1. 21st Century Democracy demands that governments keep close communication with their citizens. Citizens require to access information that enables them to know how decisions are made at the different levels of Government so that they may take a more active role in the process of drafting, implementing and evaluating public policy.
2. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) which Mexico has joined with enthusiasm, will allow us to consolidate undergoing efforts we’ve been carrying out over the last few years regarding open Government, access to information and the fight against corruption through the enactment and execution of certain policies and international agreements such as: The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Public Officials in International Business, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
3. The OGP will allow member nations to coordinate existing programs and policies which coincide with the goals that inspired this multilateral initiative in order to: transform the current relationship between governments and citizens; provide more information, and more, useful information; foster a more meaningful participation by citizens in the drafting of public policy; and in the long term, allow citizens to receive quality services from their governments. Both the National Initiative for Government Accountability, Transparency and Fight Against Corruption and the Program to Improve Government Management, prove the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthen the Rule of Law, a culture of government accountability, the fight against corruption and in general, a more effective and efficient government.
4. The Mexican Government is convinced that the fight against corruption and the thrust towards transparency and social accountability are essential for democratic governance and are key elements to promote investment, increase economic competiveness and strengthen the Rule of Law. Because of this, Mexico will focus its efforts on addressing four of the five grand challenges presented by the OGP: improving public services; increasing public integrity; managing public resources more effectively; and improve corporate accountability.
5. By consulting both Government agencies and civil society organizations we were able to draft the Mexican Action Plan that we present today and which acknowledges present imbalances. We acknowledge that bridging these gaps constitutes a challenge, a commitment and a key element of this Action Plan.
6. Putting together this Action Plan required dialogue, work and commitment between several agencies, mainly among those of the Federal Government, and also by public corporations in the energy sector, telecommunications regulators, the Government Accountability Office and the Central Bank.
7. In order to draft the Action Plan within the deadline set in the official announcement, public consultation was limited to the branches of the Federal Government and a few civil society organizations which by their own initiative are already working on issues of budget transparency and citizen participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies.
8. This Action Plan presented today before the OGP Steering Committee compiles actions currently being carried out in Mexico. Their compatibility with the objectives of the Open Government Partnership is to be noted.
9. Commitments herewith contained adequately reflect civil society´s concerns and demands. With access to information, transparency, accountability and the proper use of information technologies we aim to build better governments that make communication and decision making easier, that generate knowledge and strengthen governance. Open governments for strong citizenship and citizens. Mexico takes up the challenges posed by this initiative and commits to informing other member nations of its progress while, more importantly, being accountable to its citizens.
10. Mexico expresses its full willingness and engagement to promote the Open Government Partnership in all international forums in which it participates and where the challenges addressed by the Partnership are discussed. This is an integral commitment of Mexico’s Action Plan.
11. Following the constitutional amendment that recognized the right to information as a fundamental right, a legal framework has been developed that has both incorporated international legal instruments and also built institutions, drafted new legislation and implemented public policy that is based on the driving principles of open government.
12. These basic principles coincide with the sources of our domestic efforts, carried out under our National Development Plan 2007-2012, the Program for Government Accountability, Transparency and Fight against Corruption, the Program to Improve Government Work, and other public policies which are now delivering results at the Federal level of Government, amongst which the following should be noted:
Improving Public Services
13. Improving Public Procedures. Procedural transparency is strengthened. The Federal Government has concentrated its efforts on developing its institutional capacity by means of 1,371 improvement projects in 90% of the branches and offices of the Federal Government, as well as a regulatory overhaul that eliminated 40% of Federal procedures and 45% of unnecessary legal provisions while simplifying a third of these (3,549) in 9 general application manuals.
14. Citizen Website (www.gob.mx).
This website, now operational in the first of three phases, is a search engine that contains an indexed registry of all Mexican Government information. This tool allows any citizen to find official information related to services provided by Government.
15. Inter-operational and open data agreement. This agreement is the cornerstone of the new e-government policy adopted by Mexico since it will allow for the development of software that will make possible interoperable digital exchanges, as well for the publishing all public data classified as such by law.
Increasing Public Integrity
16. Targeted Transparency. The Federal Transparency and Access to Government Public Information Act guarantees access to public information and enables citizens to request it from any branch of Government. In order to achieve the statute´s goal, the Federal Government has a transparency policy regarding socially useful information which allows the identification, systematization and publication of information that enables citizens to make better decisions in order to avoid possible risks or to address problems regarding matters such as: safety; health; personal finances or the supply of public assets, products and services.
17. Transparency in decision-making matters of the Central Bank, specifically factors that influence resolutions to be adopted and how it functions, through the publication of meeting minutes of Government Board meetings that deal with monetary policy.
18. Ethics and Integrity Framework. In order to reaffirm values within the public sector, the Federal Government Code of Ethics was enacted, the Federal Law of Administrative Responsibilities of Public Servants was reformed and each Federal body of Government issued its own code of conduct. Likewise, to foster the legality and public responsibility of public servants, a workshop designed in conjunction with the National Strategy Information Center is currently being implemented. The workshop furnishes all participants with technical elements as well as skills to successfully cope with potential conflicts of interest.
More effectively Managing Public Resources
19. Government procurement. The Federal Government has overhauled its public bidding process from an administrative control mechanism into a strategic mechanism in order to better manage public resources. It has developed a consolidated bidding process and transversal agreements in addition to redeveloping the Electronic System for Public Biddings (CompraNet) in order to boast a completely digitalized public bidding process.
Increasing Corporate Accountability
20. The Mexican Government in concert with several law associations, the World-Pact of the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce—Mexico designed an Entrepreneurial Ethics Workshop to show the private sector and its working professionals the international tools at their disposal to fight private sector corruption, as well as to publicize available tools to implement greater internal controls through ethical bases and a compliance program. The first workshop was held in May 2011 with representatives from the pharmaceutical, transportation and energy sectors.