Among other reasons, these laws were modified following the 2007 World Bank report delivered to the Mexican government in which this international institution explained the virtues and defects of the federal government's procurement system, giving specific recommendations and suggesting concrete steps for its improvement.
Among its conclusions the World Bank explained that the Mexican system was very formalistic and that it was structured as a control system instead of an efficient buying system. Therefore work on specific topics was suggested which would help government procurement in the country reach the efficiency, transparency and value for money levels provided for in article 134 of the Mexican Constitution.
Among the modifications that were passed, the following can be highlighted:
·Invitations to bid: after the modifications, all invitations to bid have to be published in an electronic format through the Mexican e-procurement system, called "Compranet", and any person can download the instructions for free.
·Indications of non-compliance with bid instructions: before the modifications, contracting entities could decide and interpret after the opening of the bids which mistakes would cause, and would not cause, disqualification.
Nowadays, the reasons for disqualification have to be established in the invitation to bid in order to prevent abuse of the system.
·Mistakes and clarifications: with the new amendments, contracting entities are more free to amend formal mistakes in the proposals (such as the number of offered articles or items) if the proposal allows for that possibility. The amendments also allow contracting entities to request clarification of proposals, according to certain rules which are to be issued.
·Framework agreements: before these amendments, these kinds of contracts were not even considered in the Mexican procurement regime. Following the amendments it is expected that the general and specific conditions for the acquisition of goods are better for the State.
·Reverse auction: this is a new tool available in public procurement that is intended to generate very important savings for the State. The very first operations under these schemes have been successfully implemented in Mexico, such as the acquisition of 11,700 tons of mineral coal for CFE, the electricity utility, which in April 2009, made savings of approximately US$80 million according to the press. This tool is just only starting to be implemented in diverse procedures, so its use in this jurisdiction is subject to the outcome of said procedures.
·Contract benefits: the amendments to the laws allow contractors and suppliers to have more acceptable terms in their contracts, such as short terms for payment; the possibility of wider modifications to the contracts; and better conditions on adjustment of prices and budget conditions, etc.
·Arbitration and new dispute resolution systems: for the first time, arbitration and other dispute resolutions are included in the procurement legal system.
·A clearer and more effective regulation for bid protests: the laws now include more specific regulations that do not allow interpretation by the different authorities that solve bid protests and also includes more limited terms for the parties and a very short term for the issuing of a decision by the authority.
The said modifications have been well received and expect to give bidders more freedom in procurement procedures, as well as making the procedures more effective in order to foster the activity of many companies across several sectors.