Corruption and lack of transparency in AMLO’s government: a constant.
MEXICO (Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad) – The administration headed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador delivered 80.3% of the contracts by direct grant in 2020. A good or service is contracted to a pre-selected supplier by an agency or government.
This type of procedure has been applied in 78.1% of the contracts delivered in 2019. During Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, the figures are lower than those recorded in the present administration, although there was a gradual increase in direct awards.
From 2012 to 2018, the lowest proportion recorded was 62.2% (2014), and the highest figure was reported as 77.7% (2017).
According to an investigation carried out by Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, the bids that have been delivered through this mechanism represent 189,488 million pesos (42.2% of the total), which indicates a greater amount compared to what has been delivered through public bids.
There were 137,809 contracts reported during 2020, according to the Ministry of Finance’s database, of which 110,629 were awarded directly (80.3%). Also, the invitation to at least three people is another mechanism for selecting the provider of a limited-service, which was used in 7,549 contracts, representing 5.5% of the total.
Public bidding is a way to enter into a contract to acquire a good or service, including public works. It is a process in which all interested entities that meet the requirements specified in an invitation and whose essence competes participate. Under this mechanism, 15,379 contracts were awarded last year, representing 11.2 percent.
In the first year of Lopez Obrador’s government, 2019, 78.1% of contracts were signed by direct award, while by 2020, the figure increased to eight out of ten, and bids by public call registered its lowest point. A similar level was reported in 2017, with 12.6%, according to research carried out by MCCI.
Concerning contracts, reported by Compranet, last year, 449.022 billion pesos were allocated, of which 42.2% were awarded directly (189.488 billion pesos).
During Enrique Peña Nieto’s six-year term, from 2012 to 2018, the minimum amount of resources allocated through direct awards was 23.7% in 2014, and the maximum level was reported for 2015, with 34.4%.
Both past and present administrations have indicated that direct awards are for small and minor contracts and that public tenders were the main instrument.
In the case of the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the use of this resource was indicated as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and, given the conditions, forced the purchase of large quantities of medical equipment and medicine immediately.
According to those registered in Compranet, the direct allocations in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and laboratory products, and medical and laboratory equipment and instruments categories increased from 33.597 billion pesos to 51.971 billion pesos.
However, 73% of the increase in money granted to direct contracts in 2020 is not related to items dedicated to the health crisis due to coronavirus, according to the data analyzed by Mexicans Against Corruption.
The category in which the most significant increase is registered is “public works” in the public domain (which includes the properties of public institutions), which explains that together with the category of public works in the public domain (a class that contains works carried out in properties that the inhabitants can use without restrictions other than those established by law, such as beaches, roads, bridges, etc.), they total 41.234 billion pesos, which exceeds the 38.475 billion pesos reported for 2019.
The increase in direct awards during the past year due to the works carried out by the present administration. The main contracting using this mechanism is related to the Mayan Train, one of these six years’ emblematic works.
The government delivered a direct award to ICA Constructora for 25.849 billion pesos, representing 83.5% of the amount given under this mechanism.
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