French Finance Minister says government relied on consultants

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French Finance Minister says government relied on consultants

PARIS Reuters - The French government has made excessive use of consulting firms in the past and is now trying to correct that, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

In the past few months, Emmanuel Macron'sMacron's government has been under pressure for being too dependent on consulting groups.

Financial prosecutors said earlier this week that they were investigating his election campaign as part of a wider investigation into McKinsey's links to the president.

We went too far. For years, this government and previous governments relied too much on consultants. Le Maire told France 3 television that all ministries must cut by 15% the use of consulting firms, as per the Prime Minister's instruction.

He said that the Finance MinistryFinance Ministry had for example cut its use of consultants by 34% between the first half of 2021 and the first half of 2022.

Le Maire did not comment on the news that France's national financial prosecutor's office has widened the scope of an existing probe into alleged tax fraud by McKinsey to include the role of consultancy groups in the 2017 and 2022 election races.

Macron said in his first public comments about the probe that his campaign finances were cleared by judges in 2017 and checked and cleared by judges.

A report by the French Senate in March 2022 pointed out that the government was dependent on consulting firms such as McKinsey.