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Transparency and Public Administration in Mexico: How the Enactment of a Law Is Changing Culture

Abraham David Benavides
Journal of Public Affairs Education
Vol. 12, No. 4 (Fall, 2006), pp. 461-477
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40215755
Page Count: 17
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Transparency and Public Administration in Mexico: How the Enactment of a Law Is Changing Culture
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Abstract

Recent elections in Mexico, despite their tumultuous appearance, have been more participatory and have reflected progress in Mexico's culture of openness and transparency as opposed to its traditional culture of secrecy and corruption. This article begins by arguing that corruption has long been, by default, a principal element in the administration and management of public services in Mexico and that this moral and ethical situation facilitated the groundwork for the law of transparency to emerge. Transparency, freedom of information laws, and the right-to-know movement are discussed in the context of the Mexican state, and the key elements of the freedom of information law in Mexico and the role of the Federal Institute on Access to Public Information are explored. It is argued that Mexico's efforts are creating a new culture of openness and transparency that will eventually provide a more participatory democracy for all citizens. Finally, the article presents the results of a survey of master of public administration professors on the current state of transparency in Mexico and how the law is changing political and bureaucratic culture there.

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