Mexican Federalism and the Digital Age

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Photo credit: Mexican Symbol by bradleyolin

Mexico, as other many countries is organised as a Republic, with three levels of government (Federation, State and Municipalities), and different branches each (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary).

That system of checks and balances, credited mainly to Montesquieu, is reflected in all terms of organization of the State, including the digital Government.

A small part of that digital Government, is to open, update and manage websites to provide  services and information to citizens. In terms of transparency, those websites play a major role of that “check and balances” principle.

However, before implementation of digital Federalism to all 2443 municipalities of 31 States and 1 Federal District, with their respective congresses and courts, Mexico finds a big opportunity to take the Federal Pact to the information age.

Among the Government domains, you can find www.finanzas.gob.mx (Ministry of Finance to State of Zacatecas), www.mexicocity.gob.mx (Ministry of Tourism for Mexico City), www.benitojuarez.gob.mx (Municipality in State of Veracruz), www.delegacionbenitojuarez.gob.mx (Division of Mexico City), www.encuentra.gob.mx (Google-customized search engine) and www.gob.mx (redirected to the latter), and the list goes on.

On the other hand, there are many cities with similar names. For example, only in Oaxaca we have 16 municipalities called “San Francisco”, 3 municipalities called “Tuxpan” in different States and 48 with the name “San Pedro” throughout Mexico.

Under rules of Registry MX, to register .gob.mx is only necessary to evidence appointment of an officer and make a formal request of such registration. Only registrants are able to make changes to registration. Registry MX is not a Mexican authority nor has ability to challenge or distinguish rules of Mexican Federation. This explains why www.finanzas.gob.mx belongs to the state of Zacatecas, while any other entity could rightfully claim it.

Under Federalism rules, it makes sense that Federation, States and Municipalities, or their congress or courts, make and manage their own registrations. There should not be a centralized registrant. This would break the dynamics of government actions and take over Registry MX purpose.

I agree. We are facing bigger problems like digital TV, broadband access or bidding of new TV channels. Ambitious and titanic projects. However, if as a Federation, we target to reach 55% of homes nationwide with 5 Mbps broadband by 2015, it is expected that part of those citizens receive internet-based services and information.

For all Governments, this is an opportunity to think ahead of what the digital government needs to deliver to citizens in the near future. For the IT businessmen, this is an opportunity to evangelise public sector and get ready before all “San Pedros” come of age, the digital age.

About the author

Alberto Esenaro

I am a Mexican lawyer with experience in technology, energy, automotive, infrastructure and business. Worked for law firms, international companies and Government bodies on business advice, regulatory compliance and litigation.

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About Author

Alberto Esenaro

I am a Mexican lawyer with experience in technology, energy, automotive, infrastructure and business. Worked for law firms, international companies and Government bodies on business advice, regulatory compliance and litigation.

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