Smed CPI listens to public servant, former CC of Porto Alegre city hall

At the ordinary meeting of the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) aimed at investigating purchases and contracts from the Municipal Department of Education (Smed)held this Monday (11) at the Porto Alegre City Council, in addition to voting on the work plan for some requirements, Mabel Vieira, an employee of the municipality of Canoas and the State, also heard. The witness held a position on a committee at Porto Alegre City Hall, working as a technical advisor to the Department of Education from February 2022 until July 2023.

Councilor Mari Pimentel (NOVO), president of the CPI, opened the session and gave the floor to the rapporteur, councilor Mauro Pinheiro (PL), who read the Commission’s work plan. Pinheiro highlighted that the hearings will be held on Mondays, at 10 am, in the Otávio Rocha Plenary, with members of both CPIs, alternating the presidency, thus reconciling indirectly with the other committee chaired by councilor Idenir Cecchim (MDB). The work plan was approved by the majority of CPI members.

The rapporteur asked the witness if she had any personal relationship with members of the Porto Alegre municipal public administration and how she got into the Department of Education. Mabel indicated that there was no relationship of this type with members of the Executive and that she was invited to work at Smed due to professional contact with the former secretary, Sônia da Rosa, on other occasions.

The witness confirmed that he participated in the purchases of teaching materials, sporting equipment, artificial intelligence gles, sustainability books and interactive tables. Cecchim asked the importance of the materials for Porto Alegre. “They are part of the educational policies that were implemented in the municipality”said the server.

Councilor Biga Pereira (PCdoB) questioned who decided to adhere to the price list of companies like Sudu and Inca. Mabel stated that she did not follow all the purchasing processes, only those who was oriented. As an example of the processes he participated in, he cited the acquisition of the material “Sustainability Connections”, and that he searched the internet, in the minutes bank, for the minutes of the products to have a market parameter and guide the prices of the products to be purchased. Councilor Roberto Robaina (PSOL) asked whose decision it was to adhere to the minutes with these companies. “I did research on those objects that were required of me”.

The witness commented that after finding suppliers through research, he contacted the companies. Robaina reinforced the doubt and Mabel completed the answer: “It wasn’t my choice, it was the working group’s choice”, which according to the employee, included the “pedagogical group, the pedagogical director, the deputy secretary, secretary Sônia, secretary Mário, the legal department, everyone who accompanied. Depending on the object, there will be different people.”

Councilor Giovani Culau (PCdoB) asked for more details on how the minutes to be adhered to by this working group were chosen, whether there was any charge for purchases to be carried out by a specific supplier and what criteria were used by this group to choose of purchased materials and products. According to Mabel, the criteria were “economic advantage and impact on the quality of education, because when you do the instruction, you have to justify what impact it will have on the municipality”. And she added by replying that “I didn’t have any charges from any supplier, any imposition, at least not on my part.”

Councilor Moisés Maluco do Bem (PSDB) asked whether the adhesion of minutes is treated as something new within the Department of Education or if it is a common practice in other municipalities. “Adherence to the price registration minutes is carried out by several municipalities. It is a legal procedure, it comes from a bidding process”, stated the witness, in addition to indicating that it is a faster form of acquisition than a bidding process.

Councilor Jonas Reis (PT) asked whether the witness was called by a Chamber advisor or by former secretary Sônia, shortly after leaving Smed, and also about the purchase of materials outside the pedagogical plan of each school. Mabel indicated that all people who went to the Secretariat were received by appointment. According to her, the acquisition of materials was made in accordance with the secretariat’s management planning.

Councilor José Freitas (Republicans) asked whether the amount of material purchased was sufficient or greater than needed. Mabel said that research was taking place on the quantities with school directors, to verify the need.

Before concluding the meeting, councilor Cecchim’s request was approved for joint meetings of the two Education CPIs to be held on Mondays at 10am, with alternating presidencies. Next Monday (18), according to the schedule, there will be a hearing from former secretary Sônia da Rosa, this time chaired by Cecchim.

Last Wednesday (6), two requests relating to Smed’s CPI chaired by councilor Mari Pimentel were placed on the Chamber’s prioritization list, both filed by Mauro Pinheiro, who had already been elected as CPI rapporteur. The requests criticize two decisions taken by councilor Mari that generated controversy: the holding of committee meetings without the presence of a rapporteur (after the dismissal of Roberto Robaina) and the votes without the necessary quorum, according to allegations from members of the CPI chaired by Cecchim. It was requested by councilor Cláudia Araújo (PSD) that the requests be prioritized on this Monday’s agenda.

When asked what the intention of these requests would be, considering that the CPIs reached consensus and became, virtually, just a commission, Mauro Pinheiro indicated: “Although we are giving due follow-up to the CPI, there is a need to maintain a record of what happened, of the decisions made during the beginning of this process”, he commented. “We also need a legacy of this, to prevent certain things from happening again. There is a need for a precedent for similar cases”, concluded the CPI rapporteur.

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