The federal auditor’s office (ASF) has identified irregularities in the spending of 104.2 billion pesos (almost US $5.6 billion) in 2016.
Most of the money — more than 98.1 billion pesos — corresponds to spending by state and municipal administrations, the ASF said in its final report for 2016 to the Chamber of Deputies.
It warned of “structural risks and vulnerabilities” in the awarding of public works contracts for projects such as Mexico City’s new airport and maintenance work at Pemex’s Tula, Hidalgo, refinery.
Nearly three-quarters of the 1,865 audits conducted reviewed spending at the state level, where “structural problems” continue to appear, including elevated levels of underspending and lack of transparency, said acting chief auditor Juan Javier Pérez Saavedra.
Veracruz topped the list for the second straight year with the largest amount in irregular spending at nearly 20 billion pesos, followed by Nuevo León with 9.8 billion; México state, 7.6 billion; Michoacán, 6.2 billion; and Tamaulipas, 5.4 billion pesos.
Of the 104-billion-peso total, the ASF was able to recover 7.89 billion pesos.
The ASF has filed 1,032 formal complaints in relation to public spending irregularities since 1998, 120 of which have been filed since January 2017.