CADE and OECD promote seminar on bid rigging
On 03 November 2015, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense – CADE and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD jointly promoted the seminar OECD-CADE Competition Summit: Public Procurement & Fighting Bid Rigging. The conference gathered national and international representatives of the public and private sectors to discuss the fight against bid rigging and ways to promote competition in public procurement.
The opening panel was composed by the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, the Executive-Secretary of the General Comptroller’s Office (CGU in its Portuguese acronym), Carlos Higino de Alencar, and the President of CADE Vinicius Marques de Carvalho.
In the occasion, the President of CADE has remarked the partnership with OECD and how it has contributed for the development and strengthening of competition defense in Brazil. Carvalho has welcomed the cooperation of OECD in the debates that lead to the approval of the new Brazilian competition law (Law no. 12.529/2011), which has represented an institutional breakthrough to the Brazilian antitrust authority.
Carvalho has also highlighted that the fight against cartel in public procurement has turned into a priority to CADE. He has pointed out that this kind of conduct is endemic in Brazil and the fight against bid rigging is not restricted to the action of the competition authority.
“CADE must tackle cartels of this nature in more than 5,000 municipalities in more than 20 states. In this sense, it is essential to have the support of other governmental bodies, such as the Public Ministry and the General Comptroller’s Office (CGU), as the challenges faced nowadays in Brazil demand joint answers from state institutions”, the president stated.
The OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, has stated that CADE is an international reference in competition defense and a valuable partner for the organization. Gurría has also pointed out that the debate about frauds in public procurement is even more timely considering the current Brazilian economic situation, especially considering that public bids generate huge expenses to the government and that overprice in public procurement causes losses to the consumer.
“More competitive tenders, besides protecting the public treasury, stimulate productivity, enhance the standard of the delivered public services and promote economic and social development”, he affirmed.
Finally, the executive secretary of CGU, Carlos Higino de Alencar, highlighted the importance of the exchange of information between the General Comptroller’s Office and CADE in the fight against bid rigging. “Where competition defense acts, the risks of inadequate public procurement are reduced. The current moment is appropriate to the effective interaction between CADE and CGU, since there are still cartel cases associated to corruption practices”, he stated.
After the opening session, there were two panels. The first one debated international best practices in fighting bid rigging in public procurement. The panel gathered the representative of the OECD Competition Division, Despina Pachnou; the Commissioner of the Mexican Antitrust Authority, Javier Nuñez; and the Member of the Board of the Competition Authority of Portugal, Nuno Rocha de Carvalho.
The second panel discussed the Brazilian experiences in the fight against competition infringements in public procurement. The panel gathered the General-Superintendent of CADE, Eduardo Frade Rodrigues; the representative of the Federal Prosecution Service in the state of São Paulo, Federal Prosecutor Márcio Schusterschitz; the former Minister of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Ellen Gracie; and the Federal Secretary for Internal Control from the General Comptroller’s Office, Francisco Eduardo Bessa.