Plain English Summary

Lay summary under review 2

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Ana De La O

ORCID ID

Contact details

Assistant Professor of Political Science
Yale University
Room C122
77 Prospect street
New Haven
06510
United States of America
ana.delao@yale.edu

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

N/A

Study information

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

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.

Ethics approval

Yale’s Human Subjects Committee, 23 June 2011, ref: 1106008610

Study design

Block randomized field experiment

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Other

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet

Condition

Public health

Intervention

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.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

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 measures

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.

Overall trial start date

26/03/2011

Overall trial end date

30/01/2013

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant 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.

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Adult

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

85 municipalities

Participant exclusion criteria

Does not meet inclusion criteria

Recruitment start date

26/03/2011

Recruitment end date

30/01/2013

Locations

Countries of recruitment

Mexico

Trial participating centre

Assistant Professor of Political Science
New Haven
06510
United States of America

Sponsor information

Organisation

Yale University (USA)

Sponsor details

c/o Ana L. De La O
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Room C122
77 Prospect Street
New Haven
06510
United States of America

Sponsor type

University/education

Website

http://www.yale.edu/

Funders

Funder type

University/education

Funder name

Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University (USA)

Alternative name(s)

Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies, ISPS

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

academic

Location

United States of America

Funder name

Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy (USA)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Funder name

New York University (USA)

Alternative name(s)

NYU

Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

academic

Location

United States of America

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2014 protocol in: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25185483

Publication citations

  1. Protocol

    De La O AL, Martel García F, Do federal and state audits increase compliance with a grant program to improve municipal infrastructure (AUDIT study): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial., BMC Public Health, 2014, 14, 1, 912, doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-912.

Editorial Notes