- On Facebook, many Internet users are indignant at the amounts the government has reportedly spent to seek help from various consulting firms since the start of the health crisis.
- The total would amount to more than 11 million euros for various services, often related to logistics issues, according to this non-sourced document.
- The document and the amounts advanced are authentic: they were unveiled at the beginning of February by the deputy LR Véronique Louwagie, who details the content at 20 Minutes.
- “I am not fiercely opposed to the government resorting to consulting firms […], but the nature of the services calls out to me, ”comments the elected representative.
“Another scandal! Definitely… ”On Facebook, just a few months after the revelation, by The chained Duck and Politico, of the contract concluded between the Ministry of Health and the consulting firm McKinsey to support the government’s strategy for vaccination against Covid-19, many Internet users are indignant at other agreements of the same kind.
“The list of contracts concluded by the Ministry of Health with consulting firms since the start of the health crisis. 28 orders placed with 7 firms. Estimated cost: 11.35 million euros ”, thus affirms a viral message reproduced on several pages.
Each time, this publication is accompanied by a summary table of the “28 purchases made”. There are “logistical support missions” or “implementation [de] information system ”concluded with the consulting firms Roland Berger, Deloitte, or even Accenture between March 2020 and February 2021, for amounts of approximately 50,000 to more than 500,000 euros.
Although these posts do not mention any source making it possible to identify the origin of the data, the latter are authentic: they had been revealed a few weeks ago by Senator Les Républicains (LR) de l’Orne, Véronique Louwagie, which several media echoed each other, including The world.
This summary table can be found in its “communication on the contracts concluded by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health with consulting firms since the start of the health crisis”, dated February 10, 2021.
Joined by 20 Minutes, Véronique Louwagie explains how she was able to obtain these precious data thanks to her status as special rapporteur for the health budget of the National Assembly: “At the beginning of the year, I learned in the press of the orders placed by the National Assembly. Ministry of Health in favor of consulting firms. At the same time, the majority dissolved the parliamentary fact-finding mission on the Covid-19 crisis, to the chagrin of the opposition. As this mission was coming to an end, and it could have done the work that I undertook, it was up to me to evaluate this device. I therefore asked Olivier Véran for the communication of these contracts with the consulting firms. “
“By virtue of my status as special rapporteur, I have access to a certain number of documents and I can even go on site, in the ministries, to consult them. But I didn’t need to do it because Olivier Véran communicated them to me at the end of January. I then proceeded to the study of these 350 pages, by analyzing these 28 orders placed from March 2020 to February 9, the day before the date on which I returned my work ”, continues the deputy LR of Orne .
“These 28 orders are not the only ones”
If the summary table of these contracts has been circulating a lot in recent days on social networks – thanks to its evocation by a journalist on Twitter ? -, it was therefore available online since that date.
But it is not exhaustive of the consultancy services which the State has had recourse to for the management of the health crisis, in the same way as the amount of 11.35 million euros, as clarified by Véronique Louwagie in 20 Minutes : “These 28 orders are not the only ones: they are those to which I had access within the framework of the” health “mission, but Santé Publique France has also placed orders which no longer fall under this mission since. January 1st, so I couldn’t see them. “
The deputy also underlines that “other orders of this type are planned” by the Ministry of Health, without their amount having yet been stopped. For Véronique Louwagie, it is not so much the recourse by a ministry to consulting firms that poses a problem, but the object and the frequency of these contracts.
Services with no real “added value”
“It reflects a great deficiency within the ministry. I am not fiercely opposed to the government resorting to consulting firms to obtain added value on certain issues, but the nature of the services concerns me. Logistical support, the creation of information systems, strategic support… These are operational functions that should belong to the ministry! Not to mention the order placed to request a liaison officer between the Ministry of Health and Public Health France ”, an establishment placed under the supervision of the ministry, she deplores.
While waiting to make a new consultation request to the Ministry of Health “before the summer, to follow the file”, Véronique Louwagie concludes: “More than 10 years ago, during the crisis – much less serious – of H1N1 , the Court of Auditors had analyzed the way in which the funds of the ministry had been used, and at no time did it mention the use of a consulting firm! The fact of having recourse to it, today, to compensate for shortcomings, does not help to reconstitute these skills internally: the more we subscribe to it, the more we become destitute, at the risk of finding ourselves in a situation of dependency. “