Remarks by Angel Gurría,
11 January 2017
Mexico City, Mexico
(as prepared for delivery)
Dear Secretary Arely Gómez, Ambassador Pérez-Jácome, Deputy Secretaries, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you today to present the OECD review of Mexico’s integrity policies, especially now that the National Anticorruption System has been approved and the Local Anticorruption Systems are about to be established in the federative entities and municipalities.
I would like to thank the Secretary of the Civil Service, Arely Gómez, and the entire team from the Civil Service Secretariat and the Government of Mexico for this excellent collaboration. My thanks go out as well to the various government organisations and the civil society experts who took part in the study. This is an example of how the challenges facing Mexico need to be addressed: with a decisive and committed government, with civil society participation, and with the support of an international organisation that has broad experience in the subject.
We all know that corruption is a cancer, whether in Mexico or in any other country. It undermines the economic system, it destroys social cohesion and it erodes our people's trust in government, in democracy, and in the market economy. According to the annual report of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), Mexico loses around 5% of its GDP to corruption and impunity every year.
Mexico needs to embark on a national campaign against corruption. Approval of the National Anticorruption System (SNA) is an important step forward in this regard. The SNA, together with the package of supplementary legislation, introduces a series of innovative tools that can be highly effective in combating corruption. For example:
These new weapons for combating corruption and promoting integrity reflect a firmer stance with respect to a problem that has long afflicted the country. And of course the success of this new system will depend on how effectively its provisions are implemented. It is precisely on this challenge that we have focused this review.
Our team spent nearly 18 months, in collaboration with the Civil Service Secretariat, in carrying out the Review of Integrity Policies. This was an intense effort that involved conducting interviews with public servants and representatives of civil society in Mexico, as well as three workshops on public ethics, institutional design and internal control. The study presents an analysis on topics such as integrity in society, managing conflicts of interest, protecting whistle-blowers, the disciplinary regime, public ethics, internal control and risk management, and more than 60 concrete proposals for action. Allow me to mention four that we consider of key importance:
Madam Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen, with this crusade against corruption, with these new laws, with this new culture of integrity that we are striving to build, we can lay the basis for what will be the most important transformation in Mexico's recent history. But the hard work is just beginning. We need now to translate the letter of the law into a wide-ranging change of institutional conduct and culture.
The OECD will continue to support Mexico in implementing these reforms, and in monitoring their progress by means of a follow-up report next year.
Together we can win this battle! Many thanks.