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The purpose of this article is to analyze the Federal Government’s financial assistance provided to municipalities for basic education, based on the performance of the Controladoria Geral da União (CGU) in audits carried out within the scope of the Programa de Fiscalização em Entes Federativos (PFEF) during the 5th auditing cycle (2016-2018). Therefore, considering the debate on the use of federal public resources in basic education by the branches of Public Administration, Accounting and Economics (as well as by other areas) and using the theoretical contributions of Susan Rose-Ackerman, Ray Fisman and Miriam A. Golden, along with Laurence Bardin's content analysis techniques, we typified the irregularities found in 57 reports divided into three categories: corruption, poor management and institutional incapacity. The results, in short, indicate a higher incidence of irregularities in cases of poor management and institutional incapacity in relation to corruption, requiring a more effective action from the Federal Government in providing technical assistance to the most vulnerable municipalities, as well as qualitative studies on the management of programs at the municipal level.
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