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Mexico Phone Regulator Defends Contracts Awarded to Two Friends

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s top phone-industry regulator said contracts awarded by his agency to two friends were vetted by other officials and had no bearing on policy decisions.

The Federal Telecommunications Commission has 140 contracts with outside suppliers, and all, including two cited today by Reuters in a report, must be approved by the agency’s Acquisitions Committee, Mony de Swaan, the commission’s president, said in an e-mail.

De Swaan approved contracts worth about $200,000 to two people with whom he has personal friendships, Reuters reported today. The contracts were signed in August by de Swaan, who has held his post for 18 months, Reuters said.

“I have 14 years as a public servant that back up my honesty, commitment and dedication,” de Swaan said in the e-mail.

The two contracts were for legal and public-relations services, and both helped further the agency’s goals, de Swaan said. He said he has recused himself in unrelated deliberations by the agency’s board when he has had a conflict of interest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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