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Contributions of the Zero-Based Budget to the Business and Financial Efficiency of Petróleos Mexicanos

Angélica Tacuba Santos y Luis Augusto Chávez Maza

The article analyzes the Zero-Based Budget (ZBB) and its contributions to the management of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) as a Productive Enterprise of the State (PES). This figure replaced the parastatal company since the energy reform in 2014. This transformation eliminates the exclusivity of the State in the oil exploitation and meant the opening to private capital through associations in exploration and oil extraction projects; creating a more autonomous Board of Directors. In this context, the ZBB (an accounting approach which premise is operational efficiency and business redirection through the strategic management of the budget) provides four principles that could substantially improve the management of Pemex: 1) innovative business strategies; 2) budget oriented towards strategic objectives; 3) investment in value-generating activities; and 4) real-time budgetary control. These followed by long-term savings, costs optimization and investment in innovation. Studying the application of the ZBB for Pemex is justified by the experience of the federal budget that began with this budgetary method in 2016 aiming at the reengineering of public spending, reducing administrative inefficiencies. In the case of Pemex, this finding underscores that the most important condition for inserting it into more efficient management schemes is the reduction of the fiscal burden that annually extracts between 90 and 100% of profits, severely limiting the internal investment requirements. The ZBB is feasible where the driving capacity of a company is affected by managerial or accounting inefficiencies, an aspect that Pemex satisfies after a long history of high dependence between public finances and oil revenues and that explains the size of tax obligations. The paper argues that, if Pemex has proposed to transcend to higher business standards, it is imperative to reduce the payment of taxes in order to promote the best performance of the Board of Directors in managing the budget.

 

Key words: Budget; Zero-Based Budget; Efficiency; Public Enterprises; Petroleum; Petroleum Industry; Mexico

 
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