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OECD Integrity Review of Mexico

Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption

image of OECD Integrity Review of Mexico

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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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.

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