The 2017 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Integrity recognises integrity as a cornerstone of good governance. Integrity is essential for economic and social well-being and for the prosperity of individuals and society. By enacting the Law on the Local Anti-corruption System of Mexico City, the Government of Mexico City has demonstrated its commitment to strengthening its integrity system.

The active engagement of sub-national governments is crucial if the National Anti-corruption System is to realise its full potential. Federal states and municipalities in Mexico are responsible for a variety of public services that influence the quality of life and the business environment. Vital public utilities, such as potable water, drainage, sewerage, street paving, public lighting, marketplaces and public cemeteries, are the responsibility of local governments. In addition, local governments have the authority to regulate economic activities such as construction, town planning and business licenses.

According to a 2017 survey carried out by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI), a vast majority of citizens in Mexico City consider corruption to be an endemic problem. The perception of abuse of office and corruption can have devastating effects on citizens’ trust in government. If adequately implemented, the Local Anti-Corruption System will not only fight corruption and increase sustainable economic and social development, but strengthen the rule of law and restore trust in government and public institutions.

The OECD Integrity Review of Mexico City is the second sub-national OECD Integrity Review conducted in Mexico and provides a comprehensive assessment of the local integrity system. It offers policy recommendations to maximise the efficacy of the Local Anti-corruption System. It also calls for sustained efforts to create a culture of integrity, including setting up an effective control and risk management framework, encouraging stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluating integrity policies, safeguarding public procurement and optimising value for money in this activity.

This review examines good international practices that can help guide Mexico City authorities as they roll out the Local Anti-corruption System. It encourages the adoption of an integrity approach based on data and evidence, including identifying priority areas for action and evaluating the system to better inform policy and future reforms.

The main challenge for Mexico City’s government is to translate the anti-corruption laws and regulations into real change. The new system may take time to achieve its full potential, but its real impact will depend on its inclusiveness and on the government’s capacity to create a culture of integrity, not only in the public sector, but in the private sector and in society as a whole.

Mexico City, the biggest metropolitan area in the country, should take a leading role in local governments’ fight against corruption. The OECD is ready to support the implementation of the policy recommendations included in this report and to help to monitor its progress to ensure that they are successfully accomplished.

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