Mexico has signed new agreements on public procurement and has undertaken new strategies in this area, but still maintains a certain degree of opacity.
The Mexican federal government stated that its main objectives are to ensure that public spending is carried out under the best conditions for the State and that practices that prevent the efficient allocation of public resources are eliminated.
Therefore, the powers and functions regarding the definition, planning and conduction of public procurement processes, functions that until 2018 were the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Function, were transferred to the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
On the other hand, in 2019 the Mexican government signed an agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for the latter to carry out public procurement processes for medicines and healing materials until 2024, which has allowed it to save 11.8 billion pesos, equivalent to 20% of the budget programmed for 2021.
Then, given the imperative need to have medicines to face the Pandemic, in 2020 the Health, National Defense and Navy Secretariats, as well as the Institutes of Health for Welfare, the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers and the Mexican Institute of Social Security were authorized to carry out public procurement processes for medicines, medical equipment, diagnostic agents, reagents, surgical and healing materials and hygiene products, as well as all types of goods and services necessary to face the health contingency.
Framework Contracts have also been promoted, based on agreements entered into by an agency or entity with one or more potential suppliers, which establish the technical specifications and conditions that will regulate the acquisition or leasing of services or public works.
These strategies are focused on an economy of scale implemented through the issuance of administrative regulations aligned with the laws and regulations applicable to the matter.
In addition, in 2021, the SHCP’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer issued the guidelines that coordinate the consolidated procurement procedures for the acquisition or leasing of personal property or provision of services and will determine the procurements that must be consolidated by the Federal Public Administration.
However, Mexico still has insufficient transparency in the exercise of resources, as well as in the bidding, awarding and contracting of works and actions.
The areas of opacity are mainly present in aspects such as the high proportion of direct awards.