President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government remains committed to the decentralization of 32 federal government agencies and entities. However, five years after making this promise and with just one year left in his term, only eight agencies have successfully relocated, accounting for just 25% of the original target.
These agencies, as confirmed through transparency requests, include the Secretaries of Environment, Well-being, Culture, Labor, Energy, and Health, as well as Pemex and Conagua. They have relocated to various states, including Yucatán, Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, Guanajuato, Tabasco, Guerrero, Campeche, and Veracruz.
On the other hand, nineteen agencies have confirmed that they are not in the process of decentralization and lack the necessary resources for such a move. Meanwhile, five others have avoided revealing the status of their decentralization efforts by requesting extensions, leaving their relocation unconfirmed.
These developments are noteworthy considering the federal government’s response, which stated that President López Obrador’s campaign promise “is expected to be fulfilled during the current term of the federal Executive Branch, which concludes on September 30, 2024.”
For instance, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), while partially relocating to Mérida, Yucatán, only transferred its Undersecretariat for Environmental Policy and Natural Resources.
Similarly, the Ministry of Culture, which was intended for Tlaxcala, revealed that it has leased a property in Apetatitlán de Antonio Carvajal but clarified that it would be used exclusively for office purposes, leaving the rest of its staff in the capital.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) reported the commencement of its Federal Representation Office’s operations in León, Guanajuato, as of July 31 of the current year. They also disclosed a total allocation of 2,504,782.92 pesos for the lease of their office space in 2023.
The Ministry of Energy affirmed its continued presence in Mexico City but explained that it has leased offices in Tabasco to comply with the presidential directive on decentralization, particularly for matters related to the sector’s core activities and the Dos Bocas refinery.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Well-being announced the initiation of activities in Oaxaca, with 660 properties relocated. Pemex claimed to have completed its full move to Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, mobilizing 2,458 employees from 11 states across the country since 2019.
Although the Ministry of Health (Ssa) reported fulfilling the presidential commitment to decentralize to Guerrero in 2022, details on relocation costs and the number of staff changing their workplace were not provided. Conagua confirmed that the decentralization process is ongoing and disclosed an agreement for a six-year property loan with 32 million pesos allocated for it.
Among the 19 agencies and entities not undergoing decentralization due to resource constraints, the National Customs Agency acknowledged its intended relocation to Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, but indicated that its central offices remain in Mexico City. Progress toward the move has been lacking, and an investment of 2.35 million pesos has not received authorization.
The National Migration Institute (INM), slated to move to Tijuana, Baja California, explicitly stated that it is not currently engaged in physical relocation or changing its headquarters.
The National Council of Humanities, Science, and Technology (Conahcyt), with plans to relocate to La Paz, Baja California Sur, mentioned a lack of documents, contracts, or agreements related to decentralization and emphasized that no funds have been earmarked or authorized in specific budget items from the Federal Budget for the proposed decentralization process.
National Financial (Nafin), set to operate in Torreón, Coahuila, even revealed an office in that city but clarified its inability to accommodate all employees. Therefore, Nafin has maintained its headquarters in Mexico City due to the lack of public funds to cover expenses associated with the proposed move to Torreón, Coahuila.
Inapesca, expected to move to Mazatlán, Sinaloa, indicated its lack of awareness regarding the administrative decentralization process.
Fonatur, intended for Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit, reported no official notification for the relocation of Fonatur public servants from Mexico City to the interior of the country as part of the federal government’s decentralization plan. Conafor, set to move to Durango, asserted that the National Forestry Commission would not change its headquarters, as it is situated within the metropolitan area of Guadalajara.
The Ministry of Economy, scheduled for relocation to Monterrey, Nuevo León, initially discussed operating in a hybrid system but later confirmed a lack of recorded information regarding the requested details.
Banobras, slated for Cuernavaca, Morelos, had no records of relocation. Infonavit, intended to move to Toluca, State of Mexico, stated that while an office for the director general had been prepared in the Regional Delegation of Toluca, no personnel had relocated to the State of Mexico. The ISSSTE, scheduled for Colima, lacked specific information on office relocation.
Furthermore, the Secretariat of the Function Public (SFP), designated for Querétaro, explained the absence of progress due to an inability to locate properties with sufficient space for office relocation and a lack of budget allocation for the task. The Sedatu, intended for Pachuca, Hidalgo, also indicated a lack of financial and budget-related information regarding the process.
The offices of the SAT, set to relocate to Mexicali, Baja California, and the Conade, designated for Aguascalientes, reported an absence of requested information. The Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT), set to move to San Luis Potosí, mentioned a proposed property provided by the state government for use. However, the Sectur, scheduled for Quintana Roo, stated the acquisition of property by comodato but offered no set relocation date and indicated an absence of authorized resources related to the budget allocation for the change of headquarters.
Lastly, the Sader, expected to move to Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, reported no information containing the requested data. Meanwhile, the CFE, designated for Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, did not proceed with decentralization, as the Federal Electricity Commission maintains facilities in all 31 federal entities and Mexico City.
An additional five entities avoided transparency regarding the status of their decentralization efforts and, despite requesting extensions, failed to respond to EL UNIVERSAL’s information requests, leaving their relocation unconfirmed.
These entities include Conapesca, intended for Mazatlán, Sinaloa; the Subsecretary of Mining, which was supposed to relocate to Chihuahua; the Subsecretary of Livestock, designated for Guadalajara, Jalisco, as well as the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), set to move to Puebla and Michoacán, respectively.