RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - In any emergency situation, whether natural or public health, international academic literature signals a greater likelihood of increased embezzlement practices in public accounts, particularly in countries with problematic anti-corruption records.

In the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, where methods to control public spending were relaxed, the scenario would be no different. In Brazil, the law that established the state of public calamity, authorizing the release of funds above fiscal targets, also established exceptional rules for contracting, with waivers of bids and shortened auction procedures.

To encourage civil society oversight of these negotiations, the NGO Transparency International . . .

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