Diversify Recruitment Within Public Institutions (FR0023)
STAKES The civil service has a duty to be exemplary by reflecting the French society it serves, with its diversity and its evolutions.
CONTEXT & AIM The State undertakes to facilitate the recruitment of diversified profiles that not only reflect French society, but also that are necessary to support the administrations through digital and open government evolutions.
• Develop new access channels to the civil service, to improve its opening to society - In the Bill on ethics and the rights and obligations of civil servants, insert measures to renew access channels to civil service and open them a larger diversity of profiles
- Renew the preparatory classes mechanism for access to competitive examinations of category A in the three branches of the civil service, particularly by increasing by 25% the number of places offered in the integrated preparatory classes preparing candidates for the competitive examinations for entry to the civil service from 2015. The objective for 2016 is to double the number of students, to reach 1,000 places
- Develop apprenticeship in the civil service by multiplying by 10 the number of apprentices, to reach an objective of 4,000 by the beginning of the 2016 school year and 10,000 for 2017
• Address discriminatory biases upon entry into the civil service
- Upon request from the Prime Minister, launch an expert appraisal mission on discrimination issues - Modify the texts on juries and selection committee’s composition for each ministry to open them to at least one member outside the recruiting administration
- Generalize training courses on discrimination prevention for all future members of juries and selection committees
- Generalize the procedures for the quality certification of human resources departments in order to evaluate all their procedures with regard to any discriminatory risks
IRM End of Term Status Summary
1. Develop new access channels to the civil service, to improve its opening to society
o In the Bill on ethics and the rights and obligations of civil servants, insert measures to renew access channels to civil service and open them a larger diversity of profiles
o Renew the preparatory classes mechanism for access to competitive examinations of category A in the three branches of the civil service, particularly by increasing by 25% the number of places offered in the integrated preparatory classes preparing candidates for the competitive examinations for entry to the civil service from 2015. The objective for 2016 is to double the number of students, to reach 1,000 places
o Develop apprenticeship in the civil service by multiplying by 10 the number of apprentices, to reach an objective of 4,000 by the beginning of the 2016 school year and 10,000 for 2017
2. Address discriminatory biases upon entry into the civil service
o Upon request from the Prime Minister, launch an expert appraisal mission on discrimination issues
o Modify the texts on juries and selection committee's composition for each ministry to open them to at least one member outside the recruiting administration
o Generalize training courses on discrimination prevention for all future members of juries and selection committees
o Generalize the procedures for the quality certification of human resources departments in order to evaluate all their procedures with regard to any discriminatory risks
Editorial Note: This is a partial version of the commitment text. For the full commitment text please see France's national action plan: https://bit.ly/2MTYhsR.
Responsible Institution: Ministry for Decentralization and the Civil Service
Supporting Institution(s): N/A
Start Date:Not Specified
End Date:Not Specified
This commitment aimed to diversify recruitment of government civil service through two channels: (i) develop new channels for entry into the civil service; and (ii) address the discriminatory biases in the recruitment process.
The lack of civil servant diversity has long been the subject of public debate in France. A 2004 report prepared for the Ministry of Public Function and State Reform studied the education level, social background, and ethnicity of 38,000 civil servants. It found that recruitment requirements have become stricter regarding education levels, and candidates report facing gender, age, ethnic, and disability discrimination. In July 2016, another report found that the civil service is not representative of the French population and that the profile of civil servants at the state and local level is not that of the average French person.
Schools that train civil servants, such as the National School of Administration (ENA), are often criticized for their lack of diversity. There are 75 public service schools in France which train future civil servants and that might be affected by the activities proposed in this commitment. The commitment does not describe which discrimination issues have been identified in the civil service recruitment process or whether the proposed measures are appropriate for tackling the identified problem. Due to the complexity of reasons that contribute to diversity issues in the civil service, it is not clear how modifying access to entrance exams or training courses for the relevant HR personnel can address such issues.
This commitment is of unclear relevance to OGP values, as all proposed initiatives are internal to government and refer to avenues to apply to either civil service positions or to enrol in a preparatory school.
This commitment was substantially implemented by the midterm. A “troisième concours” (a pre-existing third entrance exam and additional channel for entrance to the civil service) was created for external candidates coming from civil society, trade unions, or those who have one or more mandates as assembly members at the local level, including apprenticeship and professional contracts. Article 159 of the Equality and Citizenship Act enacted 27 January 2017 establishes that the third exam will allow candidates from more socio-economic backgrounds and different levels of education to apply to the public service, in all three public spheres: The State level, the local level, and the hospital public service.
Regarding an increased number of available seats in preparatory classes for entrance exam A (the highest level of entrance exam), implementation was limited. In 2017, ENA offered 24 spots in its preparatory class, an increase from the 17 offered in 2016 and 2015. While this activity aimed to double the number of enrolled students in 2016 to 1,000, it is difficult to quantify. Not all schools publish data on student matriculation and available school data has only been published in open data format up to 2014. Regarding an increase in public service apprenticeships, the government ran a national-level campaign to promote recruitment of apprentices. An official report, published in June 2016, indicated a 370 percent increase in public service apprenticeships, from 763 in 2014 to 3,589 in 2015. In 2015, 4,390 apprenticeships were signed.
Two appraisals of discrimination issues occurred. Olivier Rousselle, a State Council member, was in charge of one appraisal and its report was published 16 February 2017. Another appraisal was led by Yannick L'Horty and was handed to the Prime Minister on 12 July 2016. The Rousselle report recommended amending the legislation to open juries and recruitment committees to at least one person outside the administration. Institutionalisation of this measure within the national public service could be mandated by a State Council decree. A mandatory sensitisation training and a diversity certification were already in existence before the national action plan was developed. For more information, please see the IRM midterm report.[Note150: Independent Reporting Mechanism, France Rapport D'ètape (OGP, 2017), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2001/01/France_Progress-Report_2015-2017.pdf.]
End of Term: Substantial
This commitment remains substantially implemented by the end of the term. Based on desk research, there were no significant developments in the second year of implementation.
The issue of access to public service has been integrated in the Law n° 2017-86 on Equality and Citizenship, adopted 27 January 2017. The government self-assessment indicates that five additional seats were created in the ENA preparatory classes and 86 in the preparatory classes for the Regional Administrative Institute (IRA). Data was provided on the preparatory classes from 2010 to 2014 but has not been updated since 2014. The government self-assessment also indicates that the objectives for 2016 have been fulfilled, with an increase of almost 25%,[Note151: Ministère de la fonction publique, Les nouveaux apprentis dans la fonction publique en 2015 (2016), https://www.fonction-publique.gouv.fr/files/files/statistiques/stats-rapides/apprentis-2015.pdf (accessed 6 Oct. 2017).] and 10,000 apprenticeships expected for 2017. The IRM researcher did not find any publicly available information in the number of apprenticeships created during the second year of implementation of the action plan. The Ministry of Public Service was active in a number of reforms to modify access to civil service, including the composition of juries which should be more professionalised since the circular of 24 June 2015.[Note152: Ministère de la décentralisation et de la fonction publique, Guide pratique Des concours administratifs à l'usage des présidents et membres de jurys (2015), https://www.fonction-publique.gouv.fr/files/files/publications/coll_outils_de_la_GRH/guide-concours-administratifs-jurys-2015.pdf (accessed 6 Oct. 2017).]
Did It Open Government?
Access to Information: Did Not Change
Civic Participation: Did Not Change
Public Accountability: Did Not Change
Increased access to, and diversity within, the civil service is important for maintaining trust in public institutions and the legitimacy of public authority. However, as indicated in the midterm IRM report, this commitment largely focused on internal government reforms and hence was not relevant to OGP values. As implemented, the commitment activities made some preparatory steps towards more significant reforms to the civil services, such as the inclusion of a more diverse public, but did not create opportunities for citizens to further engage in decision-making regarding diversity in the civil service, nor were there public-facing mechanisms established to hold public officials accountable when addressing discriminatory practices within the civil service. Therefore, the commitment did not clearly relate to OGP values. Moreover, the IRM researcher did not find any information regarding any evaluation of the initiatives. As such, this commitment did not contribute to open government.
This commitment was not carried over to the next action plan.