miércoles, 11 de septiembre de 2013

Turning back the clock on decentralization....

Tucked away in Mr. Peña's fiscal reform is a move to re-centralize some functions that states had assumed when "decentralization" was one of the few concepts on which all political parties could agree.

During Ernesto Zedillo's presidency, the federal government  began transferring monies to the states so that the states, instead of the federal government, would pay teachers. The federal government also has been transferring monies to states so that states could buy the medicines used by public sector health facilities.

Secretary of Hacienda Videgaray has announced that the federal government will once again pay teachers and purchase medicines, which it will then distribute to the states. In other words, governors will no longer have access to massive amounts of money to use with little or no supervision or transparency, monies with the potential to be employed for political purposes or siphoned off.

Recentralization will effectively control some of the abuse of public funds by governors about which we've been reading so much. It will also give the president more power than his immediate predecessors had.  The PRI is back.

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