Technicians from the Federal Court of Audit (TCU) yesterday criticized the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT) for hiring and monitoring federal highway concessionaires. During a public hearing in the Chamber, TCU representatives reported that they identified problems in contracts signed since the mid-1990s, a period that covers the three stages of the road concessions program.
TCU’s Infrastructure Supervisor, Luiz Fernando de Souza, said that projects are poorly designed, investments are delivered late, and now there are constant requests to rebalance contractual conditions due to hiring failures.
Souza said that the concessionaires have sought ANTT with the objective of signing contractual additives to include more expensive works that will justify the increase in toll rates later. The companies’ strategy has guaranteed a higher financial return than the one set in the auction.
“The new projects come with values well above those set out in the original contract, which characterizes a ‘spreadsheet game’ that removes services with low prices and puts others with higher values,” said the secretary.
“The concessions need to have more robust studies and projects, with better definition of risk sharing. This avoids surprises along the way until the end of the concession,” Souza said. “The performance of the highway concessionaires is well below expectations,” he said. According to him, “the regulatory agency still can not play its role efficiently.”