OECD applauds Mexico's decision on reverse auctions for medicines


21/10/2013 - The Director of Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD, Ms Carolyn Ervin, welcomed the initiative by the Mexican Institute for Social Security (IMSS) to organise reverse auctions for the procurement of medicines.


This auction format was recommended by the OECD in its 2012 report on fighting bid-rigging in public procurement in Mexico. Ms Ervin underlined that as IMSS is the third largest public buyer of goods and services in Mexico and the single largest purchaser of pharmaceutical products and other medical supplies, the potential for large taxpayer savings from an improved procurement method is significant and reverse auctions could help.


The OECD report was based on a detailed review of IMSS’s procurement practices with the support of the Federal Competition Commission (now the CFCE) and made many recommendations for IMSS to bolster its procurement processes. Ms Ervin also highlighted that the use of reverse auctions will provide incentives to bidders to compete on the rebates they offer to IMSS, and the change from one auction method to another should also help disrupt potential collusion.


This is the latest in a series of improvements in procurement by IMSS, such as greater consolidation of purchases that have already saved the taxpayer billions of pesos.


Additional Information

The OECD has been a leader in the fight against collusion in public procurement and the promotion of effective procurement. On 17 July 2012, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement that calls for governments to assess their public procurement laws and practices at all levels of government using the 2009 Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement. IMSS was the first public agency in Mexico (and in the world) to formally commit to adopt and implement the OECD’s 2009 Guidelines.



For further information journalists should contact the OECD Mexico Centre: Eugenia Garduno (tel: ( 138 6230;




2009 Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement


2012 OECD Recommendation on Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement


Fighting bid rigging in government contracts: Mexico-OECD partnership



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