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Media 062716 Presidencia

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mexican President Vetoes Onerous Articles as for Corruption

Office of the Mexican Presidency

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, exercising the constitutional right to make observations on laws passed by Congress, known as the power of veto, submitted Article 32, subsections b and c, of the General Law on Administrative Responsibilities and 15 related sub-sections, to the Senate for consideration.

These articles state that any individual, either an individual or a company, who spends public funds or contracts with any government agency must submit asset declarations.

This means informing the authorities of all of his or her assets. It also states that all persons working in a company that contracts with the government, i.e., all the workers in a firm, regardless of their role within it, would have to submit these declarations.

Amendments 

The government has listened carefully to the voices that argue that this measure is excessive and would make the National Anti-corruption System inoperative as it would be impossible to process millions and millions of declarations. It would also discourage individuals from providing services or selling products to governments.

Most importantly, it would affect people who are not linked to contracting, such as beneficiaries of the PROSPERA Program or CONACyT grant holders, among others. 

With the conviction that criticism of these articles has shown a very real problem in the operation of the national system, and that this measure would contravene the human rights enshrined the Constitution, by excessively affecting the privacy and data protection of Mexicans and even foreigners who do not live in the country, the President is proposing amendments to strengthen the national anti-corruption system.

“This in no way reduces the authorities’ capacity to investigate and punish individuals acting irregularly in relation to the state.” 

National Anti-corruption System

The National Anti-corruption System provides novel and useful tools for this purpose, such as case by case, contract by contract proof that the individual is not involved in a conflict of interest, as well as penalties that would be incurred for acts of corruption, ranging from sanctions to the dissolution of firms, and, where appropriate, imprisonment. 

The partial observations that have been made are primarily intended to permit collaboration with the legislative branch to strengthen institutions and ensure that all rules adopted by Congress abide by the Constitution.

In order not to delay the implementation of the new National Anti-corruption System, the president has asked Congress to hold an extraordinary period. 

“The Anti-Corruption System is designed by citizens for citizens. Its primary objective is to protect their right to ensuring that the funds provided through their taxes are used in the best possible manner.”

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"Presidential Veto of Article 32 of General Law of Administrative Responsibilities," Presidency of the Republic, Jun. 23, 2016, Mexico, DF; translation by Presidency of the Republic (edited)

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