Launch Event for Co-operation with the IMSS on Bid Rigging, Public Procurement and Regulatory Improvement


Remarks by Angel Gurría,

OECD Secretary-General

10 October 2016

Mexico City, Mexico

(As prepared for delivery)



Director-General of the IMSS, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is a great pleasure to be here to mark the beginning of another very important collaborative initiative between the OECD and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). Our achievements have grown in strength since early 2012, when we released the first reviews of public procurement for the IMSS.


The IMSS was the first entity in the world that decided to adopt OECD best practices to combat bid rigging in public procurement. It also decided to adopt the OECD Recommendations on Public Procurement. It was not long before others, such as the ISSSTE (Mexican Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers), PEMEX (Mexican Petroleum Company) and the CFE (Federal Electricity Commission), followed its example.


Today, the IMSS is again an international torchbearer, and it is my honour to be here with you to announce publicly a new collaborative undertaking between the IMSS and the OECD which, we hope, will also be a game-changer for public procurement officials and users of IMSS procedures and services.


The public procurement reports that the OECD delivered to the IMSS in 2012 analysed the legal framework and public procurement processes of the IMSS in the light of best practices in OECD countries; they identified areas of opportunity and made recommendations to enhance the efficiency of its processes, safeguard its integrity, maximise competition and combat bid-rigging.


Progress in delivering these measures has been very successful. To give you an idea of their impact, the IMSS has estimated its savings from consolidated procurement to be over MXN 6 billion in just three years (2014 to 2016).


Moreover, for the same amount of money, 16% more medications will be purchased in 2016 than in 2012. This is the result, among other factors, of the increased competition and the economies of scale gained by the IMSS.


The projects we are outlining today seek to increase evidence on the impact of other recommendations on public procurement, competition and fighting bid rigging. They also aim at supporting the implementation of measures that are still pending and to evaluate processes and policies in the light of the new OECD Council Recommendation on Public Procurement, paying special attention to the efficiency, management, integrity and accountability of processes.


This may yield interesting results as to the cost and quality conditions of the goods and services purchased, the structure and behaviour of markets, and more generally the impact of these measures on the services provided to IMSS beneficiaries. Additionally, there are plans to train IMSS staff to make the best practices part of the institutional fabric and avoid their being subject to the whims of the government in office.


We will also help the IMSS in its efforts to streamline and digitise its procedures and services. We shall use the Standard Cost Model – a practice widely used in countries such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – to measure the impact in monetary terms of the savings in man-hours achieved by the IMSS procedures that are already online.


Again using the Standard Cost Model, we will also draw up a plan to streamline and digitise the IMSS that will help to focus work on the procedures that will make the greatest impact. We hope that this will result in simpler, quicker, online procedures that generate significant savings in time and money for Mexican citizens and businesses while enhancing the integrity and transparency of processes.


Ladies and Gentlemen: Health is a pivotal factor in welfare and prosperity. Efficient public procurement and straightforward, online procedures for citizens and businesses are key components of good governance. Both have the potential to improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health services in Mexico and to support household economies, the development of SMEs and government expenditure.


I would like to thank the IMSS, its workers and managers for their commitment to increase the efficiency of their public procurement processes, their procedures and their services. The OECD recognises their efforts and their willingness to carry forward these necessary improvements. Count on us to support these initiatives and help you to continue providing better health services for better lives.


Thank you very much.




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