Agreement to shield works poses risks to competition: Cofece

The Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece) warned that the Agreement published this week by the Presidency of the Republic, aimed at streamlining the procedures for the execution of public works considered as national security, poses risks to competition and free competition.

On Tuesday of this week the Executive published in the Official Gazette of the Federation the “Agreement by which the agencies and entities of the Federal Public Administration are instructed to carry out the actions indicated, in relation to the projects and works of the Government of Mexico considered of public interest and national security, as well as priority and strategic for national development ”.

This administrative resource instructs a group of federal agencies to grant the executors of works that are considered national security a provisional authorization of 12 months in relation to the opinions, permits or licenses necessary for their realization within a maximum period of five days. skilful, and in case of not being issued, establishes as a consequence the fictitious affirmative.

Regarding said authorization, Cofece warned that its granting is proposed without exceptions provided that the national security nature of the work is mentioned, although this is not fully justified.

“This could grant asymmetric and preferential treatment with respect to public and private projects, regarding compliance with procedures and requirements established based on risks,” he said in a statement.

And he added that the fact that a work is considered national security does not necessarily pose an exception to be subject to the requirements of the Law of Acquisitions, Leases and Services of the Public Sector (articles 41, sections II and IV) and the Law of Works Public Services and Related Services (article 42, sections II and IV).

“In any case, the use of public bidding should be privileged so that the State is in a position to achieve the best contracting conditions. The exceptions must respond to specific and delimited cases, where there is a clear rationale for danger, risk or alteration to public safety in accordance with the applicable regulations, ”said the antitrust body.

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