The Brazilian Federal Constitution (CF) of 1988 , with the aim of ensuring the democratic regime and popular participation, gives citizens the right to know and have access to public administration information – article V, paragraph XXXIII of the CF. In this article we will provide you the information about the Popular Consultation.
It is in this sense that the Access to Information Law , No. 12,527 of November 18, 2011, was created, precisely to promote and encourage transparency in public bodies, guaranteeing citizens access to information and debates that occur in the public sphere.
Therefore, it is the State‘s duty to ensure that information of public interest is made available in a clear, objective, easily accessible manner and in understandable language for all citizens.
It is in this context that the public consultation is inserted, mentioned in the ninth article of the Access to Information Law and which establishes access to public information based on “holding public hearings or consultations, encouraging popular participation or other forms of disclosure” .
These processes are important because citizens are increasingly looking for ways to participate in public management . An example of this trend is the e-Citizenship Portal, a virtual environment in which the population can suggest a law or propose changes to an existing one.
If, when registering an idea on the portal, it obtains 20,000 support, it must be debated by the senators. According to data from the platform itself, 78 ideas have already been debated and 24 turned into a Bill or PEC.
Thus, projects like this show how citizens are interested in participating in the management of matters of public relevance. In this way, understanding what it is and how the public consultation expands the collective debate becomes quite relevant. Let’s go!
What is public consultation and how does it work?
The public consultation is an instrument used to collect contributions from society on issues that concern the collective. That is, consultations guide policies and actions taken by public bodies.
The process of making a public consultation available depends on how management administers it. However, some recommendations can be given for the consultation to be carried out effectively.
To better understand how this process works, let’s break it down into 4 steps:
1 – The population must have access to a document with all the information regarding the topic to be consulted;
2 – It is necessary that the consultation be disclosed to the population, with a start and end date;
3 – After that, the citizen must express his opinion through a digital environment (portal or e-mail) or take the physical document with his considerations to the city hall, for example;
4 – When the consultation is completed, the public body must publish a final document/report with the considerations and decisions regarding the project in question.
If the body does not have a specific portal for publishing the public consultation, the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic makes Participa.br available , a virtual environment that is available for hosting and receiving suggestions from society.
Benefits of carrying out the popular consultation
Now that we understand what a popular consultation is and how it works, it is important to understand the benefits of using it, which are related to transparency, promotion of citizenship and political and social debate.
When you have the population participating in public management, one of the greatest benefits is that public resources will be applied in necessary and relevant demands for a community.
In other words, listening to what the population has to say makes public management more efficient, as the actions taken will be guided by popular requests.
It is equally relevant to carry out consultations so that citizens know that they can participate in the management of cities , since they are the ones who make daily use of the urban environment.
In addition, transparent management is important for city administration, as citizens increasingly understand the importance of having public processes carried out in an understandable and honest manner.
But after all, how to use them in Public Management?
As seen in this blog post, public consultations are instruments that can be used by city management to apply resources to socially relevant demands.
With the widespread use of the internet, it is possible for public bodies to open consultations digitally, even using platforms made available by the Federal Government.