08/03/11 – According to Elizabeth Yáñez, the Under Secretary of Citizen Attention and Normativity for the Ministry of Civil Service (Subsecretaría de Atención Ciudadana y Normatividad de la Secretaría de la Función Pública, SFP), Mexico looses approximately $100 billion pesos a year due to a combination of acts of corruption and inefficiency by public servants. Reports indicate that this loss is equivalent to 14% of the budget for public hiring. Yáñez discussed how the Federal Anti-corruption Law, which punishes government officials who are found guilty of engaging in acts of corruption and bribery as well as businesses that act in an unethical manner, attempts to dissuade individuals from partaking in such acts by imposing sanctions. From 2007 to 2011, a total of 36,841 sanctions were imposed against public servants found in violation of the act. Despite the numbers, Yáñez critiqued the law, arguing that these sanctions are very minimal in nature and do not necessarily prevent the accused from repeating similar actions in the future. In her opinion, more aggressive sanctions should be imposed so that officials are discouraged from engaging in such actions in the first place. Yáñez stated that if such policies are followed, it is possible for the government to save approximately the same amount of money that it has lost in recent years.
In response, the president of the Public Service Commission (Comisión de la Función Pública), federal representative Pablo Escudero, has suggested that current anti-corruption reforms should be reviewed extensively to determine which processes are more successful at “eradicating acts of corruption and impunity within the government.” A full review will also determine if these laws are in fact counterproductive and have in reality been increasing corruption in Mexico.