Fifteen years ago, I was helping an IT client to close a sale for Supply chain management software. He was very optimistic about the Mexican market and told me a phrase I still recall: “Lawyers, Bankers and Government are the last strongholds to conquer.”
Yes, he was referring to the difficulty of those ones to embrace technology. At that time, the phrase seemed proper to me. Now, lawyers use iPads for depositions, Bankers have implemented mobile systems for payments and Government moves forward at a different pace.
Federal Government has achieved to get rid of red tape through Government 2 Citizen Services (G2C). Mexico City has implemented some important changes and left behind some other, apparently there are not enough funds for speeding up. Here are my two cents on services that I believe would help the City People in their every day life.
1. Public Registry of Commerce (PRC).
PRC is an office in charge of receiving, recording and managing the changes on real estate property, incorporations of companies and professional corporations, as well as mergers, split-off, powers of attorney and other corporate records.
City Government has made a tremendous effort to digitalize old records as from 1869 to date. Three stages has set for this digitalization.
The first was to digitalize real estate files and books with a current 65% of progress. The second stage is to digitalize new records which has been implemented. The third stage is to receive electronic files of records authenticated with digital signature with has been implemented, too.
In the near future may be possible to search and receive electronic records from the PRC. But what if, Government goes beyond usual services and provide value added services such as email alerts notifying changes in real estate and corporations records.
Bond, insurance and financial companies could be interested in paid subscription to changes in records of debtors, as well as third party creditors and future plaintiffs.
2. Citizen Profile.
City Government charges for a variety of services and taxes. Some of them are periodical like real estate taxes, car taxes (where applicable), water and car pollution verification. Some other are triggered by event, like car transfer records, house transfer taxes, antenna installation and advertising duties.
All those filings and payments have to be carried out severally. Some of them can be solved through the internet. Others still follow the old ways.
But what if, you may access a website, create a profile and keep tracking of all those filings, including set calendar alerts, make internet payments, store electronic receipts of payments, access history of filings, receive suggestions of next steps for your filing and make transfer of cars with other users by clicking a few times.
The same could be done for companies and users with repetitive filings, such as advertiser permits, bars owners and installers of telecom antennas to save them literally thousands of hours and money.
All that has to be implemented, obviously, with a system with government-level privacy and security, but will expedite the red tape.
3. Telecom Infrastructure.
On March 28, 2012, Federal Government established general guidelines for leasing its facilities for installing telecom infrastructure of private operators. The objective of the Project “Federal Facilities for Telecom Infrastructure” or “IFIIT” was to increase, throughout the Country, telecom hotels for operators to set antennas, servers and telecom equipment in general.
The IFIIT is running for two months now and the results are not shown yet. Mexican telecom law imposes interconnection obligation to operators, but do not force to share passive infrastructure (colocation). Needless to say that this will gear up telecom industry.
According to 2010 INEGI data (Statistics Institute), Mexico City has almost 4 million internet users. There is no official calculation of mobile users in the City, but may be over 20 million, plus all telecom subscribers.
As such, Mexico City Government owns and leases several facilities that can share with operators.
Leasing part of public facilities to telecom operators may be a smart income for the City. These operations are simple leases and do not require but City permits for some of the equipment (antennas mostly). So, operators would appreciate a package of leasing and antenna license in the same contract with one single office. As an effect, maybe prices for some services will drop.
HERE IS THE PUNCHLINE. These services may be small, but they are great companion to the efforts of the City to be on the edge of G2C services.
Mr. Alberto Esenaro is a legal specialist on telecom and IT in Mexican Law. During 4 years was appointed Technical Secretary of the Comité de Concesionarios del Servicios Local, a non-government body that self-regulates the telecom industry. For his complete profile, please refer to Section ABOUT THE AUTHORS.