The Latin American Regional Office of the International Energy Initiative (IEI-LA) took part of the project Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI) in Brazil, sponsored by the World Resources Institute. The report prepared by IEI-LA, Benchmarking Best Practice and Promoting Accountability in the Electricity Sector (for the Portuguese version, click here), was released by EGI. The report assesses the relative strengths and weaknesses of the electricity policy and regulatory process in Brazil. It used the EGI indicator toolkit, comprised of 63 indicators divided in four basic elements of good governance: (1) transparency; (2) public participation; (3) accountability; and (4) capacity of decision-makers and agents involved.
The EGI-Brazil Project counted with an Advisory Panel who were present in the meetings and contributed with their observations, criticisms and suggestions. This Panel was comprised by a diversified range of institutions and representatives:
- ABRACEEL – Brazilian Association of Reselling Agents of Electric Power
- ABRADEE – Brazilian Association of Electricity Distributors
- ANEEL – Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency
- APMPE – Brazilian Association of Small and Medium Power Producers
- Office of the Chief of Staff of the Presidency of Republic
- CNI – Brazilian National Confederation of Industry
- National Congress of Brazil
- EPE – Energy Research Company
- (COPPE-UFRJ) Alberto Luiz Coimbra Post-Graduate and Engineering Studies Institute of Rio de Janeiro
- FBOMS – Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social Movements for the Environment and Development
- MMA – Ministry of Environment
- MME – Ministry of Mines and Energy
- MPF – Federal Public Prosecutors Office
- Vitae Civilis
Based on the analysis of the indicators and discussions with the Advisory Panel, the EGI project team in Brazil considers that there is considerable room to improve governance in the Brazilian electricity sector. Therefore, the project team recommends that authorities and actors in the sector consider the following actions:
1. Transparency and Access to Information:
1.1. Improve communication, highlighting the benefits and the possible onuses for different segments of society in regulations and policies;
1.2. Promote access to information during the process of discussion and debate that precedes the adoption of decisions so the public may become aware of what alternatives there are.
2. Accountability and Redress Mechanisms:
2.1. Monitor processes involving social and environmental issues, both within the Agency and the Executive.
2.2. Establish and publicize the procedures for monitoring these processes.
2.3. Establish and publicize the procedures for monitoring the accountability of debates and decisions.
3. Capacity Building:
3.1. With regards to the Executive branch, the Ministry of Mines and Energy should promote the exchange of information and the discussion of topics related to environmental and social issues, including consumer-related matters, with other ministries.
3.2. The Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency should promote training on social and environmental issues with the goal of improving its actions.
3.3. In relation to the Legislative bodies, strengthen the thematic commissions and reinforce technical assistance and public participation in the debates.
4.1. Broaden public consultation and information sharing mechanisms, namely on environmental and social issues, in order to facilitate the access of the directly affected and most vulnerable groups.
4.2. Guarantee that contributions to public consultations are publicized, identifying the ones whose content has been incorporated into decisions made.
4.3. Select appropriate venues for in-person consultations in order to make them accessible to various interest groups.
4.4. When planning processes for defining public policies, ensure that adequate time for public participation is incorporated into plans.
4.5. Provide the resources required to make public participation – especially that of the most vulnerable groups – viable.
4.6. Create Committees, with civil society participation, to monitor documents that are published regularly, such as the Expansion Plans.