Telcos controlled by all three incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) are included in a list of the largest debtors announced by Social Security Minister Ricardo Berzoini Wednesday, May 14. Telesp fixed line (Telefonica) owes the social security system 143,807,055.91 Brazilian Reals (now about 50m US Dollars) in three cases. Tele Norte Leste (Telemar) owes 58,164,578.05 BRL in 19 cases. Telebahia S.A., a Telemar subsidiary, owes 18,356,856.66 BRL. Telesc, a subsidiary of Brasil Telecom, owes 23,250,369.03 BRL in ten cases. Telegoiás, also part of Brasil Telecom, owes 8,766,672.66 BRL.
These debts are all being collected by court order. The list doesn?t include companies that have signed agreements to pay off arrears in installments or filed suit for judicial review.
According to Congressman Walter Pinheiro (PT, Bahia), the news is a ?very interesting disclosure? that should be taken into account when negotiating license renewal with the ILECs. Brazilian law forbids government procurement of any kind from companies in arrears with social security contributions.