from 21st Century Wire:
In France, consultancy firms have been paid billions of euros to advise governments on policies from the coronavirus vaccine, to climate change, and vaccine roll-out, as well as digital transformation, according to a new report released by the French Senate. While the financial sums are staggering, the real scandal is the level of influence on policy that these shadowy corporate actors wield deep inside the halls of government.
The revelations contained in this report are extraordinary, and expose the inner workings of the highest echelons of the French state, in what can only be described as the near-complete corporate capture of the bureaucracy.
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The findings of the Senate report have since been adopted unanimously by committee members on March 16, and will be translated into a legislative proposal, and a trans-partisan bill which has already been announced.
What has been revealed is breathtaking, and opens the door to what could be one of the most consequential scandals in decades.
Summary report of French Senate Commission Inquiry into the Growing Influence of Private Consulting Firms on Public Policy
This article will not only examine the corporate takeover of whole governmental departments, but it will also look at the risk-benefit analysis of government in its liberal use of consultancy services, and outline the danger that lies with such Public Private Partnerships. It will also provide concrete evidence of consultancy firms’ deep and problematic business ties with the Executive Branch of the French Government.
It is important to examine how these powerful consultancy firms underpin a much larger transnational network. This raises a number of important questions: what is the likelihood of conflict of interest taking place, and do they represent a danger to countries’ national security? Are elected officials and civil servants taking a back seat to non-elected private individuals and their companies who are being allowed to steer public policy in favor of a much broader transnational corporate agenda?
After a four-month parliamentary inquiry looking into lucrative contracts granted to consultancy firms like Accenture, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Cap Gemini, Deloitte, Eurogroup, EY, McKinsey & Company, PwC, Roland Berger, and Wavestone, the French Senate Commission has released its findings – and the outcome is rather damming. The inquiry was lead by senators and the French government opposition bench.
The use of consultancy firms by the French administration has more than doubled since the beginning of Macron’s five-year presidential mandate. According to the Senate commission report, a noticeable 45% increase in 2021 has been identified, some of which can be attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many serious questions and findings have emerged from the Senate committee inquiry report, including the likelihood that Karim Tadjeddine, an Associate Director at McKinsey & Company, may have perjured himself during a Senate hearing when according to Senator Éliane Assassi he claimed under oath that McKinsey was paying taxes in France.