in the streets of Mar del Plata and ongoing disputes among leaders over ...

    Brazil Anticipates Sugar Cane Harvest to Guarantee Supply of Ethanol

    Farmers in the Center-South region of Brazil began harvesting their sugarcane crop two months ...

    A Bill in Brazil to Simplify Holding a Referendum

    A national campaign was launched this week in São Paulo in favor of a ...

    RAPIDINHAS

    As a rule, parties in Brazil—like the individual candidates themselves—do not put together programs, ...

    IMF

    Brazil Wants More Power for Emerging Countries and a New Bretton Woods

    The Brazilian government is going to propose a "Bretton Woods II" at the summit ...

    Brazilian industry

    Who Is Really Afraid of the FTAA? Brazil’s Big Business

    Although every Latin American government pays lip service to integration, taking the concrete steps ...

    Gerdau, steel company from Brazil

    Brazil’s Steelmaker Gerdau Counting on World’s Growing Steel Hunger

    According to information supplied by the president and CEO at Brazilian steel-maker company Gerdau, ...

    The Kawahiva's land is being targeted by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers
© FUNAI 2013

    Amazon’s Uncontacted Kawahiva People Face Annihilation

    On UN Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Survival International is calling for the full demarcation and ...

    Brazil’s Lula in Paris for Much Pomp, Circumstance and Work

    Today President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is in Paris for commemorations of Brazil ...