Post mortem on an aborted reform

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Civil engineer (Ponts et Chaussées), Honorary personnel director of the Ministry of town and country planning (ministère de l’Équipement)

Seminar Business life | Friday April 7, 2006 - 9h30 - 12h

In 1990, Brice Lalonde, the Environment minister wanted to use the services of the Ministry of the Environment in the area of water management. The minister for town and country planning, Michel Delebarre, felt threatened by this and asked Serge Vallemont to consider a possible synergy between the DDE (Direction Départementale de l’Equipement : the town and country planning service of the department) and the DDAF (Direction Départementale de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt : the agricultural and forestry service of the department) with regard to water management. In keeping with the philosophy of the socialist Rocard government at the time, Serge Vallemont suggested carrying out such a trial in fifteen French départements. The trial, adopting this method, was successful. Could an ambitious reform the aim of which was the merger of the civil engineering body (DDE) with the agricultural engineering department (DDAF) succeed ? Various changes of ministers, followed by the departure from the government of Rocard himself, transformed this smooth climate of change and was overcome by strong wills which gave rise to opposition, and proved to be fatal to the reform. Things might have been different had patience prevailed. A detailed examination of this aborted reform appears relevant in today’s context where there are again new projects for State reforms.

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This session was published in issue n°62 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Entreprendre et administrer.

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