Public procurement represents, on average, 30% of total general government expenditures and close to 12% of gross domestic product in OECD countries. Yet, the importance of public procurement goes beyond its economic dimension, as it is increasingly recognised by governments as a tool for achieving broader policy objectives and well-being outcomes. Many diverse policy areas benefit from public procurement in concrete terms. For example, 96% of OECD countries have a strategy or policy to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and 81% have a strategy or policy to support innovation through public procurement. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated how crucial procurement systems are to ensure the delivery of essential goods and how they can contribute to greater resilience and the capacity of states to maintain and improve public service delivery.

The OECD has been working with its member and partner countries for several years to support their public procurement systems through tailored reviews that identify weaknesses and make recommendations for improvement. It also accompanies countries in designing and implementing reforms, develops standards based on good practices and peer learning, and collects data for comparative analysis.

In Mexico, OECD has made an important contribution to the public procurement agenda in recent years, particularly in the health and energy sectors through reviews of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) and the State Employees’ Social Security and Social Services Institute (ISSSTE), as well as of the state-owned companies Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). Likewise, OECD has worked with a group of federal states by reviewing their procurement practices and making reform recommendations, namely with the State of Nuevo León and the Institute of Security and Social Services for the Workers of the State of Sonora (ISSSTESON).

OECD work in Mexico has found that public procurement is too rarely considered as a strategic activity at the sub-national level. With a single focus on regulatory compliance, less value for money is created through procurement. Likewise, minimising the importance of public procurement has opened the window for abuse and integrity failures that have undermined citizen trust in public institutions.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to co-operate with federal states that have realised the strategic role of public procurement in delivering services and improving the quality of life for citizens. Indeed, the State of Mexico is determined to be a leader in reaping the benefits of good governance of public procurement, and we will accompany the State of Mexico in implementing our recommendations.

In this pursuit, there is no time to waste. The COVID-19 crisis is having a major impact on our economies and governments must act with determination to minimise its harm to the population, particularly among the most vulnerable. We congratulate the State of Mexico for such determination and invite other federal states in Mexico to work with OECD to promote better policies for better lives.


Elsa Pilichowski

OECD Director of the Public Governance Directorate

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