Almost 500,000 euros for the preparation of the seminar. McKinsey was singled out again following a Senate hearing Wednesday, Jan. 19, between two of its executives as part of a commission to investigate the influence of consulting firms. McKinsey France deputy director Karim Tajeddin was interrogated by communist senator Elian Assassi, among other things, about a €496,800 contract awarded to the National Education. The manager was satisfied with the mention of the organization “seminar” behind “reflect the main trends in the development of education”.
6 – Karim Tajeddin: “It was about supporting the Inter-Ministerial Office for Social Transformation in organizing a seminar on the evolution of the education sector.” pic.twitter.com/nE0zfacxUK
— Senate (@Senate) January 19, 2022
The Deputy Director of McKinsey France also described “benchmarking, comparative work” development of the teaching profession and education systems in Europe. “In This Reflection”, says Karim Tajeddin, accompanying the Inter-Ministerial Office for Public Transformation (DITP), which is subordinate to the ministry of the same name. Created in 2017, DITP acts as a one-stop-shop for ministries, with the exception of the Ministry of Defense, and its role is to coordinate the overall system of orders placed by various ministries.
The Ministry of National Education confirmed to Franceinfo that in January 2020 it approached the DITP to obtain international comparison elements with a view to hosting an international symposium scheduled in three months at UNESCO. Half of the cost was covered by this ministry and the other part was provided by DITP. McKinsey’s mission was to provide “clarifying the position/role of the teaching profession in the reference countries”and also on top “separate components of the operational functioning of foreign school systems”.
ButThe sum of half a million euros was contributed by the rapporteur of the commission of inquiry, Senator Eliane Assassi, who is currently drafting the various purchase orders signed by the ministries.
A source familiar with the situation explains to Franceinfo that “these fees covered three months of mobilizing a project team of six and mobilizing employees in fifteen countries.”. This work resulted in a 200-page background document organized around several themes (learning conditions, interest in innovation in education systems, new management practices, etc.). “For three years, this was McKinsey’s only contract with National Education.”continues this source on condition of anonymity, while specifying that the company usually applied a discount “not less than 25%” by state order.
The symposium was finally canceled due to Covid, resulting in “reorientation of work, which eventually lasted until the end of June, without changing the original budget”clarified Amelie de Montchalin, Minister Transformation and public service, on hearing. Therefore, this work was useless. But Amélie de Montchalin ensures that the McKinsey document has found a second life at the end of the year thanks to “preparation and writing” report of the Scientific Council for National Education (CSEN) “What kind of teachers in the 21st century?”.
An opportunity to finally make investments profitable? Not really, according to the lead author of this 120-page document, Yann Algan, professor of economics and Dean from the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs : “This is the result of my research work, in particular on the problems of cooperation in teaching methods”he explains to Franceinfo, “and the work of my colleagues like Stanislas Dehane on the benefits of education”. In the last part, which presents a comparative analysis (comparative analysis) of management methods, Yann Algan considered “several graphs provided by McKinsey in his paper, but this is a very small percentage of the report”, he considers. Moreover, to our knowledge, the firm’s contributions were rated 3/5 by the DIPT.
This constant use of private consulting firms irritates many. “It is not clear that the ministry should look for third-party firms, especially for such amounts.Sophie Venetitai, General Secretary of Snes-FSU explains to franceinfo. We already have the skills.” The National Center for the Study of School Systems (Cnesco), an independent body, is committed to supporting school practice policy. And every two years, the Department of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance (Depp) releases a comparative report on education in Europe – latest dates from 2020. “We couldn’t contribute to the mission.”however the service responds, “Because Depp doesn’t have an international benchmarking mission other than statistics”.
In addition to competency issues that can be discussed, the use of private consultants is sometimes motivated by lack of time. And whatever the reasons that prompted this appeal, this mission “carried out in strict accordance with [la règle du] youourniquet, which allows you to apply to different companies without choosing one or the other”, claimed Amélie de Montchalin. Senator Arnaud Bazin, however, reminded the minister that McKinsey had won eleven contracts with the state for a total of 13.5 million euros…
Another example struck the members of the commission of inquiry precisely: a bill from McKinsey 235,620 euros for the development of a manual for telecommuting in the public service for managers. “It was a big problem for the administration”– Amelie de Montchalain justified herself, – the ministerial order was given before her arrival. “It was work to accelerate our ability to implement our work culture. Subcontractor [donc] used to see how best practices are applied in other organizations.” The minister clarifies that the two documents available here are now used by local authorities, public employers and will be updated by the administration.
While media-friendly, McKinsey is just one example of government-recognized groups such as Citwell, Accenture… Between 2018 and 2020, ministries spent an average of 140 million euros annually on advisory services . (except IT). Asked by Franceinfo, commission rapporteur Eliane Assassi (PCF) denounces “drifting”even “advocates for layoffs of civil servants”. It also raises questions “public spending, opacity and sovereignty – because of the data at stake.” And he is surprised at the influence of these operators.“These are political topics given to private offices, but this is the role of ministries and administration.”
“It is not absurd to reform the state, to have an outside view.”agrees UDI senator from Orne Natalie Goulet, “mBut then the connection between need and quantity should be considered with greater attention. Rise up against “astronomical” engaged and “possible conflict of interest”elected official believes that “the minister was caught by the patrol.” The government promises to move forward on the case. “We have learned the lessons of the health crisis”assured Amélie de Montchalin, “seeing that we sometimes used outside consulting firms because we didn’t know where we had the skills or because there just wasn’t enough of them.”
Therefore, during her hearing, the minister announced the forthcoming signing of a circular by the prime minister to establish new rules. “All purchase orders over €500,000 must be approved by a commitment committee chaired by the general secretary of the relevant ministry.”, commented Amélie de Montchalin. In addition, the ministries will have to prove that they do not have internal funds to fulfill the mission entrusted to the consulting firm. Finally, she announced obs that they will have to decrease this year by “at least 15% of their expenses for strategic and organizational consultations..