Mexico to follow global transparency model for new airport work

Activists say data currently available on public contracts in Mexico is incomplete.
Activists say data currently available on public contracts in Mexico is incomplete.

By Michael O’Boyle /Reuters

Mexico’s government, tarnished by a conflict-of-interest row over its links to public contractors, said it would follow new global transparency standards in awarding bids for a $13 billion airport.

President Enrique Pena Nieto told government officials and transparency advocates from around the world that he would increase efforts to shed light on public procurement practices.

The new Mexico City airport will follow the “open contracting data standard” designed by World Bank officials and transparency experts and is the first project of its size to apply the measure, he told a conference in the capital.

As a global standard, it would enable independent auditors to scrutinize better how the project is executed.

Implementing the new standard would be a “paradigm shift,” said Eduardo Bohorquez, director of watchdog Transparencia Mexicana. The measure would require information to be released on the planning, the tender process and implementation.

Public information is currently only available on the tender, and analysts complain data is incomplete.

“Let’s see what happens, but as a starting point this is good news,” Bohorquez said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/29/mexico-airport-idUSL1N12S41220151029

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