'The pandemic has brought a challenging scenario for the recovery and collection area'

Fábio Munhoz is the Billing Director of the Brazilian Federal Attorney General’s Office (AGU). In this exclusive interview, he discusses topics about judicial reorganization and the impact of the pandemic in the credit recovery area, amongst others.

Posted lundi, mars 6 2023
'The pandemic has brought a challenging scenario for the recovery and collection area'

Leaders League: The years 2021 and 2022 were remarkable for Federal Attorney General’s Office regarding debt collection, with the public treasury recovering significant amounts, despite the challenging scenario. What were the factors favorable to this memorable performance?

Fábio Munhoz: The department at the Federal Attorney General's Office (AGU-PGF), responsible for the collection of credits from federal public foundations and independent agencies and income tax and social security contributions in the Labor Judiciary, reported an annual increase in its revenue, reaching R$22.4 billion in the 2019-2022 period, with R$6.09 billion in 2022. This collection performance in 2022 represents a 27% increase compared to the average of the two previous years (2020-2021).

Some factors that led to this exponential increase in tax collection were the agreement (November 2020) and the renegotiation of the contract (May 2022) with Grupo Oi, representing R$ 20.2 billion in negotiated values. It aimed at obtaining hard-to-recover money owed by the legal entity under judicial reorganization to Anatel, under Law 13.988/2020, being the most significant agreement in the history of PGF and Anatel. Additionally, there was a deal with the same Grupo Oi regarding Ancine's (National Cinema Agency) credits, representing over R$400 million in amounts transacted. The improved management in collecting federal public debts was the main factor in achieving this memorable performance.

Which impacts and challenges have been the most observed in the recovery and collection sector in 2022?

Undoubtedly, the pandemic's impact has brought a challenging scenario for the recovery and collection area and the entire PGF. Nevertheless, the indexes of our collection departments have revealed an improvement in our performance standards for 2019 to 2022.

Which are the main challenges in holding a leadership position?

Being a leader and managing efficiently in public administration is always challenging. We often work overloaded with a heavy workload and with little physical structure. However, with conviction that, with the evolution of the AGU, and specifically the PGF, in recent years, we exercised leadership in our workplaces on an equal footing with similar sectors of the private sector.

The AGU has increasingly addressed innovation topics, such as Artificial Intelligence in Enforcement and Digital Prosecution. What are the main changes these tools and institutes have entailed, and how does it encourage their implementation?

In recent years we significantly evolved in digital innovation, which took us to other levels in public management. Currently, we work with one of the most efficient and consolidated management systems in federal public administration, the Sapiens system. In the credit collection and recovery area, we have a management system that already includes over 80% of the 165 entities we represent, with more than R$23 billion in registered credits in overdue federal tax liability, which allows us to work with tangible and feasible goals.

Finally, what is the forecast for 2023?

As far as perspectives are concerned, considering the different ongoing projects in the PGF's collection bodies, we expect an increase in collection, with the adoption of rating and selectivity in the judicial recovery, optimization of public spending, rationalization of the structure, improvement in citizen relations, and streamlining of service.