1 WCCL - Workshop 8: The Citizen and the State in the Digital Age THE MUNICIPALITY IN THE DIGITAL AGE: THE POTENTIALITY OF POPULAR PARTICIPATION IN THE INTERNET FROM THE ELETRONIC PUBLIC HEARINGS Ricardo Hermany 1 Diogo Frantz 2 ABSTRACT:This article aims to contribute to understanding the phenomenon of a new inter relationship between state and citizen in the digital age, in order to restructure a public policy of modernization of local Public Administration through participation and social structure in the information age, known the influence of new technologies in societies, highlighting the "network society" technological paradigm and therefore the need to rescue the participation at the local level so that it can take real advantage of the technology revolution in Public Administration in view of the inclusion of the municipality in the Brazilian federalism as locus of formulation and implementation of public policies. Thus, we intended to present an approach about new technologies, highlighting electronic public audiences. For this reason, this paper emphasizes the need to (re) enhance social participation, restructuring the spaces and institutions of local decision that must be redefined so that they coincide with the instances of significant decisions, encouraging the active participation of individuals about issues that concern them, according to the sense of belonging that expands among social actors about local issues. Thereafter, the necessary relationship of the locate, linking the government to society as a network communication of 1 Graduated in Law and Social Sciences from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (1996), Masters Degree in Law from the University of Santa Cruz do Sul (1999), Ph.D. in Law from the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (2003) and Ph.D. in doctorate degrees from the University of Lisbon (2003). Post-Doctorate at the University of Lisbon (2011). Professor of Graduate and Post-Graduate Program in Law, Master / Doctorate from the University of Santa Cruz do Sul - UNISC. Keeps your research with emphasis on Law and Local Government, acting on the following themes: local government, implementing the constitution, social rights, (re) establishment of the State and Federal Constitution. 2 Lawyer. Professor of Law at the University of Santa Cruz do Sul - UNISC. Master of Social Rights and Public Policies for Social Inclusion at the University of Santa Cruz do Sul - UNISC - Bachelor of Laws from the University of Santa Cruz do Sul UNISC, member of the subgroup of Public Policies and Local Management Studies, Group Status, Public Administration and Society (CNPq). - Line Management Local Search and Public Policy - Law Master/Doctorate from the University of Santa Cruz do Sul - UNISC - Santa Cruz do Sul - RS.
2 net decisions and information, and, finally, creating an active citizenship by the social and local empowerment. INTRODUCTION In the face of global, social, economic and political changes, cities are requiring new management models, as well as modern instruments, procedures and forms of action in order to allow municipal managers address the changes in the local society. On the one hand, it is necessary to find quick answers and solutions to problems whose causes are often outside the sphere of influence of the public administrator, but whose consequences must be faced by local authorities. On the other hand, is an essential task to explore and provide chances and opportunities related to these changes, both in favor of public administration, as the population itself. Thus, we intend to present an approach on the implementation of municipal electronic public hearings where the scope is the increase of participation of citizens in eletronic public hearings in view of the need for greater involvement of these actors in these social prerogatives. 1 - PUBLIC HEARINGS : brief comments As a result of civil rights, we have the right to participate, in particular about the public sphere, where every citizen must get their integration. This participation should monitor effectively what is being done and discussed in this locus, both the Executive and Legislative framework, so that every citizen can participate in the planning of public policies and, consequently, intervene in argumentative form of participation in these spaces. Arising from those rights, there are the public hearings as "open administrative participation ways to individuals and certain social groups, seeking the legitimacy of administrative action, formally disciplined by law," with the purpose of expressing preferences and trends of segments, and be able to "bring the Government to a greater consensus decision acceptance " to society (NETO, 1992).
3 Thus, the practical foundation of the public hearing is in the public interest about produce legitimate acts in the interest of individuals to present arguments and evidences before the decision, and at least in theory, also in the interest of the trustee in reducing errors risks of fact or law in their decisions, so they can produce good results. Public hearings should not be regarded as a mere formality to be fulfilled by the State-administration, but should be channels of democratic opening, in order to qualify the public management, since they are an instrument of consultation with the public administration, where the government may view what the society intends in terms of investments, programs and political actions, and especially, pedagogically inform all accounting, financial, budgetary and operational data of state power, including the assessment of results and verification of compliance with certain goals in the planning process. Thus, we can say that public hearings allow citizens to scrutinize, monitor and decide on future government actions and progress. In view of the public hearing to be closely linked to democratic practices, is in an exercise of power by the people with the Public Administration, through this mechanism because the citizen is no more seen as merely given, but as a "partner of the public administrator " (SOARES, 1997). But it is through the Fiscal Responsibility Law that the conduct of public hearings became mandatory practice at all levels of administration, covering the entirety of budgetary laws. With the forecast explicitly, the institute has spread as a fundamental element of management, incorporating to the schedule of debates and disseminating discussions about the formulation of public policies (HERMANY, 2007). The forecast in the Fiscal Responsibility Law relates effectively with the idea of social control within the lato sensu public decisions, because it involves both step up within the executive branch, administrative essence, as the specific legislative drafting process of budgetary laws, being the public hearing specific and essential fase to the regularity of the legislative process stage. Regarding the administrative stage, the public hearing is required in two different scenarios: in control of fiscal targets and the development of budgetary laws.
4 Indeed, it is on the budgetary laws (PPA, LDO, LOA) that the participation of the population shows up as mandatory both in preparation phase, coordinated by the Executive, as in the discussion of their law projects, what happens at the legislative power, featuring a special discussion on these matters. However, it is essential to analyze the extent and depth of the discussions about the public hearings, because there is no point turning them into mere formal act to meet the provisions of mentioned Law, in view of these hearings, on vague way, are defined in Fiscal Responsibility Law, can legitimize decisions made by technocratic body that comprises the Administration, especially at the federal level, they may serve as forums acclaim of pre-made decisions, which does not contribute to the achievement of social law. In this light, it is not enough the hearings, if these do not come accompanied by an effective citizen participation, represented by the entities, but mostly, directly. Added to this the need for these hearings serve to educate the population about the numerous determinants of budget development, including how specific limits for spending on education and health, provided for in the Constitution, without forgetting other data relating to finances public which should be the basis for the development of these projects. This last point should be materialized, among other ways, through performance indicators to be inserted in budgeted projects, allowing an effective control of decisions by citizens, because in addition to possible a better assessment of the need to include such proposals as policy priorities, will serve for the subsequent monitoring of budget execution. The multi-year plan (PPA), for example, covering a four-year period, fails to translate mere letter of intent and shall constitute a timely manner to a planned and subject to social control management tool. In this new paradigm, the public works shall, in its entirety, to be inserted in the instruments of budget planning, which reduces the scope of discretion and, therefore, facilitates the monitoring over management. Public policies, with the requirement of the audience, both in the Executive and the Legislature, shall be planned with the population, which will have prior knowledge of the programs to be developed in the long term, through the multi-year-plan (PPA) and in the short term through Budgetary Guidelines Law (LDO), and indices of
5 performance to be achieved, allowing a more transparent and subject to social control management. From the planning, it will be easier monitoring and subsequent recovery of the responsibility for its implementation. However, it is neecessary to progress in relation to the bylaws of the Legislatures of the different spheres of the Federation in order to allow such hearings serve, indeed, to the shared construction of public policies, not only in forming complex parts ratifying forums resulting from technocratic work. Among the aspects to be highlighted, highlights the current inability of the population to submit amendments to the projects, which is the exclusive responsibility of parliamentarians, situation that discourages the participation of society, restricts the effectiveness of control and co-management. After brief comments about public hearings, it should be noted a very important point that leads this work, the embodiment of these public hearings, notably, are performed only formally, and not substantially, with extensive discussion and participation. This allows us to say that is not enough to build a social right, translated by the legitimation of public decisions from a qualifying relationship between state and society, the existence of new mechanisms, if applied with a dogmatic-eductionist view. There is no use having public hearings as a requirement for the validity of budgetary laws, if these are merely cartonais resulting from calls in areas of legal publications in the press, and analyze closed projects without the possibility of popular amendments from deliberations by acclaim. But the main obstacle to the legitimacy of the budget process from the effective citizen participation is still the restrictions that the population has to participate in the public hearings in the more distant spheres of the Federation, mainly national. Accordingly, designing a social law characterized by state ownership of public space by society still remains far, especially considering the material difficulty of the witness decision-making processes. To achieve the results proposed by that instrument, it is necessary to ensure the largest possible number of representation. Therefore, it is critical to conduct public hearings on dates and times to facilitate the attendance of the population, readily accessible places, with wide dissemination and effective call of the population, and so on. But all these aspects result in emptying the
6 participation, because they are obstacles to the promotion of effective participation. Therefore, the alternative proposal would be to conduct electronic hearings where these would start in time and place set out previously, and after remain open online in the Executive or Legislative websites, and easily accessible places, where after some period of time they were closed again at the site of opening. Surely this, would ocasion greater participation and efficiency in public hearings. It is understood, therefore, as an essential new channel openings and participation strategies, a topic that will be proposed below, from the perspective of Electronic Government, which appears as a new channel for participation, capable of transforming the public hearings in this new perspective. 2 ELECTRONIC GOVERNANCE AS NEW DEMOCRATIC MECHANISM It can be argued that informational governance can be understood as the ability of the State to establish a policy and information management focused on accountability and transparency. It is the ability of state action in the formulation, implementation of public policies and the achievement of collective goals, using mechanisms incrementing citizens (RIBEIRO, 2005). In this sense, the informational governance, or more specifically and narrowly, the informational conditions of governance, in the words of Gomez referem-se à disponibilização e implementação de estruturas e fluxos de informação, dentro do campo do Estado, visando tanto a eficácia da ação de governo quanto a otimização de suas relações com a sociedade civil, mediante a facilitação e subsídio que os recursos de informação pública oferecerão em processos descentralizados e horizontais de tomada de decisão (GONZALES, 2002). It views that access to public and government information can be understood as a domain provider State and a major tool of e-government. However, it is important to understand that the public dimension of information is in its recognition as a public good. The information generated and used in the information field of the state is conceived as constitutive force of society and therefore indivisible public good and not obtainable through payment, the logic of merchandise ( RIBEIRO, 2005).
7 In this sense, the policy of access to and government information aims to break with the patrimonial and privatizing practice of generation cycles, preservation and transmission of information within the State. However, it can not be understood simply as state intervention to himself. This policy must be premised on the recognition and support of the right of access to government information and consolidating the rule of law, based on the concept of active citizenship ( RIBEIRO, 2005). Thus, the use of the Internet in public administration has various functions. The most known and spread internationally, are the possibilities of its use as a vehicle for the provision of online services and dissemination of information about a variety of public sector activities. A known example is the permission for the taxpayer to declare their taxes via websites and the government, in turn, provide information relating to the collection. We also illustrate other features that come with emphasis in the debates on the subject in the light of increasing demands for a more participatory and efficient public management. They are (BNDS, 2003) : a) provide greater transparency in the modus operandi of public management, facilitating the exercise of which has been agreed to call accountability, comprising largely the mandatory manager's accountability to citizens (voting, consumer and commissioner of public goods); b) allow the rapid exchange of information between members of the government, for example, prices quoted in tenders, dissemination of successful management experience, among other activities intensify increased efficiency in public administration. Thus, the use of the Internet, in that streamlines the process of popular participation, reduces the cost of citizenship. Assuming that the government can be effective in disseminating their actions, so, with the lowest individual cost will induce greater popular participation and greater demand for transparency, a virtuous balance between government actions and responses of citizens. This result is important because it creates a network of very satisfactory virtual participation, increasing very considerably promoting the participation of social actors through online channels. The transparency of public management and commitment to accountability, also contribute to the promotion of participation. In a context of
8 globalization, transparency is a feature that becomes not only desirable but mandatory. The disclosure of the various stages of a project of public investment, for example, and the commitment to accountability imply improvement, because, promote and undertake the responsibility of accountability, the public authority shall be subject to external control. It is emphasized that this proposal becomes an important mechanism of control and participation. Therefore, the discussion on democratic governance concerns the operative dimension of the struggle for hegemony in the field of transformation of the Brazilian State. It points out the need to consider the Information Technologies and Communication as important players on the board of a game called "administrative modernization". The Ministry of Planning and Management as well says A experiência do Governo Federal revela o potencial extraordinário das Tecnologias da Informação e Comunicação (TICs), baseadas sobretudo na Internet, para a melhoria do relacionamento entre Estado e sociedade. Por meio dessas iniciativas, os cidadãos têm mais informações sobre os atos do governo, podendo atuar como agentes e co-participantes das decisões políticas. Ciente dessa importância, o Governo Federal emprega as TICs para ampliar a transparência, melhorar a eficiência administrativa, reduzir custos, facilitar a vida dos cidadãos e contribuir para a consolidação da democracia. (MINISTÉRIO DO PLANEJAMENTO, 2009). The task is to press for government strategies in the field of TICs promote a democratic modernization of public administration, removing risks of a conservative and authoritarian modernization as it has come to be traditionally practiced in Brazil. What is required it is modernization of public administration that transforms the relations between state and society, and link efficiency and effectiveness of government actions to claim collective rights of citizenship (VAZ 2005). However, this project is not far from the principles of digital inclusion, digital inclusion is necessary. The Ministry itself, through its E- Gov project, presents some principles and guidelines, as fundamental to the achievement of e-government. They are: citizenship promotion, knowledge management, which is a strategic instrument of articulation and management of public policies for Electronic Government, the Free Software; digital inclusion; rationalization of resources, and integration of Electronic Government shares with other levels of government and other powers (GOVERNO ELERÔNICO, 2009).
9 Assuming this direction, it can think of the notion of e-governance, incorporating transformer content on practical and political culture of the society. In this case, the creation of an electronic governance should mean a transformation in the quality of existing power relations, operating investments towards building collective capabilities of social control and political participation. 3 E- GOVERNMENT : new administrative possibilities The use of new information technologies by governments in providing services and information to citizens, suppliers and servers is the so-called e- government or eletronic government. In Brazil, the best strategy for widespread use of the Internet in the public service and the definition of what is the role of the State in the sector have been the subject of increasing debate and, in parallel, a number of initiatives have been introduced at all levels of government. The innovation of management tools, provided by the new technologies of information and communication, also hit the government sphere and its various instances. This evolution has provided advances in terms of participation, transparency, interactivity and citizenship, which resulted in a new figure - electronic government (E-GOVERNMENT, 2009). This virtualization of the government environment, and its consequent appropriation of cyberspace, which allowed the various stakeholders, especially citizens and private sector, to perfect their interactions with the government, going to broaden the spectrum of the network nodes that form of government. This process can best be viewed through the achievement of its objectives: the implementation of data communication infrastructure, modernization of management and administrative information systems, the provision of public services, transparency in government actions, and the rationalization of expenditures public. But the purpose of this work is the implementation of electronic public hearings. In this sense, the emergence of new technologies of information and communication has been the subject of great attention by governments in that it affects the process of decision making. The recognition that the emergence of these factors requires changes in the conduct of democratic governments and the form of relationship between the public sector and civil society has sparked
10 a broad debate on how to use new technologies, particularly the Internet, to put into practice the changes required by the new environment. Information technology and communication, in fact, opened opportunities to transform the relationship between government, citizens, civil society organizations and businesses, helping to achieve good governance, especially in transparency dimension. Information technology helps the implementation of public policy to make the decision, but also favors the monitoring of implementation, policy control and evaluation of the results, in terms of investment of resources, but mainly on the effectiveness of the implemented policy. Also, the technology can do the job of communication support, workgroup, and enable the internal process efficiency - as purchase processes, trips servers, human resources, control of revenue and expenditure, monitoring of government planning, and others. Still, e- administration can include the integration of public policies among the various levels of government. Thus, this article aims to explore the topic concerning technology and electronics under the vision of the right government. In this sense, recognizing new capabilities related to the expansion of the social actors involved in public management literature has increasingly emphasized the theme of "governance" (governance), highlighting new trends in public administration and management of public policies, particularly the need to mobilize all available knowledge in society for the benefit of improving administrative performance and democratization of local decision-making processes. According to the conception of urban governance, improving the quality of life in cities is not exclusive business of government, but task and shared responsibility of all organizations and individuals that constitute the institutional and social fabric of the city (PUTNAM, 1999). Thus, the proposed electronic public hearings may become a new tool for mobilizing public opinion, able to innovate the field of public hearings, being a form of this instrument qualificare participation. 4 INNOVATIVE PUBLIC POLICY In the context of public policy, local government needs innovative models of management for urban managers address the changes that society demands. Thus, information becomes an increasingly important strategic resource for participatory urban management. As we shall see, the theme e-
11 government is inthe agenda of discussion on the application of information and communication technologies in the public sector for some time now, been explored in its various dimensions, as a technological resource communication, service delivery, as an informational device, for electronic democracy, among others (RIBEIRO, 2005). O conceito de governo eletrônico não se restringe apenas à incorporação de novas tecnologias para ampliar a capacidade de conexão entre governo e cidadão. As relações dentro do próprio governo também se reinventam. O governo, nas suas mais diferentes instâncias, passa a atuar em rede. Cada Poder, cada esfera, e seus respectivos desdobramentos, trabalham como extensões, atuando como nós desta rede de governo. O advento do governo eletrônico é resultado da aproximação dos nós entre todos os atores: governo eletrônico, cidadãos, empresas, terceiro setor. Este conceito pode ser mais bem visualizado a partir do estabelecimento dos objetivos do governo eletrônico: implementação de infra-estrutura de comunicação de dados, integrando as redes de todos os envolvidos no processo; a modernização da gestão administrativa e dos sistemas de informação; a prestação online ao cidadão de todos os serviços públicos; a adoção de transparência nas as ações governamentais que não exijam sigilo; racionalização dos gastos públicos; e a disponibilização de computadores em locais específicos que permitam que o cidadão acesse os serviços do governo através da internet. Objetivos que pressupõem que o governo eletrônico precisa funcionar em rede (POMAR; HOESCHL; GARCIA; COELHO, 2003). Among the various information technologies that end boosting this process, the Internet is one that stands out as a means of interaction between the various sectors of society, and yet, as the main responsible for the development of a government infrastructure that makes room for new, services, business and activities. So to incorporate these new technologies of information and communication to its administrative machinery, government organizations connect with each other, providing interactivity and information triggering the electronic government (ORCHARD ; Hoeschl GARCIA ; RABBIT, 2003). It should be a specific determination: the concept of government covers the management of public power in its three powers and the three levels (municipal, state and federal), while " eletronic " refers to " digital adjectives". Thus, we have that e-government is a "qualified government digitally, by tools, media and procedures, [... ] " Hoeschl, Nesse sentido, o desenvolvimento de programas de governo eletrônico tem como princípio a utilização das modernas tecnologias de informação e comunicação (TICs) para democratizar o acesso à informação, ampliar discussões e dinamizar a prestação de serviços públicos com foco na eficiência e efetividade das funções governamentais. No Brasil,
12 a política de governo eletrônico segue um conjunto de diretrizes que atuam em três frentes fundamentais: junto ao cidadão; na melhoria da sua própria gestão interna; e na integração com parceiros e fornecedores (MINISTÉRIO DO PLASNEJAMENTO, 2008). Thus, when using TICs for the relationship with citizens, government action shall be impact on existing practices and visions of citizenship in civil society. Consequently, this impact is not mechanical, nor can it be considered a deterministic way. Muito menos há neutralidade nas relações estabelecidas. Mesmo que se valha de formas relativamente semelhantes, no nível do aparato técnico e tecnológico, as práticas de relacionamento entre governo e cidadãos podem assumir diferentes conteúdos and, thus, distinctly influence the processes of practical citizenship A qualidade e profundidade das relações estabelecidas, em termos individuais e coletivos, interagem com os processos sociais mais amplos. The scope of these relationships ranges from individual citizens relationship with the government, seeking public services, to the governance relations between governments and organized society. So, para se compreender as possibilidades de relacionamento entre governos e indivíduos ou a sociedade organizada por meio da Internet do chamado governo eletrônico é preciso deslocar o olhar para além dos recursos tecnológicos offered and place it on concrete social processes in which citizens and society interact with the State in the race for building rights. Trata-se, portanto, de evitar a redução do tema a um objeto meramente técnico, que despolitiza o problema. The output is set as the reference point citizenship rights to dispute the content and forms of management of the uses of TICs in the relationship between governments and citizens. Not "best practices " that speaks, but the conquest of rights ( VAZ 2005). Being social and historical buildings, the rights do not arise suddenly, but are constructed from social struggles, political and economic disputes and overcome the contradictions between its simple enunciation and effective realization. The materiality of rights, therefore, is subject to a process of dispute within the society and different segments, not without setbacks and advances state apparatus. Thus, the possibilities for promoting citizenship through the Internet can be understood as those that allow easier access and exercise of rights É possível estabelecer uma tipologia de direitos que podem receber
13 impactos do uso de portais ou websites governamentais, such as: the right to information of particular interest, the right to public services, the right to time itself, the right to be heard by the government, the right to control social government, the right to participation in public management ( VAZ 2008 ). Thus, the last three are linked to the exercise of the indispensable electronic governance collective rights, whereas the first three rights are related to the provision of public services and access to individual rights ( VAZ 2005). The right to be heard by the government materializa-se tanto em nível individual, favorecendo o contato do cidadão com o governo, quanto em termos coletivos, por meio de canais de contato com a sociedade organizada. Its scope also incorporates demands from private to those involving collective and diffuse rights. Para a promoção desse direito é possível empregar recursos de interatividade como ouvidorias pela Internet, centrais de atendimento eletrônico ou telefônico, fóruns eletrônicos, pesquisas de opinião e avaliação de serviços públicos via Internet. A existência de canais permanentes de contato voltados a assegurar ao cidadão o direito a ser ouvido é um recurso que não garante necessariamente que os cidadãos e suas organizações intervenham sobre as ações dos governos. Entretanto, cria condições preliminares e um ambiente propício para que o exercício do direito à participação cidadã e ao controle social do governo sejam efetivados (VAZ, 2005). The social control of the government is directly linked to the promotion of transparency by allowing the monitoring of the formulation of policies and initiatives of government by citizens and their organizations. Cria condições para o estabelecimento de relações de confiança entre governados e governantes e legitima as ações destes últimos. Por outro lado, requer a existência de mecanismos de prestação de contas dos atos governamentais. Therefore, the category of rights caused by the use of the Internet, includes initiatives that allow this accountability and its appropriation by society. Therefore, incorpora iniciativas de acesso de cidadãos a informações sobre as ações do governo, fundadas na noção de direito à informação pública permitindo-lhes acompanhar, avaliar e controlar o desempenho governamental. It Can be cited as examples : the publication of financial statements, reports of activities of public agencies, government plans, progress of works and disclosure of bids ( VAZ 2005).