© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French Minister of Economy, Finance, Industry and Digital Security Bruno Le Maire leaves after a weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 26, 2022. REUTERS/ Sarah Meyssonnier
PARIS (Reuters) – The French government has over-used consulting firms in the past and is now trying to remedy that, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.
Emmanuel Macron’s government has come under pressure in recent months for its reliance on advisory groups.
Financial prosecutors said earlier this week they were investigating his election campaign as part of a broader investigation into the consulting firm McKinsey and its connections to the president.
“We have gone too far. For many years this government and previous governments have relied too much on consulting firms. It has drifted. This has been remedied by the directive of the Prime Minister. general that all ministries cut the use of consulting firms by 15%,” Le Maire told France 3 Television.
He added that from the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2022, the Ministry of Finance has tried to cut the use of consulting firms by 34%.
Le Maire did not comment on the news that France’s national financial prosecutor’s office has expanded the scope of its current investigation into allegations of tax fraud by the McKinsey consulting group to include the role of the advisory groups in financial fraud. election races in 2017 and 2022.
Macron on Friday said his 2017 campaign finances had been examined and cleared by judges in his first public comments about the investigation.
A report by the French Senate in March 2022 pointed out that the government is “dependent” on consulting firms like McKinsey.