Brazilian science and tech ministry shrinks to cope with recession

The department is considering a reduction of its workforce as budgets get smaller
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

The Brazilian science and technology ministry is considering a reduction of its workforce to cope with the impact the country's current recession has had on government budgets.

Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) minister Celso Pansera told local newspaper Valor Econômico that the department is studying to make 20 percent of the department's staff redundant - the equivalent of 100 employees - to reflect the current situation.

According to Pansera - who earlier this month had been considering to step down from the ministry in order to take part in his party's elections - the plans will also include the end of some sub-divisions of the department, such as the IT policy office, which will have its workload transferred to the innovation and technological development office.

Work carried out by the IT policy office has included leading the efforts behind the creation of Marco Civil da Internet, the country's first set of Internet governance rules.

Spending cuts across the Brazilian government announced in December meant an overall reduction in spending of 35,9 percent in the MCTI budget, initially set at R$1.4bn ($351m) at the start of 2015.

Budget reductions for ministries including the MCTI started early last year and also affected flagship programs such as the National Program for Access to Technical Education and Employment (Pronatec), which has focused on low-income young Brazilians and Science without Borders, which grants scholarships to Brazilian students in universities based in countries including the United States, Finland, South Korea, Japan, Australia and South Africa.

Editorial standards