In 2015, Mexico launched a major effort to upgrade its anti-corruption policies and programmes, leading to the establishment of the National Anti-corruption System (Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción, SNAC). As part of this process, Mexico’s 32 federal states were expected to mirror the initiative by establishing their own state anti-corruption systems. However, the commitment to these reforms and progress varies widely state by state.

In this context of reform in Mexico’s federal states, this report presents the findings and policy recommendations of the Integrity Review of the State of Mexico. The review addresses existing strategic and operational gaps, and reflects on what the state can do to improve its anti-corruption policies and institutions. It also makes recommendations for embedding an integrity culture in the public service, positively influencing the behaviours of public servants. The aim is to go beyond mere compliance and create an environment of integrity, backed by solid institutional foundations for elements such as risk management, internal control, and whistle-blower protection.

The review found that the State of Mexico has been a pioneer in the implementation of its anti-corruption system (Sistema Anticorrupción del Estado de México y Municipios, SAEMM) by establishing its Citizen Participation Committee (Comité de Participación Ciudadana, CPC) and Co-ordination Committee early in the process. Dialogue and co-operation in the Co-ordination Committee of the State of Mexico facilitates implementation, which is not always the case in other federal states. Moreover, until February 2021, the State of Mexico was one of only three federal states that had issued a State Anti-corruption Policy (Política Anticorrupción del Estado de México y Municipios, PEA), which was not only developed after a wide consultation and recognised as fully aligned with the SNAC guidelines, but also included a thematic axis on public ethics and integrity, in line with OECD standards.

This progress is also in line with the objective set in the State Development Plan 2017-23 to fully implement the SAEMM. More importantly, the commitment by the State Government to SAEMM helps overcome the trust deficit illustrated in citizen perception studies, such as the one produced by the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía, INEGI).

This review was carried out at the request of the State of Mexico to inform its integrity policies, facilitate innovation, advance implementation, and benchmark its efforts vis-à-vis national and international references. Indeed, the State of Mexico was the fourth federal state in Mexico to be reviewed by the OECD, helping to build the evidence base to guide anti-corruption reforms.

As part of the review process, workshops were held on key integrity policies and considerations, such as managing conflicts of interest, pride in being a public servant, and behavioural approaches, with the support of peer experts from the New York City Board of Conflict of Interest, Brazil’s Office of the Comptroller-General of the Union, and a former head of Colombia’s Administrative Department of the Public Function (Departamento Administrativo de la Función Pública, DAFP).

The OECD will continue to support the State of Mexico in its efforts to improve its integrity policies.

This document was approved by the OECD Working Party of Senior Public Integrity Officials (SPIO) and declassified by the Public Governance Committee on 22 March 2021. It was prepared for publication by the OECD Secretariat.

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