The Federal Police of Brazil, agency responsible for the emission of Brazil’s passports, has stopped executing this task due to a lack of funds. The measure came into effect 10 PM Brasilia time on the 27th of June. For the unforeseen future, only Brazilians who requested passports before this time will receive them.
According to the agency, there are insufficient funds allocated in the budget for migration control and for the emission of travel documents. The agency is said to have met their spending limits according to Brazilian budgetary law.
Brazil’s Federal Police has informed that Brazilians will still be able to request their passports online however their is no prediction as to when passports will be delivered.
According to the Brazilian newspaper Folha, the government earns more money emitting passports than it spends on this service: a total of R$ 578 million in 2016. Only approximately a fourth of the funds collected (R$145 million), however, was redirected to the agency executing the service. The Federal Police asked for R$ 248 million to cover its costs, a demand which was not met.
To receive the document, Brazilians pay a fee of R$ 257,25 (around 88 dollars). This money is transferred to a fund managed by the Federal Police yet the agency is not allowed to decide on how to spend these resources seeing as they are later sent to Brazil’s treasury as is the case of all funds originating from public enterprises.
Brazil’s Federal Government has recently sent requests to its Congress to authorize taking almost R$103 million from other departments to mitigate the Federal Police’s situation. This decision has not been supported from members of the government who wish to channel funds originally meant for international agencies, notably the United Nations.
Brazil’s government has cut costs with austerity measures in hopes of turning around Brazil’s economic woes and has been holding off on supplying sections of the government with money in order to “close the books”. Fiscal responsibility in Brazil has become a critical issue, particularly since its last president was impeached for alleged crimes of improper management regarding this matter.