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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Public Procurement Review of the State's Employees' Social Security and Social Services Institute in Mexico

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14 Nov 2013
9789264197305 (PDF) ;9789264197299(print)

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How can citizens’ health and well-being be improved when public resources are limited? What practices allow hospitals and health clinics to get state of art medical equipment and medicine at the right price?

The OECD Procurement Review of the Mexican State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE) looks at the public entity responsible for providing medical and social services to Mexican civil servants. It provides a comprehensive assessment of its procurement function and how to improve it in order to enhance the overall efficiency and transparency of the organisation and the quality of the services it provides.

The review builds on the OECD Principles for Enhancing Integrity in Public Procurement, good practices of other health organisations as well as comparative data on public procurement in OECD countries.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    The traditional distinction between urban and rural areas is increasingly blurred. Places where today people live, work and consume largely encompass both urban and rural territories, which are ever more linked in economic, demographic and environmental terms. The challenge facing governments is how to govern these interactions, which cross different administrative boundaries and policy domains. If well managed, rural-urban interactions can help improve services provision, as well as increase growth opportunities and quality of life for people.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Traditionally, the economic and territorial development of rural and urban areas have been considered separate topics in both research and policy. This has been reinforced by a sense that differences in economic, cultural and spatial circumstances lead to differences in economic, cultural and social interests. However, urban and rural areas are increasingly integrated both physically and functionally, and because of their distinct and complementary endowments, closer integration can bring benefits to both. Consequently, interest is increasing in how forms of governance might evolve to help manage this integration and influence the prosperity of places and people.

  • Overview of the Mexican health system system: The role of the State's Employees' Social Security and Social Services Institute

    The Mexican State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE) is an important public health service provider in Mexico, covering more than 12 million beneficiaries consisting of public sector employees (active or retired) and their family members. The overview describes the role of ISSSTE and the services it provides in Mexico’s health care system. It also highlights how good governance practice within its public procurement system improves the health of its beneficiaries.

  • Strengthening the structure and co-ordination of ISSSTE's procurement function

    This chapter describes the structure and organisation of the procurement function of the Mexican State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE). It also assesses the committees and mechanisms that ISSSTE uses to coordinate the high number of procurement units and to ensure communication with these units.

  • Ensuring high quality regulations for ISSSTE's procurement processes

    This chapter provides an overview of the regulatory framework that applies to the procurement activities of the Mexican State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE). It also presents recent efforts made at the federal level to increase the clarity and efficiency of that regulatory framework. Finally, it describes how consultations, as well as ex ante and ex post Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA), can be implemented by ISSSTE in the development and revision of internal instruments used to regulate its procurement function.

  • Fostering effective risk-based internal control in ISSSTE's procurement activities

    This chapter assesses the internal control structure and division of responsibility relating to public procurement within the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE). It also indicates how the dependence of ISSSTE on audit activities of the Internal Control Offices of the Ministry of Public Administration, and the limited communication between them, hinder improvements that could be made to the procurement function and the implementation of risk-based management. Finally, it describes the risk management system in place and assesses the strengths and shortcomings of recently implemented changes.

  • Managing for results: Implementing an organisational procurement strategy and evidence-based performance management in ISSSTE

    This chapter identifies how the procurement’s strategic role could be better recognised in the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE) and shows the lack of coherence in its procurement system, partly due to the absence of an organisational procurement plan. It also describes how public procurement is used by the Mexican federal government and ISSSTE to foster socio-economic objectives, particularly to support the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises. Finally, the chapter demonstrates how lack of data and of an adequate performance management system hinders evidenced-based decision-making and effective management of ISSSTE’s procurement function.

  • Achieving better procurement results through sound sourcing methods

    This chapter describes positive consolidation initiatives implemented by the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute’s (ISSSTE). Inversely, it also describes how the lack of communication and impact assessments limit these initiatives’ benefits and how consolidation opportunities remain unexploited. The level of competition achieved in ISSSTE’s procurement activities is also discussed, including the opportunity to reduce the use of exceptions to public tendering. Lastly, building on the experience of OECD countries, the chapter presents ISSSTE’s benefits and challenges of increasing the use of flexible contractual instruments and of diversifying the evaluation and selection methods used by the organisation.

  • Addressing deficiencies in ISSSTE's procurement processes

    This chapter identifies deficiencies in the procurement cycle of the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute’s (ISSSTE), from requirement identification (e.g. insufficient market intelligence and unclear or restrictive specifications) to bid evaluation and contract management (including inspection upon delivery and stock management). It also discusses how the relationship with suppliers and their performance could be improved through activities such as verbal debriefing, performance management and improved invoicing and payment processes. Finally, the chapter describes ISSSTE’s recent efforts to address some of these deficiencies and proposes remedial actions, drawing on relevant good practices from other OECD countries.

  • Enhancing procurement capability in ISSSTE

    This chapter describes the current procurement workforce of the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE). It also assesses the capabilities and capacities of that workforce to perform its procurement duties. In particular, it discusses ISSSTE’s workforce planning and management practices (e.g. recruitment, promotion, and performance management) and highlights the importance of enhancing the procurement workforce’s training and development through competency management. The experience of various OECD countries is presented to illustrate potential improvements to ISSSTE’s human resource management.

  • E-procurement: Implementing a strong IT environment to support ISSSTE's procurement activities

    This chapter describes ISSSTE’s current IT environment and highlights how the absence of integrated IT systems covering the entire procurement cycle can hinder the efficiency and evidenced-based management of procurement activities. The slow uptake of eprocurement is also addressed, describing the need to build awareness and capacity, both within the organisation as well as within its supply base.

  • Towards open government: Promoting transparency in public procurement in ISSSTE

    This chapter describes how the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute’s (ISSSTE) discloses procurement information proactively through web-based tools as well as through requests for information. It also describes how social society scrutiny of its procurement activities is facilitated through the use of "social witnesses".

  • Ensuring integrity throughout ISSSTE's procurement cycle

    This chapter highlights how public procurement is particularly at risk for corruption in the pharmaceutical and health care sector. It describes the efforts made by Mexico and the State’s Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE) to fight corruption and wrongdoing in procurement. The chapter also discusses the need for ISSSTE to complement its current discipline-based management of integrity risks with a value-based strategy. Various tools and mechanisms to strengthen detection, monitoring and management of corruption (e.g. red flags, data mining and enhanced whistleblowers’ protection) in its procurement and distribution activities are also provided for ISSSTE’s consideration.

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