Congress Goes on Untendered Spending Spree, Gives Deputies Huge Bonuses

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Mexico’s lower house Chamber of Deputies pulled out all the stops when it came to spending in the second half of 2021, handing out untendered contracts right and left (well, maybe more left than right) for unbidded-on services and goods in an effort to use up its allocated annual budget.

During the second session of the 65th Legislature on Oct. 14, deputies voted to eliminate normal public bidding processes and issue direct contracts to specific suppliers for a total of 53.7 million pesos, disbursing resources from the 2021 Expenditure Budget and thus avoiding revenue residuals that would have to be returned to the Federal Treasury.

In total, the chamber authorized 14 untendered contracts, and the waiver to the tendering rule was endorsed by deputies from all parties, with the except of the Green Party (PVEM), according to a copy of the congressional minutes obtained by the daily newspaper Reforma.

One of the contracts that was authorized was with the Loragi Integral Architecture company for 8.5 million pesos for the rehabilitation and servicing of stairwells, ramps and platforms in congressional buildings A, B and H of the legislative precinct.

Another 8 million pesos were issued to three untendered providers to contract an alternate internet service in case of technical failures with Telmex.

Untendered contracts for up to 8 million pesos for document digitization and migration services were also approved.

Database license contracts for an amount of 5.2 million pesos were likewise distributed to untendered providers to purchase and renew institutional databases within the Chamber of Deputies.

Also by direct, untendered award, the purchase of new sound, audio and video equipment was approved by the deputies for a sum of 2.7 million pesos.

Meanwhile, during the same session, the so-called Fourth Transformation chamber — led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party and allegedly committed to the concept of his “republican austerity” guidelines to cut excess spending and bloated bureaucratic salaries — voted to give its members an additional 53 million pesos a year in subsidies, with which their benefits now exceed one billion pesos annually.

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