Casino licenses will continue to be audited

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) rejected the petition of Mexican president Felipe Calderón to prevent temporarily the Superior Audit Office of Mexico to make progress in its investigations on alleged irregularities committed by the Mexican Department of the Interior in the previous government, until the constitutional controversy promoted against the House of Legislators is solved.

It was the answer of the SCJN in response to the request demanded by President Calderón, through Segob, to cancel the control of the licenses as long as the trial on constitutional controversy promoted last December against legislators and ASF is not solved, under the argument that the Audit Office does not have the power to revise the licenses granted by the federal government.

ASF, however, will not be able to issue any statement even though it detects irregularities, because ii will have to wait for the Supreme Court to solve if such revisions are constitutional or not.

Such resolution represents a setback for Segob, an entity which, in December 2007, issued a constitutional controversy, on behalf of President Felipe Calderón, alleging that ASF exceeded its faculties. In the resource 32/2007-CA presented by Segob, it demanded the Court to order the suspension of audits until the trial on constitutional controversy 92/2007 is solved.

However, the petition was rejected because its members said that, if the suspension was granted, a crucial Mexican institution for the national legal issues would be affected, and society could be affected, too.

They stated: “Society is interested not only in the continuation and conclusion of control and revision procedures on public accounts, but also in the results obtained by such procedures, and eventual payment of damages and responsibilities by public authorities in case an infringement in the management of public resources is proved, because their task should be performed with total transparence, due to the fact that such resources come from citizens”.

The scope and effects of the suspension granted are just for the Superior Audit Office to continue with the corresponding control procedures, so it may not execute any resolution issued with regards of the audits performed.