Gustavo Ballvé on July 21st, 2016
Corporate Governance, Food for thought, Home

I wish I did not have to return to this subject so soon, but apparently in Brazil even very basic rights can be seen as debatable. One remembers that “24-hour” ATMs do not dispense more than 100 Reais from 10 PM to 6 AM due to robberies, or one notices the constant take-downs of the Whatsapp service: our country’s policymakers seem to combat (very rare) examples of people abusing rights by eliminating (or proposing to eliminate) them altogether!

Case in point: after an alleged abuse of data access rights by Board members in Saraiva, an entire debate about these rights is now taking place, as per this Valor Econômico article (in English, but here’s the original Portuguese version). Given that the Board member is personally liable for their decisions, he/she must have the right to obtain information – from management or consultants, for instance – in order to better form their judgement.

We can and should discuss the form of potential abuses and its punishments, as well as reasonable boundaries of access to management and data. But we should not seek to remove a basic right of the Board members – who represent shareholders but must, in the form of our Corporate Law, act in the company’s best interests.

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