Corruption at the CFE

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals that the CFE has incurred in alleged corruption acts

Corruption at the CFE
Enrique Ochoa Reza led the CFE until 2016 - Photo: Ariel Ojeda/EL UNIVERSAL
English 08/10/2019 09:36 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:43
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The purchases made by governments for its daily operations or to provide services to the population represent an incentive for any economy. In Mexico, the large volumes amount to 15% of the gross domestic product but they also represent the survival of hundreds of companies, especially for micro-enterprise and small businesses.

Despite the positive effects, this process can be overshadowed by corruption or allegations that claim that only a few companies benefit from these contracts. Even when Mexico was fought to make government procurement transparent and to abide by international rules, the country is still consolidating these mechanisms, which still present flaws.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals that the Federal Electricity Commission has incurred in alleged simulations by using social witnesses during tenders for the procurement of projects, assets, and services for the CFE. Social witnesses are citizens who are experts in a certain field and who monitor the tender process, in order to guarantee transparency and prevent corruption.

According to a report issued by the CFE commissioner, which was sent to the President's office, the lower chamber, the Energy Ministry, and the CFE, the social witness is appointed by a CFE subcommittee, which makes it “a judge and part of the process to appoint the watchdog.”

This situation had been taking place for years. For example, in 2015, the CFE announced the tender of 24 infrastructure projects, with an estimated investment of USD $9,836 million. The operation was “armored” through the participation of an NGO as a social witness but now, it's been revealed that this organization received over MXN $6 million for the services it provided to the CFE. Therefore, the conflict of interest is evident.

In the new report, it is advised that the social witnesses are no longer affiliated with a CFE office so that they are monitored by the Administration Council. The CFE will have to fulfill the recommendation to avoid suspicions and manage public resources properly.

Mexico is at a crossroads to eliminate corruption inside the government. Reports such as the one previously mentioned are useful because they allow understanding the areas where there could be a possible diversion of resources. These crimes have to be made public and eradicated.


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