It is a law that will be talked about. Three months after the publication of a resounding report on the “dependence” of public authorities on consulting firms, the Senate is putting on the table a cross-partisan bill to regulate the use by the State of these private firms.
This Tuesday, Arnaud Bazin and Eliane Assassi, respectively president and rapporteur of the commission of inquiry into the influence of private consulting firms on public policies, presented their conclusions at a press conference. More than a report, Bazin and Assasi have therefore announced a bill framing the intervention of private consulting firms in public policy, on the still hot ashes of the McKinsey affair.
About twenty articles
The bill includes 19 articles that pursue four main objectives: to put an end to opacity, to better regulate the use of consulting firms, to strengthen the ethical obligations of consultants and to better protect the administration’s data.
The text provides for the publication each year, as an appendix to the finance bill, of the detailed list of State consulting services. Free services from consulting firms would be prohibited. To avoid confusion, they would also be prohibited from using the administration’s logo.
Obligation to master the French language
According to the proposed law, consulting firms would be required to submit a declaration of interests under the control of the High Authority for the transparency of public life (HATVP). The latter, which would have reinforced means of investigation, could impose administrative fines and publish its sanctions.
The text also proposes the obligation for consultants to use the French language. As well as the systematic destruction, at the end of their mission, of the data entrusted to the firms.
As a reminder, under Emmanuel Macron’s first mandate, the McKinsey firm had been entrusted with several missions, including evaluating the national health strategy and monitoring the viability of the computer solutions of the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) within the framework of the reform of housing assistance (APL and 3.88 million euros).
Missions generously remunerated by the state for this American firm, which moreover had not paid any more taxes on the territory for ten years, as revealed by a senatorial report.
The objective of this commission of inquiry was clear: better supervise the interventions of consultants and make them more transparent, to limit their influence on public policies and avoid the excesses noted by the commission of inquiry.