Emmanuel Macron, who is running for a second term, did not expect that the McKinsey case would pollute the final days of his campaign and force his advisers to give explanations about the reasons why he and his government resorted excessively to this American company that specializes in providing advice to private companies and governments in various fields in exchange for huge sums of money.
That happened after the French Senate had published a report in which it revealed the extent to which the French ministries depended on international companies that provide advice instead of resorting to local companies and French specialists, according to a report published by France Press Agency (AFP) on Sunday.
Macron’s advisers take seriously the accusations that he relied excessively on international companies specialized in providing advice without paying these companies in full their taxes.
The McKinsey case was revealed on March 16, when the Senate published a report revealing the “reliance” of Macron and his government on private consulting firms, including the US firm, McKinsey, which specializes in providing advice to governments and private companies. While this company was accused of “maximizing tax benefit” in France and “not paying the taxes in full.”
For example, the report showed that expenditures allocated by some French ministries in the field of consulting rose from 379.1 million euros in 2018 to 893.9 million euros in 2021. This angered senators who conducted an investigation to understand the implications of this case.
The US “Politico” website was the first to publish on January 4, 2022 an article entitled “Slowing the Vaccination Campaign Against the Covid-19 Epidemic,” which stated that the McKinsey Consulting Office may be present in about 60 countries around the world. In France, its offices are located in the cities of Lyon and the capital, Paris.
McKinsey provides advice to private and public companies and in several fields. But according to the report of the Senate, “The government of Jan Castex has greatly overused the services of the McKinsey office,” noting that expenditures in this area amounted to 893.9 million euros in 2021.
The consultations provided by McKinsey included several sectors, such as the housing sector (3.8 million euros) and health (supervising the vaccination campaign against the Covid 19 epidemic with 12.3 million euros), in addition to organizing an international forum at the request of the Ministry of Education that cost 496,800 euros, but was canceled in Ultimately due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The French opposition sharply criticized the consultancies carried out by the company “McKinsey” and said, “It does not benefit the French economy and is not important.” This company was also criticized for its tax practices, as it did not pay all the taxes that it should have paid to the French public treasury.
According to “Le Monde” daily, a large number of consultants who were working in the US company “McKinsey” participated for free in Macron’s election campaign in 2017. After Macron’s victory in the presidential elections, they were appointed to several administrative and government positions.
Macron defended his position last week and tried to quell the controversy sparked by the McKinsey scandal. He stressed that the use of companies specialized in consulting is something that was used in the time of the two former presidents, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande, noting that “everything he did falls within the framework of the law and legitimacy.”
As for the Minister of Public Accounts, Olivier Desops, he stressed that “McKinsey represents only 5 percent of the expenditures that the state has devoted to consulting and strategy.”