France went ‘too far’ in relying on consultants like McKinsey, finance chief admits – POLITICO

The French government has relied too heavily on external consultants such as the US firm McKinsey, French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

The statement comes just days after investigators in France launched inquiries into the role the consultants played in the 2017 and 2022 French elections, amid allegations of irregular campaign finance and suspicions that the work carried out by consultants was under-billed in violation of France’s strict electoral laws. .

The Mayor admitted that French governments in recent history have relied too much on consultants. “I readily admit it, and I think we’ve gone too far,” Le Maire told the Sunday in politics program on the France 3 television channel. “Whether it’s this government, previous governments … I think there has indeed been a slippage,” Le Maire said.

POLITICO has previously reported how consultancies such as McKinsey, Accenture, BCG, Citwell and Capgemini have come to play a giant role in French politics, winning billions of euros in public contracts since France came to power. Emanuel Macron. Ahead of his successful re-election bid this year, Macron has come under fire for his reliance on the private sector which has accelerated during the pandemic, with critics saying the trend is eroding accountability and transparency, and also denigrates the capabilities of the civil service.

The French government has set rules to reduce spending on private sector contracts by 15% across all ministries. Paris responded to the controversy, dubbed the “McKinsey affair”, by announcing a flexible cap on private sector contracts that will come into effect next year.

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