25 September 2023

FRANCE: PS to have ‘Start-up mindset’

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The French Government is promoting new policies aimed at creating a more entrepreneurial atmosphere within its Public Service.

France’s Ambassador for Digital Affairs, Henri Verdier (pictured) said the plan involved taking the “start-up mindset” and applying it to the bureaucracy.

“It matches up to four Civil Servants in a team to form an autonomous, interdisciplinary unit that solves a problem statement in creative ways,” Mr Verdier said.

“The program adopts an agile approach, with Civil Servants working in short sprints and within a limited time period and budget, continuously testing their product with users.”

He said successful prototypes would go on to find a home within an Agency, which would continue to develop and improve it.

Mr Verdier said the first such Government start-up was data.gouv.fr, the country’s open data platform, which was launched four years ago when current President, Emmanuel Macron was Minister for Economy.

“There are currently 75 projects at various stages of testing, implementation and launch under this program,” Mr Verdier said.

He said the Government was also recruiting people from the private sector ICT community for 10-month stints in the Public Service.

“We think that we have to learn to work with the outside and in a very different way,” Mr Verdier said.

Mr Verdier is the country’s second Ambassador for Digital Affairs, taking on the post in October 2018.

“My job is to unify every part of our global digital diplomacy, and also to discuss with the big tech companies because, for a lot of things, we need them to be part of the solution,” he said.

Paris, 25 June 2019

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