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AUDIT study: To determine whether federal and state audits increase Mexican municipalities' compliance with a federal grant program to improve municipal infrastructure
ISRCTN ISRCTN22381841
DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN22381841
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier
EudraCT number
Public title AUDIT study: To determine whether federal and state audits increase Mexican municipalities' compliance with a federal grant program to improve municipal infrastructure
Scientific title A randomized trial to determine whether federal and state audits increase Mexican municipalities' compliance with a federal grant program to improve municipal infrastructure
Acronym AUDIT
Serial number at source N/A
Study hypothesis It is hypothesized that audits by federal and state audit agencies will improve Mexican municipalities' compliance with a federal grant program to improve basic municipal infrastructure, including access to piped water, sanitation, and electricity by marginalized households.

The null hypothesis is that the audits have no effect on investment choice and location because they fail to induce a deterrent effect on municipal administrators, or because they do not improve their knowledge of program requirements, or because municipal administrators turnover is so high it blunts the effect of exposure to an audit.
Lay summary Lay summary under review 2
Ethics approval Yale’s Human Subjects Committee, 23 June 2011, ref: 1106008610
Study design Block randomized field experiment
Countries of recruitment Mexico
Disease/condition/study domain Public health
Participants - inclusion criteria We selected our convenience sample using the following criteria:
Stage 1
From the universe of 2,440 municipalities located in 31 states select:
1. States with more than 20 municipalities
2. Municipalities with FISM transfers in 2010 of 10 million pesos or more
3. Municipalities not audited in the previous two years (2009, 2010)
4. Municipalities not amongst the 43 pre-selected by the ASF for the 2011 National Program of Audits

Stage 2
From this selection of 767 municipalities located in 21 states select:
1. States with 5 or more municipalities
2. For each state, rank municipalities in decreasing order of FISM transfers and choose by state the five municipalities with ranks 6 to 10.
Participants - exclusion criteria Does not meet inclusion criteria
Anticipated start date 26/03/2011
Anticipated end date 30/01/2013
Status of trial Completed
Patient information material Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Target number of participants 85 municipalities
Interventions The study will involve 85 municipalities, 5 from each of 17 Mexican states participating in the study. 17 municipalities (one per state) will be assigned at random to be audited by the Federal Auditor; another 17 municipalities (one per state) will be assigned at random to be audited by their State Auditor; the remaining 51 municipalities (3 per state) receive no treatment.

Other than the random assignment the intervention consists of audits carried out as usual by federal and state level auditors.
Primary outcome measure(s) 1. Municipal administrators’ awareness scale: the sum score of observed binary responses to five questions about treatment awareness. The integer measure ranges in the closed interval [0 to 5].
2. Binary indicator equal to one if respondent to survey expects the probability of being audited in 2012 is less than the probability of being audited in 2013.
3. Respondent's perceived probability of being audited over years 2013-2015. The continuous measure ranges in the closed interval [0, 1]
4. Municipal administrators' knowledge scale, the sum score of observed binary responses to 24 items asking about the rules governing the federal Contribution Fund for Social Infrastructure (FISM, in Spanish). The integer measure ranges in the closed interval [0,24].
5. Simple average of subjects' response to the proportion of FISM grant money that ought to be invested (i) outside council seat and (ii) in public goods. The integer measure ranges in the closed interval [0,100]
6. Simple average of Municipal administrators’ perception of (i) municipal capacity and (ii) their experience and perceptions about need for training. The integer measure ranges in the closed interval [0,24].
7. Municipalities' compliance with FISM reporting and data accessibility rules. The integer measure ranges in the closed interval [0,4].
8. Simple average of (i) the actual proportion of investments going to municipal council seat and (ii) the actual proportion going to public goods as reported by the municipality to the federal Treasury. The continuous measure ranges in the closed interval [0, 1].
Secondary outcome measure(s) 1. Simple average of the municipal rankings in terms of (i) number of observations made by auditors during a municipal audit and (ii) amount of refunds to the federal treasury requested.
2. Average municipal observation score measuring the average severity of audit findings. The integer measure ranges in the half-closed interval [0, infinity)
4. Overall auditor opinion of municipal handling of FISM transfers. The integer measure rages in the closed interval [0,4]
5. Auditor diagnostic, a 2 X 11 contingency table counting how federal and state auditors classify observations into 11 diagnostic categories.
6. Subjects' expectations about future political appointments. A binary outcome.
7. Subjects' expectations about future career prospects. The integer measure ranges in the half-closed interval [3,15]
8. Subjects' rank ordering of Superior Federal Auditor as principal. The integer measure ranges in the half-closed interval [1,3]
9. Log yearly change in budgeted gubernatorial FISM transfers, namely the change in the natural log of budgeted FISM transfers for municipality j, in states, between calendar years 2011 and 2012.
Sources of funding 1. Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University (USA)
2. Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy (USA)
3. New York University (USA)
Trial website
Publications
Contact name Dr  Ana  De La O
  Address Assistant Professor of Political Science
Yale University
Room C122
77 Prospect street
  City/town New Haven
  Zip/Postcode 06510
  Country United States of America
  Email ana.delao@yale.edu
Sponsor Yale University (USA)
  Address c/o Ana L. De La O
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Room C122
77 Prospect Street
  City/town New Haven
  Zip/Postcode 06510
  Country United States of America
  Sponsor website: http://www.yale.edu/
Date applied 22/10/2012
Last edited 02/11/2012
Date ISRCTN assigned 02/11/2012
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