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05 November 2012

New deal for French public administration reform

Last Wednesday (31 Oct), the French Council of Ministers announced a series of institutional changes aimed at giving a fresh impetus to public administration reform (PAR), in accordance with the electoral commitments of the new (socialist) government:
- transfer (back) of the prime agency in charge from Economy/finance/civil service to the Prime Minister's office: the DG State Modernisation staff are transferred back to Matignon (the PM's office) to create the Secretariat General for Public Action Modernisation; to our knowledge there is no official assessment of the five years of PAR under Finance, nor of the reasons for the new setup;
- creation of a supervisory body, the Interministerial Committee for Public Action Modernisation;
- in the detail of the functions entrusted to the new SG, and the announced agenday for the first meeting of the Interministerial Committee, several themes already identified as new priorities are confirmed: the fine-tuning of local government (under the heading of "partnering public policy") including simplifying regulation inside government, and the further integration of electronic services to PAR. Several existing policies are endorsed, like quality of service and legal simplification. The new strategy also intends to place civil service HR higher on the PAR agenda.

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