Home Politics The use of consulting firms by the state, which was criticized by the Audit Bureau for “inappropriate” uses

The use of consulting firms by the state, which was criticized by the Audit Bureau for “inappropriate” uses

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The State Audit Bureau on Monday, July 10, called for clarification of rules governing the use of private consulting firms, with concerns about certain uses. “unsuitable”.

More than a year after the Senate report described it as ‘a sprawling phenomenon’ In the missions given to private firms by the State, the Cambon Street Foundation has advocated practice “better control”.

sequel after announcement

In particular, the court accuses the state of allowing some private service providers to carry out tasks that fall within “core business of management”until Interfering with the decision-making process.

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The practices were denounced in March 2022 by Communist Senator Eliane Essential and her Les Républicains colleague Arnaud Bazin.

“easy way out”

Their report, released a few weeks before the presidential election, embarrassed Emmanuel Macron, singling out his alleged closeness to big names in the field of consulting, such as the American company McKinsey.

In the report published on Monday, the State Audit Bureau considered that the use of consultants from the private sector tends to become “the easy way” To manage with constrained means and deadlines.

sequel after announcement

The financial judges insist: they did not objection in principle to Outsourcing part of the tasks administration. But this outsourcing must find “A more modified and better controlled place among the various tools of the departments to carry out their tasks”they say.

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In 2021, the cost of services requested by the state from consultants amounted to 233.6 million euros, or 0.04% of state expenditures. “These are values ​​an order of magnitude lower than in most comparable countries.”He emphasized, especially Germany and the United Kingdom, the first president of the Court of Accounts, Pierre Moscovici, on Monday during a press conference. The fact remains that between 2017 and 2021, State Council spending tripled.

The state must reorganize internally

The Accountancy Board acknowledges that spending fell to 200.2 million in 2022, the year the circular was created. New Policy on the Use of Intellectual Services. “The circular issued in January 2022 was an indisputable inflection pointPierre Moscovici admitted. But bad habits can return quickly. »

The country has also set quantitative targets to reduce its advisory expenditures: -15% in 2022 and -35% in 2023 compared to 2021.

sequel after announcement

These goals give “helpful sign” but “It cannot replace targeted measures, which are determined after a prior and documented analysis of the determinants of the decision to outsource certain services.”says the court.

Over the summer, the state signs a new contract with McKinsey

In her response attached to the report, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne did not pass judgment “It is not appropriate to specify a more precise doctrine for the use of intellectual services at the interministerial level.”The decision according to the government is up to each ministry.

In addition to clarifying the doctrine of using consultants, the state must continue its efforts to re-employ consulting and outsourcing skills. “when possible” For her agents, she further recommends the court.

within the higher civil service, “We have numerous and competent inspection bodies, we need to mobilize them more.”Supported on Monday Prime 4H Christian Sharpey’s court room.

sequel after announcement

Within the administration, the prime minister argues, “There is no such large amount of skill without assignment.”In other words, idle senior civil servants who could take up advisory roles in place of cabinets.

A bill widely adopted in the Senate in October 2022, and a bill aimed at further regulating the use of special advisers is still pending consideration in the National Assembly.

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