Esta revista forma parte del acervo de la Biblioteca Jurídica Virtual del Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM www.juridicas.unam.mx http://biblio.juridicas.unam.mx Plata Córdoba Study made by the OECD about the budgetary process in Mexico 221 Revista de Administración Pública OECD, Study made by the OECD about the budgetary process in Mexico. Paris, Ediciones OCDE, 2009, 170 pp. ISBN 978-92-64-07342-5 Erika Plata Córdoba It is about the Report made by a group of experts and officials, formed by Teresa Curristine, Eduardo Aldunate, Richard Emery, Philipp Krause and Agustin Redonda. The study was finished on the month of June, 2009. Its reading is quick and shows in a very clear way how the budgetary process amendment has been taking place during the last decade in Mexico. It is a highly recommended lecture for every public server, but most of all, for those who are new in the job. Its structure consists of five chapters. In the first chapter, it talks about the fiscal performance of the Mexican economy and the challenges to be faced. The second one is centered in the budget creation process. Chapter three analyzes the role of Congress in the budget process; while the fourth one studies the execution process of the budget, and on the last chapter, the establishment of a new budgetary model according to the performance evaluation and administrative improvement is revised. The content of the first chapter deals with the structure of the Federal Government and the particular characteristics of the fiscal federalism. It is mentioned that the budgetary balance measures have gone through two important amendments. Both had the purpose of ending with the fiscal challenges, such as reducing its dependency on oil income, improving the economical growth rate, increasing the tax revenue as well as efficiency and performance of government spending and strengthening the fiscal federalism. All of these, in contexts controlled by financial crisis and global recession. DR © 2010. Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública, A. C. Esta revista forma parte del acervo de la Biblioteca Jurídica Virtual del Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM www.juridicas.unam.mx http://biblio.juridicas.unam.mx 222 Revista de Administración Pública XLV 1 On the second chapter the process of budgetary creation is described. It begins by describing the structure of the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit and its main activities. The function of the President of the Republic is mentioned in detail as well as his relation with other State Secretariats and the CONEVAL (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social). The annual process, content and structure of the budget are detailed in a very clear way, as well as the main fiscal laws, the economic aspect and short term expenditure, the long term sustainability. It concludes that the creation process of the budget shows acceptable function levels and the following recommendations are made: To establish a more integral frame of mid-term expenditure which improves planning and offers more stability to the government`s fiscal framework; to specify restrictions to the budget limits but only when it is possible to facilitate the appropriation of resources to the secretariats and to the managers of programs with the sole purpose of strengthening its performance; to contribute in improving the fiscal sustainability with generation and employment of long term prognosis; consider the possibility of financing investment programs upon multiannual basis; improve the budget presentation and continue with the creation process which is centralized by the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit. The analysis of the approval stage of the Expense Budget of the Federation and the central role of Congress are mentioned in detail on chapter three, in which there is also a brief description of the Mexican political system and the structure of its parties. This part of the text is very interesting due to the formulations made around de legislative approval cycle, the role of the presidential veto and the function of the Superior Audit of the Federation as the technical supervisory instance. Among the recommendations which are given in this aspect, we can mention the possibility that the Congress assumes a greater commitment with the introduction of a budgetary process based on performance; to establish an informal advisory committee about the budgetary amendment and that the Superior Audit of the Federation must consider the possibility of generating more efficient and easy to understand information. The fourth chapter analyzes the execution of the budget and the financial negotiations considering the layout process, the structure of assignments and the relative budgetary flexibility. It also deals with government accounting issues, specifically, the Integral System of DR © 2010. Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública, A. C. Esta revista forma parte del acervo de la Biblioteca Jurídica Virtual del Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM www.juridicas.unam.mx http://biblio.juridicas.unam.mx Plata Córdoba Study made by the OECD about the budgetary process in Mexico 223 Government Accounting. It is interesting to observe the description made by the authors about the internal control as well as the audit, because a little analysis about the Career Professional Service Law and the results obtained five years since it was put into force. Last, it also informs about the government acquisition process. In reference to the specific recommendations in these issues, it is suggested to analyze the budgetary execution functions to improve the discretional capacity and flexibility of the officials in charge of the budget; generate realistic expectations around the temporary horizons and the future challenges in the management of the implementation process of the accounting amendment; that the internal control facilities should take care of improving programs instead of carrying out fulfillment audits. They also insist that there should be an evaluation of the implementation and results of the Career Professional Service Law and last, but not least, to make emphasis in strengthening the performance management in the functions of personnel, acquisitions and regulation of the Mexican government. Chapter five analyzes the most recent amendments about budget and management according to performance. They are taken as the most recent background to the establishment of the Performance Evaluation System (SED), PROMAP and PRONAFIDE. Details are offered about how the SED has two basic components: the first one refers to the evolution of the programs and politics related to the budget; the second one to the evaluation of management process. It also includes a brief description of the Logic Framework methodology and how it was used in Mexico to generate Result Indicator Matrices (MIR) and for this certain specific outlines as well as a training campaign have been established. The chapter concludes with the analysis of the mechanism established for the result presentation of the evaluations made to the federal programs in a semaphorization system developed by the CONEVAL and it mentions how performance results have begun to be used for making budgetary decisions. It is in the final chapter where the main conclusions of the study are mentioned, like future challenges for the establishment of a budget based on results. Among them, the improvement of industrial cooperation and coordination is highlighted, mainly between the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit and Public Function with DR © 2010. Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública, A. C. Esta revista forma parte del acervo de la Biblioteca Jurídica Virtual del Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM www.juridicas.unam.mx http://biblio.juridicas.unam.mx 224 Revista de Administración Pública XLV 1 the CONEVAL, to improve the quality and meaning of the information about performance and integrate it to the budgetary process; to go from fulfillment, to a performance point of view, transforming culture as well as behavior of the public officials. It is important to mention that the authors of the study make an implicit recognition to the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit leaving aside the participation of the Secretariat of Public Function, even though it has the faculty and structure which are directly related with the issues studied. DR © 2010. Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública, A. C.