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Previously, decisions that impacted the lives of millions of Brazilian citizens were taken exclusively by technicians and leaders of ministries. With Lula and Dilma, various channels of dialogue between government and society have been created, expanded and strengthened, such as councils, ombudsmen, forums and roundtable dialogues. Innovative policies were formulated after extensive public consultation.
One example is the Internet Civil Rights Framework, a law establishing rules, rights and duties regarding the World Wide Web. The text was discussed in a collaborative and open manner between 2009 and 2011 and approved in April 2014. The sanctioning of the law was welcomed by the participants of World Net international forum and praised by the creator of the network, Tim Berners-Lee.
With the Framework, Brazil became the first country to regulate the Internet. And most importantly: without removing any of its rights. On the contrary. The new law guarantees fundamental rights to Brazilian users of the World Wide Web: freedom, neutrality and privacy.
Today there are 35 national councils and five commissions, whose makeup includes significant representation by civil society. The Public Transparency and Corruption Combat Council, for example, created by President Lula, contains 20 members: eight from the executive branch and ten from civil society, as well as two invited public authorities.
The councils have the power to adopt guidelines in various sectors such as health, education, welfare, food security, economic and social development, youth, promotion of racial equality, women's rights, the elderly, children and teenagers.
From a past of occupying a secondary space in public administration and functioning only as a repository of complaints, the federal public ombudsman has now earned a pivotal position for encouraging popular participation and the strengthening of democracy.
Besides 270 federal public ombudsman to help citizens in their relations with the government, the Ombudsman General of the Union is about to become the coordinating body of the newly-created Federal Public Ombudsman System. This will ensure the sharing of information between all government ombudsman, ministries, state-owned and public companies.