Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Aziz Nassif on Local Spending

Alberto Aziz Nassif speculates that the PRI-fueled rise of local government spending will make corruption worse:
It's not a surprise that the new PRI majority in the Chamber of Deputies worked to distribute funds in a feudal manner, not just in the sense that every governor, according to the number of deputies he controls, got his funds...What was a novelty was the disappearance of spending controls. If before there were some established accountability mechanisms on spending, now the locks have been eliminated; now spending commitments won't have to be fulfilled, nor will performance or results be evaluated for the possibility of receiving more funds.


A little while an evaluation of accountability in Mexico was completed, which found that in local government the panorama was the following: accountability mechanisms in local governments are incomplete; there is no link between results of evaluations and actions to improve them; there is no link between information, evaluation, and transparency; there is [not] a network of reactive accountability rules (study from CIDE, Accountability in Mexico, 2009).

To that you can add that the Superior Auditor of the Federation itself has found in state government spending problems such as: "Excessive payment for public works, payment for works that were not carried out, unauthorized transfers (...) interests on bank accounts not reported to finance authorities, improper aid for union sections, improper payments to popularly elected officials, and acquisitions at above-market prices" (Enfoque 812, 11/1/09). Before this panorama it is completely naive, to say the least, that Calderón would invite honest and transparent spending. What does that mean? How much more time will politicians think that they are fooling us with their "democratic" speeches full of good intentions?

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