The CNEP reported to Congress on the principles that should be included in the bill creating the Agency for Quality of Public Policies and Productivity.

The CNEP reported to Congress on the principles that should be included in the bill creating the Agency for Quality of Public Policies and Productivity.

Rodrigo Krell, executive secretary of the National Commission for Evaluation and Productivity (CNEP) along with the Ministry of Finance’s State Modernization Coordinator, Rodrigo Lavanderos, participated yesterday in the session of the Finance Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, which will analyze in its first stage of processing the bill that creates the Agency for Quality of Public Policies and Productivity. In the meeting, Krell provided  information regarding the functioning, purpose, and details of the work carried out by the CNEP.

Rodrigo Krell, while expressing gratitude for the invitation to participate in this session, explained that the CNEP is a technical, independent, and permanent entity created in 2015 through a supreme decree within the framework of a set of measures included in the Productivity, Innovation, and Growth Agenda.

He emphasized that this regulation was modified in 2021 “since its original functions, related to generating studies and proposals to improve productivity, were expanded to also contribute to strengthening the quality of regulations and the evaluation of public policies,” he added.

“One of the main characteristics of the CNEP is its autonomy and independence from the current government. In this sense, the particularity is that its recommendations are based on technical analysis, evidence, and best local and international practices, so they do not respond to government instructions. The authority has the power to request which issue to investigate but not to indicate what to propose or recommend,” he warned.

He noted that the bill establishing the Agency for Quality of Public Policies and Productivity offers an opportunity to implement significant enhancements to the state’s public policy evaluation system and strengthen the institutional framework of the CNEP. He cautioned that in the upcoming days, the council of the entity will convene with the Undersecretary of Finance, Heidi Berner, to delve into the guidelines and scope of the project and thereby offer necessary proposals and contributions within the context of its discussion.

It should be noted that the CNEP’s considerations, findings, and recommendations are communicated publicly after being studied, analyzed, and defined by the members of the entity’s council.

On this occasion, Rodrigo Krell emphasized that, at present, it’s feasible to “convey certain considerations for which the CNEP has maintained a consistent stance since its inception and others that should be highlighted by the executive secretary due to his leadership role in the institution’s technical team.”

In this context, he clarified that “the principles that the CNEP deems pertinent to be emphasized and at the forefront of the ongoing discussion relate to the technical and independent nature of the entity, ensuring access to information, continuity, strengthening the current productivity-focused approach, budgetary stability, and the presence of an appropriate organizational structure.”

Regarding the technical and independent nature, he specified that “one of the factors that have allowed the CNEP to gain space and influence in public discussion is to be and appear independent. Our findings and recommendations are based on the honest interpretation of the best available evidence. ‘They can tell us what to do, but not what to say,'” he pointed out.

He explained that access to administrative information, which other public bodies have, has been one of the most critical obstacles the CNEP has faced in carrying out some of its studies. As it was created by decree, we do not have the authority to demand the delivery of data that our role requires.

Regarding the continuity and strengthening of the current focus on productivity, he stated “the addition of a significant number of functions and the expansion of the focus should be done carefully to maintain, hopefully, raise its impact on the promotion of policies favorable to productivity.”

Regarding the budget’s sufficiency, he detailed that “the addition of new functions, which are expected to be exercised better than at present, must be accompanied by sufficient resources to carry out the work entrusted to it.”

Referring to an appropriate organizational structure (collegial governance, civil service, etc.), he indicated that “currently, all the executive secretariat staff are hired on a fee basis. This situation must be addressed, and the new agency must be provided with a suitable organizational structure.

Regarding the reasons for productivity stagnation, he reiterated that “although there is no silver bullet that solves everything, there are numerous reforms, none of which have the potential to reverse the deceleration of productivity on their own, but together would significantly increase productivity.

In this context, he referred to the results of the pilot implemented by the Ministry of Health (Regional Resolution Centers, RRC), which, following 20 recommendations from the CNEP, has allowed an increase of 58% in daily surgical treatments in 2024. He also recalled that a few weeks ago, the CNEP participated in the Senate’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee to present its considerations regarding the bill under consideration, which modifies the laws on the Promotion of Merchant Marine and Navigation and aims to promote competition in the coastal shipping market, a topic on which the entity recommended in 2018 to liberalize said market and thus promote competition.

Finally, he detailed the impact of recommendations proposed by the CNEP between 2015 and 2020. “In that period, close to 500 recommendations have been made, of which 32% have been accepted to a greater or lesser extent. 11% are fully complied with, 9% with high compliance, and 11% with partial compliance. At the same time, 26% of the definitions are pending (under study), and 42% have not been fulfilled,” he concluded.