Corruption

Mexico’s National Anti-corruption System - Statement from OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría

 

01/08/2016 -  The OECD welcomes the laws of the National Anti-corruption System that were approved by the Parliament on June 16, 2016 and enacted on July 18, 2016, clearing the way for one of the key pillars of Mexico’s structural reform agenda. The promulgation of these laws substantially transforms the anti-corruption architecture of Mexico by putting in place measures that the OECD considers effective, such as:

  1. Establishing a new Coordination Committee responsible for the design and implementation of anti-corruption policies and for effective coordination of anti-corruption policies.

  2. Making citizens active stakeholders of the Anti-Corruption System through a Citizen Participation Committee, whose representative will preside over the Coordination Committee.

  3. Bringing Mexico more in line with the current drive in OECD countries towards greater transparency and capacity to detect and prevent corruption by increasing the requirements for greater disclosure of assets, identification of conflict of interest and other private interests by public officials and enhancing the capacity of Mexico's Supreme Audit Institution to conduct real-time audits and follow up mechanisms.

  4. Taking a tougher stance on sanctioning integrity violations, with potentially serious cases now falling under the jurisdiction of a Federal Tribunal for Administrative Justice with full independence to issue its resolutions.

  5. Creating a Special Anti-corruption Prosecutor that will support these stronger enforcement and prosecution measures, provided that the position will be filled without delay.

 

According to Secretary-General Gurría, “perhaps the most important game changer of the reforms is that they reach beyond the Federal level and include all levels of government. Indeed, the new legislation requires the Mexican States to follow suit with their own local anti-corruption systems, thereby tackling some of the strongest footholds of corruption in Mexico.”

 

The OECD also considers that the requirement for states to mirror federal efforts and comply with standards set up by the national legislation, as well as follow new disclosure requirements under the General Administrative Responsibilities Law represents a very important step forward. The National Auditing System, which includes federal and state internal and external control bodies, will play a significant role in strengthening audit institutions and harmonizing policies and capacities across the country. This will have the potential to significantly change perceptions of rampant corruption in states and municipalities and improve the outlook of citizens for greater integrity in public service delivery.

 

The Secretary-General has also highlighted that: “As with other crucial reform efforts that Mexico has undertaken, the key to real change lies in the implementation. This framework puts Mexico in line with OECD best practice, but we must now make it work.” The OECD strongly encourages the Mexican government to pursue a systemic and comprehensive approach to implementation, focus on forging a culture of integrity, and integrate from the outset strong accountability mechanisms, particularly at sub-national levels. This new vision will also require significant capacity building amongst public officials in order to move from a rules-based approach to a more values-based one. The OECD also notes that while the new legislation may improve the reporting of corruption, further efforts will be needed to guarantee protection to whistleblowers.

 

The OECD will support the Mexican government in the implementation of this promising agenda, expanding on the vast and close cooperation in the area of integrity.

 

The ongoing OECD Integrity Review of Mexico is very well suited to monitor advances in implementation and provide recommendations for further improvement. The OECD is also working alongside the ASF to help strengthen the National Auditing System at this pivotal moment and is already engaged with the governments of the State of Coahuila and Mexico City to provide advice based on good international practices to improve their anti-corruption policies and institutions. Finally, the OECD is supporting public procurement processes including those related to the project of the New International Airport of Mexico City, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) and PEMEX  as well as those of IMSS and ISSSTE, which have already generated important savings.

 

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