FRANCE: Competent personnel resources in the digital domain within economic and financial ministries


The availability of qualified personnel is one of the major challenges for public administrations to succeed in their public transformation. The French Court of Accounts has carried out a survey, published in the 2020 annual public report, on the resources of personnel with digital skills in the economic and financial ministries (see page 173, report available here: This survey integrates the transformation strategy adopted by the State in April 2019, entitled "TECH.GOUV", and the action plan that followed, one of the challenges of which is to attract talent, and to retain skills.

These ministries were pioneers in the use of information technology within the State; they have largely computerized their processes and their relations with users. They are the leading civilian employer of agents in charge of the State's information systems. However, the agents are relatively old and are often assigned to assistance tasks with little added value. Pursuing the digital transformation under good conditions requires these ministries to be able to continue to recruit the right skills, retain them and manage the age pyramid.

France personnel resources

Source: Ministère de l’Economie des Finances et de la Relance, BercyINNOV 2018

In concluding its investigation, the Court found that the economic and financial ministries encounter difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. Many posts remain unfilled after competitive recruitment procedures, and few young graduates are recruited. To successfully complete their digital transformation, these ministries must implement new recruitment methods, particularly through apprenticeships and the provision of initial engineering training. They must strengthen existing ones by adapting competitive selection methods to the reality of the labor market and by increasing the use of contract workers. These ministries must also develop their attractiveness and consider the creation of real career paths and salary increases. It can also mobilize other levers, by developing communication on job openings, adapting the work environment to "agile" methods, and strengthening the coordination of skills management efforts.