I am currently the Director for Budget Performance at the Ministry of Finance in Mexico. I also lead a team of IT developers working on the Mexican Government’s Open Data Portal, known formally as the “Portal for the Extractive Industries Transparency”, or more commonly as just “The Portal”. I have been working with transparency issues for a number of years, including projects that complement the implementation of the EITI platform in Mexico.
My first interaction with EITI came through my work in the Ministry of Finance. The Undersecretary of Revenue already knew about the EITI thanks to the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Although the EITI was carried out by another Undersecretary, I attended several joint meetings where we discussed Mexico’s letter of intent to be part of the EITI. My section was already involved in budget transparency issues, since Mexico was implementing the open budget data standard in tandem with our implementation of the EITI. We saw that each initiative complimented the other in many ways.
The indispensable participation of government, industry, and civil society is different from the OGP, where the civil society does not necessarily have to be involved. While there is daily interaction with civil society in OGP efforts, it is completely voluntary, and sometimes only the government is involved.
All three sectors will benefit from our new Portal, which focuses on making budgetary procedures and data transparent, friendly and fresh for users. We have developed the Portal following several international standards from the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and the Open Contract Partnership, among others. The Portal features geo-referenced information such as contractual areas, production and projects, and will include data from the Mexican Fund of Hydrocarbons and the Mining Fund. I am thrilled that Mexico will be the first country to be able to track revenues throughout federal expenditures in the EITI Portal.
In addition to work on the Portal itself, we are also encouraging the use of the data by citizens. We plan to raise the public’s awareness of these issues through the use of focus groups, rally competitions, and use of hashtags. In this way, we can add value to the data that has already been disclosed, and encourage citizen participation in oversight of the extractive sectors in our country.