UNDERSTAND IT ALL – Elections of 2017 and 2022: justice investigates the role of consulting firms

Two judicial investigations were opened at the end of October by the national financial prosecutor’s office concerning the intervention of consulting firms during the last two presidential campaigns.

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) revealed on Thursday that it had opened two investigations last October into the role of consulting firms during the 2017 and 2022 election campaigns.

The opening of this judicial information comes after accusations last spring against Emmanuel Macron and the consulting firm McKinsey, pinned in a Senate report. However, the PNF does not confirm whether the President of the Republic is concerned. BFMTV.com details the content of these surveys.

• What are these new surveys about?

The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) therefore opened two separate investigations during the month of October.

The first was opened on October 20 for non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account. This follows multiple “reports and complaints from elected officials and individuals” received by the PNF.

The second complaint was opened on October 21 for favoritism and concealment of favouritism. It follows here “complaints from elected officials and associations” again received by the PNF.

• Why is McKinsey at the heart of this judicial information?

In a press release, the financial public prosecutor Jean-François Bohnert confirmed the opening of these two criminal proceedings, which follow two elements.

There is “on the one hand” first of all the work and the report of March 16, 2022 issued by the Senate commission of inquiry “on the growing influence of private consulting firms on public policies”. The Senate report, which had a certain impact during the last presidential campaign, pointed to the practices of the French entities of McKinsey whose tax structure would have allowed them to pay no corporate tax between 2011 and 2020.

There are “on the other hand” several complaints and reports received by the PNF from elected representatives of associations, unions and individuals.

An investigation had already been opened in the spring for “aggravated money laundering of aggravated tax evasion”. Facts which had given rise to a search at the French headquarters of McKinsey on May 24.

• Are Macron’s campaigns affected?

the Parisian claims that these investigations relate to Emmanuel Macron’s campaign accounts in 2017 and 2022, but the PNF did not name any candidate, the President of the Republic is not mentioned.

In addition, the investigation opened by the PNF for non-compliant keeping of campaign accounts and reduction of accounting elements in a campaign account relates in particular to “the intervention of consulting firms in the electoral campaigns of 2017 and 2022” . According to our colleagues from Mediapartmembers of the McKinsey cabinet were able to volunteer for candidate Emmanuel Macron during his 2017 presidential campaign.

In recent years, the state has entered into multiple contracts with McKinsey and other consulting firms. Between 2018 and 2021, the amounts of these contracts had “more than doubled” according to the report of the Senate inquiry committee, to reach a record of more than one billion euros.

• What is the reaction of the Élysée?

The Presidency of the Republic responded this Thursday to the announcement of the opening of these investigations, explaining that it had “read the communication from the national financial prosecutor’s office concerning the opening of the two judicial inquiries following in particular complaints from elected officials. and associations”.

“It is up to justice to conduct these investigations independently,” finally added the Elysée.

Asked about his links with consulting firms during the 2022 presidential campaign, Emmanuel Macron replied: “if there is evidence of manipulation, let it go to the criminal”.

Hugues Garnier BFMTV journalist

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