August 1, 2021

The reform of the senior civil service is getting started

The reform of the senior civil service is entering an active phase. The team led by Jean Bassères, also managing director of Pôle emploi, will be officially installed by the government on Friday, June 18. The senior official is responsible for preparing the launch of the two new institutions, emblematic of the reform: the National Institute of Public Service (INSP), which will replace the 1is January 2022 the National School of Administration (ENA), and the interministerial delegation to senior state management (Diese), the future state human resources department.

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Emmanuel Macron’s goal is to fundamentally change the course of senior officials. A new training, first of all. The INSP will have to offer future “insparques” a core curriculum common to fourteen civil servant schools (commissioners, hospital directors, technical bodies, etc.). A specific access route (and places) will be reserved for candidates from modest backgrounds, who will be able to prepare in 74 “Talent” preparatory courses, distributed throughout the country.

A new body, then. The “insparques” will all integrate the “body of state administrators” and will have to start with field missions. They will therefore no longer be able to enter directly into the major bodies (Council of State, Court of Auditors, general inspections). Finally, the careers of senior officials will be different. Each will have the vocation, according to his merit and his aspirations, to accomplish successive missions, as prefect, inspector general or ambassador.

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The organization and governance of the INSP and the Diese

The role of the Bassères commission, reduced to the foreshadowing of the INSP and the Diese, is however decisive, since these two institutions will intervene at each stage of the career of senior officials. The small team will define the place they will take in the landscape. This will include working on the common core that the INSP will house. The mission should also bring more coherence to the training institutes of the ministries, but also provide for the organizational and governance arrangements of the INSP and the Diese.

An intense mission, which Jean Bassères will assume in parallel with his activities at Pôle emploi. But he will be surrounded by ten people, five women and five men. Their profile is varied. Some are academics, such as Coralie Chevallier, vice-president of the University of Paris Sciences and Letters (PSL), or Gabriel Eckert, professor of public law at the University of Strasbourg. Others are senior officials, such as Thomas Cazenave, who led state reform at the start of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term as interministerial delegate for public transformation. Finally, the team is made up of specialists in social issues, particularly in the private sector, like Claire Pedini, Deputy CEO of Saint-Gobain and Group HR Director.

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