Foreword

The State of Nuevo León is the third-largest economy in Mexico, contributing 7.3% of national GDP in 2016. However, as shown in surveys from institutions such as the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI) and from civil society, there is a high public perception of corruption, which is considered very frequent both at the state (53-54%) and the municipal levels (46%-49%). Nuevo León is therefore seeking to build a sustainable and resilient public integrity system. To this end, the state created a Local Anti-corruption System in 2017 (Sistema Estatal Anticorrupción para el Estado de Nuevo León, or SEANL) to implement, at the local level, Mexico’s National Anti-corruption System (Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción, or SNAC).

This Review assesses the main features of the public integrity system in Nuevo León, benchmarking it with the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity and international good practices. It also provides recommendations and an action plan to leverage ongoing reforms in a sustainable and strategic manner. In particular, the Review analyses Nuevo León’s integrity framework and initiatives to build a culture of integrity in the public administration, as well as mechanisms for providing public officials advice and guidance when they are confronted with integrity-related questions and dilemmas. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the internal control and risk management framework and considers whether Nuevo León’s integrity reforms advance a whole-of-society approach to integrity by effectively engaging citizens and the private sector.

The State Government of Nuevo León has taken concrete actions to demonstrate its commitment to enhancing public integrity. The multistakeholder Council for Strategic Planning of Nuevo León, established in 2013, has set anti-corruption and integrity-related strategic objectives. An ambitious awareness-raising programme for public officials began in 2016 and led to a network of “Agents of Change” (agentes de cambio) within the public administration. The Citizen Participation Committee will play a prominent role in the SEANL, with three of its representatives participating in the Co-ordination Committee, which is the governing body of the SEANL. In addition, Nuevo León adopted a dedicated Whistle-blower Protection Law in 2013, unique in Mexico, to promote the reporting of corrupt conduct by public officials. Further efforts are nevertheless needed to increase trust in Nuevo León’s capacity to prevent and tackle corruption. These efforts would include establishing effective mechanisms for co-ordination among government levels; reviewing the integrity framework to promote a culture of integrity both within the public sector and more broadly across society; and ensuring accountability through a stronger internal control and risk management framework.

This Review was undertaken by the OECD Public Governance Directorate and is part of a series of OECD integrity reviews conducted at the state level in Mexico. The active engagement of sub-national governments is critical for maximising the impact of Mexico’s National Anti-corruption System, which includes co-ordination mechanisms to ensure a consistent application of the system and its policies at state level. It is also critical to build trust in public institutions and improve the quality of public services.

The OECD Integrity Review of Nuevo León, Mexico provides an Action Plan to address the ongoing challenges in creating a sustainable public integrity system in the state, assigning concrete actions, responsibilities and timelines for carrying out its recommendations. By monitoring the Action Plan, the OECD will provide Nuevo León continuous advice and support, helping it to maximise the impact of its integrity efforts and achieve its strategic vision of becoming “the best place to live”.

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Marcos Bonturi

Director

OECD Public Governance Directorate

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