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Monday, February 10, 2014

Mexico Outlines New Features in its Transparency Reforms

Presidency of the Republic Staff

As President Elect, Enrique Peña Nieto pledged to promote a reform to strengthen transparency in all branches and levels of government.

(On February 7) the president enacted the Constitutional Transparency Reform to renew the mechanisms of access to public information and personal data protection.

The main components of this Constitutional Reform can be divided into three categories:

  1. Strengthening the right of access to public information.

    Political parties and trade unions that receive public funds, as well as autonomous bodies, trusts and public funds will be bound by the law concerning transparency.

  2. The creation of new, stronger institutions to ensure transparency.

    A new institution that guarantees transparency and access to public information, with constitutional autonomy, is created, whose decisions shall be final and unassailable, except in cases that endanger National Security.

    Moreover, the president added, “The Reform will establish the bases for creating autonomous local bodies, guaranteeing the right of access to public information and personal data protection in all 32 states.”

  3. New powers are established for the national organization tasked with guaranteeing transparency.

    • Declare the unconstitutionality of any Mexican laws or international treaties that violate the right to access to public information and personal data protection.

    • Review the decisions made by local agencies to standardize concepts of transparency at the three levels of government.

    • Establish a procedure to determine the revision mechanisms, at the local level, that warrant this for reasons of national interest or political importance.

    • Standardize the processes for monitoring and filing information on the entities bound by this law in order to improve compliance with the resolutions.

In short, this reform represents a qualitative change since it establishes and coordinates an entire national system of transparency.

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"Main Features of Transparency Reform," Presidency of the Republic, Mexico, DF, Feb. 7, 2014; translation by Presidency of the Republic

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