OECD Public Governance Reviews

2219-0414 (online)
2219-0406 (print)
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This series includes international studies and country-specific reviews of government efforts to make the public sector more efficient, effective, innovative and responsive to citizens’ needs and expectations. Publications in this series look at topics such as open government, preventing corruption and promoting integrity in the public service, risk management, illicit trade, audit institutions, and civil service reform. Country-specific reviews assess a public administration’s ability to achieve  government objectives and preparedness to address current and future challenges. In analysing how a country's public administration works, reviews focus on cross-departmental co-operation, the relationships between levels of government and with citizens and businesses, innovation and quality of public services, and the impact of information technology on the work of government and its interaction with businesses and citizens.


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OECD Integrity Review of Mexico

OECD Integrity Review of Mexico

Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption You do not have access to this content

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30 Mar 2017
9789264273207 (PDF) ;9789264273184(print)

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The OECD's Integrity Review of Mexico is one of the first peer reviews to apply the new 2017 Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity. It assesses (i) the coherence and comprehensiveness of the evolving public integrity system; (ii) the extent to which Mexico’s new reforms cultivate a culture of integrity across the public sector; and (iii) the effectiveness of increasingly stringent accountability mechanisms. In addition, the Review includes a sectoral focus on public procurement, one of the largest areas of government spending in the country and is considered a high-risk government activity for fraud and corruption. The Review provides several proposals for strengthening institutional arrangements and improving vertical and horizontal co-ordination, closing remaining gaps in various existing legal/policy frameworks, instilling integrity values and ensuring the sustainability of reforms.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    By signing Mexico’s General Law of the National Anticorruption System (NACS) into force on 18 July 2016, President Peña Nieto cleared the way for one of the key pillars of his administration’s reform agenda and took a major step forward in the fight against corruption in Mexico. The law brought to fruition a constitutional amendment which embodied the NACS into the highest law of the land and signalled a decidedly tougher stance on a problem that has plagued the country for far too long.

  • Executive summary

    Mexico’s newly established National Anti-corruption System (NACS), signed into law on 18 July 2016, has the potential to become a game-changer in the country’s fight against corruption. The package of laws creating the System - eight in total - mark a turning point in Mexico’s approach to anti-corruption policies, and aim to overcome some key shortcomings of the past by: 1) addressing fragmentation in policies and developing a more comprehensive and coherent approach to integrity; 2) avoiding notorious “implementation gaps” by improving co-ordination both across and between levels of government, and particularly by bringing states under the remit of the system; 3) strengthening enforcement mechanisms for investigating and sanctioning integrity breaches by public officials and firms under both administrative and criminal jurisdictions; and 4) reinforcing oversight through greater transparency, expanded auditing powers and greater involvement of civil society.

  • Curbing corruption for more inclusive growth and prosperity in Mexico

    Mexico’s new anti-corruption reforms, if implemented effectively, can contribute to addressing many of the key social and economic challenges facing the country today. Indeed, greater integrity, transparency and accountability are all inextricably linked with better economic performance, better government performance, and greater well-being and prosperity for society as a whole. The following chapter highlights these key linkages in order to underscore the timeliness and relevance of the NACS in curbing corruption and helping achieve these important goals in Mexico. It examines, for instance, how the NACS can build trust in government to support its ambitious reform agenda, support a more inclusive and productive economy, and tackle the security challenge facing many regions. It concludes with a description of the Integrity Review’s analytical framework which forms the foundation for the OECD’s main findings and recommendations for improvement.

  • Mexico's National Anti-corruption System: Advancing a more coherent and comprehensive public integrity system

    This chapter examines the coherence and comprehensiveness of Mexico’s evolving public integrity system. In line with the principles of the OECD 2017 Recommendation on Public Integrity, it examines the recently reformed institutional arrangements for national and local anti-corruption systems with a view to further strengthening co-ordination and supporting the implementation of action plan initiatives at national and subnational levels. The chapter provides recommendations on supporting implementation through stronger monitoring and capacity building. Finally, the extent to which non-governmental stakeholders have been included is discussed. The chapter discusses how new reforms could be better mainstreamed across the whole of government, better served by the inclusion of additional stakeholders to reach target groups such as the private sector, and better supported by stronger senior leadership and resources to ensure effective implementation.

  • Cultivating a culture of integrity: Instilling integrity values and managing conflict-of-interest

    While a rules-based approach is a necessary foundation of any public sector integrity system, this aspect alone is insufficient, since integrity values must be internalised by individuals and socialised in organisations to ultimately create a “culture of integrity” in government. This is an important shift that must be made in Mexico if new reforms are to succeed. This chapter presents a summary of proposals for improvement based on the analysis of the current Mexican policies for promoting ethics and managing conflict-ofinterest situations in the public administration. The first section provides recommendations to strengthen the policy framework currently implemented by the Ministry of Public Administration (Secretaría de la Función Pública, SFP), i.e. the Ethics Code, the codes of conduct at the organisational level, the Integrity Rules, and the conflict-of-interest guidelines. Section two elaborates proposals on how to maximise the utility of declarations and ensure consistency across line ministries and organisations in verifying and auditing submissions. The third section examines how to better mainstream new policies throughout the administration, and more specifically into human resource management (HRM). The final section reflects on how Mexico could make the shift towards a culture of integrity by reinforcing its guidance on resolving ethical dilemmas and conflict-of-interest situations. Emphasis throughout the chapter is placed on the federal administration, with the understanding that as members of national anticorruption systems (NACS), local integrity systems will follow suit at state and local levels. Therefore, many of the recommendations are applicable beyond the federal level.

  • Towards a whole-of-society approach to integrity in Mexico

    The driving impetus behind Mexico’s national anti-corruption system (NACS) has been to strengthen the resilience of public institutions and officials against corruption. However, when integrity violations occur amongst citizens and firms, and when society shows a high level of tolerance towards corruption, the impact of strong laws and well-designed institutional arrangements may be limited. Government alone cannot eradicate corruption; the active participation of the whole-of-society in promoting and adopting social norms for integrity is crucial to effectively prevent corruption. Citizens and firms must expect integrity from their government and institutions, as well as from each other. For example, just as government should not seek or accept bribes, neither should citizens or firms accept to pay them. The chapter begins by exploring integrity levels in Mexican society given available data from selected sectors, and provides recommendations to cultivate social norms for integrity through raising awareness, building capacity and eliciting changes in behaviour. The second section of the chapter discusses how to instill integrity norms and values in youth, and details proposals for including integrity and anti-corruption education into the curriculum for primary and secondary students. It also underscores the need to train teachers to effectively deliver the curriculum.

  • Protecting whistleblowers in Mexico: Ensuring secure channels and protections for reporting corruption

    Effective public sector integrity frameworks aim to incentivise whistleblowers to disclose misconduct by ensuring visible support and positive reinforcement from the organisational hierarchy, clear guidance on reporting procedures, and effective legal protection from retaliation. Such measures are considered paramount for effectively detecting misconduct, safeguarding the public interest and promoting a culture of integrity in the public sector. Mexico recently passed the General Law on Administrative Responsibilities, which will strengthen whistleblower protection when it comes into force in July 2017. This chapter will assess Mexico’s new whistleblowing framework by examining the extent to which whistleblowers are protected from reprisals, whether disclosures of misconduct are effectively managed, whether civil servants and the public are aware of the critical role that whistleblowers play in safeguarding the public interest, and how the framework has implemented appropriate measures to monitor its effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

  • Strengthening the lines of defence against corruption: Risk management, internal control and audit

    Public sector organisations should ensure that their “lines of defence” against fraud and corruption are strong and based on sound risk management, internal controls, and independent assurance (internal audit) activities. This comprehensive approach allows organisations to pre-emptively tackle potential corruption, detect integrity violations when they occur, continually monitor and improve controls over time, and more swiftly adapt to changing contexts and risks. As such, this chapter focuses on these three key elements in Mexico’s federal public administration. The first section assesses Mexico’s Ministry of Public Administration’s risk management process (the Administración de Riesgos Institutional, or ARI). The second section examines the internal control environment and processes put in place by the federal government and line ministries. The third section highlights the importance of an independent internal audit function for consulting senior management and providing assurance over the effectiveness and efficiency of internal control and risk management arrangements within public organisations.

  • Enforcing integrity: Strengthening Mexico's administrative disciplinary regime for public officials

    Effective, comprehensive public sector integrity frameworks include, not only pillars for defining, supporting and monitoring integrity, but also for the enforcement of integrity rules and standards. This chapter assesses the role of Mexico’s administrative disciplinary regime as a key mechanism for enforcing integrity. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of the national administrative sanctioning system against selected OECD member and partner countries. Recommendations are put forward for consideration with a view to: improving overall effectiveness by avoiding gaps and inconsistencies between regimes and institutions in implementation; strengthening inter-institution co-ordination and capacities; and increasing monitoring and transparency to allow for better oversight and to prevent undue influence over sanctioning decisions.

  • Clean public procurement in Mexico: Ensuring integrity and value for money

    In line with the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Procurement, this chapter assesses whether Mexico has developed effective general standards for public procurement procedures, and implemented procurement specific safeguards in order to preserve integrity in public procurement. It looks specifically at newly developed initiatives, such as the Protocol of Conduct for Public Servants in Public Procurement and the Registry of Public Procurement Officials. It also describes the complaints and sanctions system in place in order to contest procurement decisions and denounce possible corruption cases. The chapter analyses levels of transparency of public procurement processes and the application of e-procurement solutions. Finally, it evaluates how external stakeholders, such as private sector representatives and civil society organisations, are involved in the public procurement system with a view to increasing its transparency and integrity.

  • Mexico's Plan of Action to implement OECD Integrity Review Recommendations

    In order to advance in the implementation of recommendations proposed in the OECD Integrity Review, the OECD and Mexico’s Ministry of Public Administration (SFP) have jointly agreed upon an Action Plan with four central themes as immediate priorities...

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