Key to that effort is Brazil's Transparency Portal. Launched in 2004, the Transparency Portal now tracks nearly $4.8 trillion of government funds. Everything from charges on state-issued credit cards to contracts related to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games must be posted on the site within 24-hours.
In spite of some early opposition, the effort seems to be working. More than two million Brazilians visit the site each year. The site's willingness to breach previously-unmentioned topics such as personal income adds to its allure. In July, for example, the Transparency Portal released the salary data for 700,000 state employees. According to the report, a public sector doctor in Brazil earns $1,580 USD per month, whereas a member of the Brazilian Senate earns $11,761 USD per month.
Information like this is very good for Brazil, labor lawyer Felipe Cardoso told the Rio Times Online. "Everybody has the right to know how much public servants earn because they are paid by taxes," he said.
Is Brazil's Transparency Portal enough to clean up public corruption? On this issue, the jury is still out. As Gregory Michiner of Al Jazeerapointed out Aug. 16, Brazil's existing democracy is based upon immunity for the previous dictatorship. That, coupled with a 6 percent conviction rate for political scandals, means that while Brazil is taking promising steps in the right direction, it still has miles left to go.