Bid rigging involves groups of firms conspiring to raise prices or lower the quality of the goods or services offered in public tenders. Although illegal, the anti-competitive practice is widely applied and continues to cost governments and taxpayers billions of dollars every year across the world. The OECD Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement aim to make bid rigging more difficult for contractors and help government officials identify suspicious bidding.
Mexico’s Social Security Department and the OECD
Mexico’s Social Security Department spends around 2.5 billion US dollars annually on pharmaceuticals and other goods and services. Stepping up their fight against bid rigging by companies tendering for government contracts, the Mexican Competition Authority and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) signed a co-operation agreement with the OECD in January 2011 to implement the OECD guidelines.
Since then, the OECD and the Mexican Competition Authority have been working with the IMSS to improve rules and procedures, and to train procurement officers.
In January 2012, the OECD issued a a report on IMSS’s procurement regulations and practices . The report also includes policy recommendations in key procurement areas such as market studies, co-ordination with other parts of government and training activities.
The report was presented officially on 11 January 2012 by the OECD Secretary-General during his visit to Mexico to meet President Felipe Calderón. See the Speech by Angel Gurría at the launch of the OECD-IMSS report and speech by Angel Gurría (both in Spanish only).
For more detailed information on the OECD's IMSS report, click here.
The Government of the State of Mexico and the OECD
The State of Mexico (Gobierno del Estado de México, GEM) is the largest of Mexico’s 31 states in terms of the annual volume of goods and services purchased. It spends approximately 23 percent of its annual budget on public procurement.
After his election in September 2011, Eruviel Avila Villegas (Governor of the State of Mexico) decided to seek the OECD’s assistance to improve the State’s procurement practices and to step up its fight against bid rigging. An agreement with the OECD and the CFC was signed in October 2011.
As a result of this agreement, a Report with policy recommendations was drafted and presented officially on 30 October 2012 during John Davies’ visit to Mexico to meet Governor Avila Villegas and other top level Mexican officials.
For more detailed information on the OECD's State of Mexico report, click here.
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding
Mexico City - 13 January 2011
(left/right) Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OCDE; Daniel Karam Toumeh, Director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) and Eduardo Pérez Motta, President of the Federal Competition Commission of Mexico (CFC) at the Signing Ceremony.
Documents and links