The New International Airport for Mexico City (NAICM) is the second largest airport under construction worldwide, and the Mexico-Toluca Intercity Train is the first of its kind in Latin America. Mexico Evalua, an Atlas Network partner based in Mexico City, is attempting to bring accountability and transparency to the procurement process for these and other public works projects.
In 2016, Mexico Evalua launched a program to investigate investments such as NAICM and the Mexico-Toluca Intercity Train. Early on, it was discovered that there was a lack of transparency associated with the agreements of the Mexico City Airport Group (GACM) and its dependencies.
“In Mexico, investing billions in public works has not led to better quality infrastructure, nor do citizens have the services they really need,” said Mariana Campos, transparency and accountability coordinator of Mexico Evalua. “Corruption generates poorly planned public works with low economic and social profitability. We want to increase the value of public works, specifically the projects that have an impact on the lives of Mexicans.”
As a result of pressure from Mexico Evalua, 33 GACM agreements were published along with the establishment of a “working table” including Mexico Evalua, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, GACM and Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad (also an Atlas Network partner). In addition, Mexico Evalua is now part of a technical committee that drafted a new version of the Law on Public Works and Related Services, together with deputies of the National Action Party and the Democratic Revolutionary Party. Mexico Evalua produced 30 articles for this piece of legislation and co-drafted the Reform to the Law of Budget and Fiscal Responsibility initiative, which establishes regulations to improve financial discipline of the federal government.
Atlas Network awarded Mexico Evalua a grant in support of its program on the effectiveness of public expenditure and accountability, which seeks to monitor and evaluate public procurement in Mexico. Going forward, in 2018 – 2019, Mexico Evalua will institute a second phase of the Observation of Public Works Projects, using adapted metrics to promote transparency in states’ use of public resources.