In March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus pandemic, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense quickly mobilized to institute agile and assertive measures to guarantee a safe environment for all municipality employees and employees. A year passed, and during this period, the measures were consolidated, supported in a spirit of collective assistance and support.
The project enabled increasingly safer working conditions over time and allowed the continuity of the services provided by CADE to the market and society, based on innovative solutions.
The first precautions related to preventing contagion by Covid-19 in CADE were adopted in the first half of that month. In a pioneering movement in Public Administration, the municipality authorized remote work to ensure social distance. Face-to-face meetings and employee participation in training, conferences and events were suspended, and institutional travel commitments were cancelled.
Among other measures, CADE made it easier for employees to enter the building and restricted access to the external public, widely publicized primary hygiene care to reduce the general risk of contracting or transmitting respiratory infections, and made it possible to purchase alcohol in gel to be made available in all rooms and common areas of the headquarters.
Over the months, CADE launched the "Guidance and Prevention Guide: Covid-19", intensified internal and external communication, provided infrastructure for remote work to servers, and employed extra care at headquarters, adopting more rigorous cleaning protocols, temperature measurement and blood saturation check.
On another front, as a way of maintaining its institutional mission with the same usual excellence, delivering results to the market and society, CADE innovated services and expanded surveillance to guarantee the maintenance of free competition in Brazil in the context of the health crisis worldwide.
In this sense, it initiated an investigation to investigate anti-competitive practices in medical-pharmaceutical products, participated in several national and international discussions involving the pandemic and antitrust policies and expressed competitive concerns to initiatives proposed by government institutions in the country.
Exercising its role of advocating for competition in the context of the crisis, the municipality made decisive contributions in the analysis of several bills that foresaw the direct intervention of the State on prices in different markets (medicines, school fees, LPG gas, etc.) and could negatively impact free competition and Brazilian consumers.
Besides, given the world health authorities' recommendation to avoid face-to-face meetings and events to prevent Covid-19, CADE needed to reinvent itself to keep the trial of the cases in full operation by the local authority court. In this way, it modified its Internal Regulation to carry out the trial sessions virtually.
Since then, CADE's sessions have been broadcast live on the municipality's YouTube channel, always observing the internal requirements for information security, transparency, advertising and broad stakeholder participation. Oral submissions can be made by sending video or audio to the Plenary Secretariat, and the formulation of a request can be made through participation during the trial in real-time.
According to the president of CADE, Alexandre Barreto, the actions taken since the beginning of the pandemic served to guarantee employees and visitors' safety and preserve the performance of the autarchy in defence of competition in Brazil and the world. "We adopted measures to reconcile the recommendations for restricting circulation with the responsibility to continue providing services to society. In this sense, for example, CADE was one of the first organizations to allow employees to start working from home", he said.
in such a challenging year, CADE achieved high productivity levels,
showing that employees maintained efficiency compared to previously
carried out activities almost entirely in person. The municipality
assessed, for example, 454 mergers in 2020, the highest number of cases
evaluated per year since 2013. This and other results demonstrate CADE's
commitment to remain active during the crisis, fulfilling its role of
promoting a healthy competitive environment in the parents.