Monterrey Digital: Digital Government for Municipalities

reformkompassMonterrey is the second most important city in Mexico. The municipality has 1.1 million inhabitants (2000 census), and it is also in the center of 7 municipality cluster that contains 82.1% of the population of the state of Nuevo Leon1. Managing the city on a day to day basis requires its fare share of attention.

In the Fall of 2006, Edgar Olaíz the Mayor of Monterrey was inaugurating the project Monterrey Digital, an important strategic project of the municipal government, shortly before handing over the municipal administration to the newly elected Mayor Adalberto Madero.
In Mexico, local elections are held every three years and since reelection is not permitted there is a new Mayor after every cycle. In this particular case, the incoming Mayor is from a different political party (PAN), which made the process of transferring control difficult and the question was if this program that Edgar Olaíz considered as very important would continue.

Edgar remembered being on the Transition Committee as an advisor three years earlier (he stepped in as a Mayor when the elected Mayor stepped down earlier in 2006), participating as an important member of incoming Mayor Ricardo Canavati’s team. The present municipal administration of the city of Monterrey was inaugurated on October 31, 2003 in the “City Theater.” Back then, during the Transition Period, Edgar had been in charge of documenting the city’s programs as well as the proposals that were being made to the incoming administrative team. The team had decided that the main responsibility of the new administration would be to improve the delivery of public services to the citizens through modernization and decentralization of local government with a more ‘citizen-centric’ view of how said services were to be delivered. This would improve the citizens’ experience when dealing with the local government and would result in quicker and more efficient solutions. Thus, investment in technological solutions would be legitimized by the degree to which it helps increase the citizens’ satisfaction with the services received from the municipality.

In 2003, control of the city was also changing political parties, because the ruling party had lost the city after three consecutive victories. The fact that the outgoing team and the incoming one were from different parties was a primary factor in determining when and how much information was given to the new administrative team during the transition period. The tendency of the old party was to only reveal as much information as was required by law.

Unfortunately it wasn’t until late that October (after the ceremony, around 11 p.m.) that the team actually had access to the municipal facilities and the ability to really assess the current state of IT, the tool by which this modernization was to be achieved.

Thus, not much was done in terms of IT that night, other than changing the municipal web page design and basic information. The next day the team would begin their attempt to decentralize the city’s government. It was clear that technology and administrative reform would be the main tools for this endeavor.


Dr. Philipp S. MüllerDr. Philipp S. Müller



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Müller, Phillip S. (2015): Monterrey Digital: Digital Government for Municipalities. Published in: Available online:


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Monterrey Digital: Digital Government for Municipalities by Dr. Philipp S. Müller. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 4.0 International

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