CADE and the Economic Freedom Law

In June, the Financial Inspection and Control Commission of the National Congress (“Commission”) forwarded a request for supervision and control to the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU), to be carried out jointly by the Commission and the TCU to assess the performance compliance of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) with the precepts of the Economic Freedom Law (Law 13.874/2019).

The Commission proposed the following lines of inquiry for the referred to inspection, formulated as objective questions to be answered in the inspection process: (i) Is there coherence and harmony in CADE’s decisions, regarding authorizations, penalties, fines, and other decisions, concerning different companies?; (ii) Is there any bias in the collegiate’s decisions that may be harming the business environment in our country?; (iii) How is CADE incorporating the provisions of §3 of art. 1 of Law 13,874/2019 in its decisions?; and (iv) Is there any aspect of CADE’s performance that may be increasing the degree of legal uncertainty in our country?

As a result, TCU’s plenary sent questions to CADE about the performance of some of its bodies and the compliance of its day-to-day activities with the dictates of the Economic Freedom Law. The questions sent to CADE were:

  • if the Department of Economic Studies (DEE/CADE) prepared studies, regarding the scope and possible impacts of Law 13,874/2019, in relation to the performance of the autarchy. If so, clarify what was done, and forward relevant documentation to this Court;
  • if CADE promoted any changes in internal regulations and/or in procedural rites, in order to guide and adapt the activities carried out by its technical staff and/or its judging bodies, in view of Law 13,874/2019. If so, indicate what changes were made and send this Court a copy of the amended rule; and
  • when judging the cases submitted to it, if, and how, has CADE been incorporating the principles and provisions of Law 13,874/2019 into its decisions, exemplifying, if possible, judgments handed down by the autarchy since the enactment of the referred to law.

The work of the Commission and the TCU began with a meeting scheduled for the first week of November with CADE to address this issue.