By VERONICA E. RODULFO BORUNDA, Director of Planning and Innovations in the Municipality of Chihuahua, Task Team Leader of the PEFA Assessment
Located in northern Mexico, bordering the United States, Chihuahua City is both the capital of the State of Chihuahua and the capital of the Municipality of Chihuahua. It is the second most populated municipality in the State, with a population of just under one million people.
Unemployment is very low, at 3.9% as of 2022, and the local economy is promptly recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chihuahua is financially self-sustaining. Over 40% of the income is created from within the Municipality alone, and the remaining funding comes from fiscal coordination agreements with the Federal Government.
The public finances of the Municipality have been rated with high standards in recent years according to both Fitch and HR credit rating agencies and is currently ranked the sixth most competitive city nationwide.
The 2021-2024 Municipal Development Plan outlines a strategy for “Making Chihuahua the most competitive city in Mexico" with citizens center to all efforts on innovative public policies to improve the quality of life in Chihuahua, being currently the sixth most competitive city nationwide according to the Chihuahua City Invest platform.
It was recognized by municipal officials that, “if we want to be the best and the most competitive Municipality of our country, we need to be at the level of the best in the world. In order to know, we needed a baseline.”
The Municipality of Chihuahua decided to use PEFA 2016 Framework and PEFA Climate as a baseline and undertook the first PEFA subnational assessment conducted outside of Mexico City together with the first PEFA Municipal Climate assessment conducted in Latin America.
The PEFA assessment fits perfectly into the outlined learning objectives and helped to identify:
- How does the Municipal Public Financial Management system stack up against international good practices
- How to articulate public policies that may contribute to proper management caring for the environment
- How good and strengthened public financial management translates into strong, well-thought, well-planned and well-executed public policies
The municipal government believes that:
“By being the first in our country, we want to be a model for all other local governments, proving that we can be better, more efficient and more effective for the benefit of our citizens.”
The PEFA Secretariat and a team of external assessors and consultants accompanied and supported the effort through each phase until completing the final report. An Oversight Team was established with extensive experience and knowledge of the Municipality’s processes and laws. This team had the participation of representatives of the business sector, who greatly enhanced the process. With the peer reviewers – PEFA Secretariat, IDB and the State Government a quality endorsement and certainty in the assessment were provided.
The Chihuahua Municipality states:
“Today we are convinced of the benefits. Our 2023 budget has been planned with a PEFA approach. We talk very often about PEFA. The PEFA terminology is part of our everyday City/Municipal administration and management. We are convinced that it is useful.” READ/LEA:
Six months after publishing the subnational PEFA assessment with PEFA Climate, December 8th, 2022, the Municipality of Chihuahua was recognized by the National Confederation of Mexico Municipalities with the national award for good governance in the category of cities with international projection.