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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #219 - The State dismantled: A managerial model (fr) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 22 Oct 2012 08:53:18 +0200


Released in 2010, the collective work The State stands dismantled an overview of key players and the effects of progressive deconstruction of the state and its public service missions. It helps to better understand the process of social transformation affecting society today. ---- At the time of the Court of Auditors recommends a reduction in the number of employees or a gel or a blockage of their wages [1], the state dismantled to understand the long-term process that led to vision accounting activities State. The introduction, written by Laurent Bonelli and Willy Pelletier recalls and disruptions affecting the organization French state did not begin with the crisis. ---- They are rooted first in a transformation of political and administrative elites, more trained in business schools (HEC, ESSEC) and are forced to promote standards organization modeled on managerial private companies, until the 1970s when the "great committed" state could defend because it was linked to interest their positions to the vertices of the state, the development of policy domains.

Withdrawal and reorganization of the State
It was then the General Review of Public Policies (RGPP), adopted by the Cabinet in 2007, which is taking place at a rapid pace, and provides management accounting criteria on the activity of the different services of the State. Despite misgivings, the main senior officials at the head of departments engage in this activity as "upgrading" of the organization of the administrative and public services.

This movement results in a narrowing of the scope of state intervention: it operates through massive transfers of various segments of activity to the private sector (privatization of the Post Office, the SNCF subsidiary, etc.). but also by the breakdown of public service missions as well as transfers to local government in a number of activities (road maintenance departments or vocational training areas, for example).

Even more insidious, the imposition of a definition of "general interest" based on maintaining accounting and budget balances reflects the empowerment of control senior officials of the Ministry of Finance on various administrations. The entire state is affected by increasing the weight of the hierarchical constraints and requirements defined by the top of the building ministry.

These successive reorganizations and many are accompanied by significant disruptions that result in difficult missions performed (congestion in the courts, reforms or university hospitals, etc..) In short, the movement to redefine the scope and content of activities state based on the key word "performance" and rules of budgetary assessment, which we know the devastating effects, both for personal and for public service users.

What resistance?
Many mobilizations however opposed these changes imposed forced march. But they remained often sectoral and subjected to the difficulty of having to defend against attacks gradual. In addition, many state officials are working on a daily basis to continue to fulfill their missions, and accept and, somehow, the new constraints imposed on them. Maintaining the activity of the state and is based in many cases on the surplus civil servants, who have no other choice to maintain a sense of professional commitment.

In the field of labor inspection, described by Jean-Christian Billard, "modernization" is translated first by outsourcing certain tasks presented by the "reformers" do not fall in the "heart of business" this administration, an argument from speeches widely popular in the private sector, and have contributed to the extensive use of subcontracting in many productive sectors. Registration of election results and now business is entrusted to a private provider, instead of the secretariats of sections of the labor inspectorate.

Also in this area, the reduction of posts in categories C (secretariat, management, etc.). Resulting in a loss of public reception and transfer of administrative tasks on the most qualified personnel, who are thus reduced time for all of their missions.

The proliferation of legal changes (modernization law labor market 25 June 2008, followed by the law of modernization of the economy of 4 August 2008, followed by one on "renewal of social democracy" of 20 August 2008) added to this table increasing complexity of the tasks of the Labour Inspectorate: no coherence, the multiplication of successive reforms of those rules by Jean-Christian Billard to "accelerated dilution" of labor law, which we imagine disastrous consequences for workers.

This example illustrates, if necessary, how the internal reorganization of the state administration are reflected in many areas of social and political life. We could then multiply examples as education, transport and rail, culture, and including, the activity of the police.

What model of society?
Ultimately, the central question of this book remains the model of society that underlies these changes: if the state and its organization has been carrying forms of strong leadership in society, dismantling, or rather redeployment in new forms, causes a breakdown comprehensive and generalized forms, certainly different and often partial socialization of the individual risk and collective wealth.

Of collective resistance remain to be built, and from this point of view, the book reflects the fact that the forms of constraints and work pressures experienced officials are close to those applied to the employee's private-es, with the same dramatic consequences, harassment and ill-being at work until suicide. The question of a project company in which socialization and definition of public services would collectively reach by public officials and users, remains more relevant than ever.

Violaine (AL 93)
Willy Pelletier and Laurent Bonelli (eds.), 2010, The State dismantled, Discovery, Paris, 324 pages.

[1] See Situation and outlook for public finances in 2012, published July 2, 2012, available ccomptes.fr
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