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France — Sodie Emploi's appeal against government dismissed by Paris court

23 August 2010

The Administrative Tribunal of Paris has rejected the accusation by outplacement specialist Sodie Emploi (part of Alpha Group) that during the recent public tender, the French government job centres (Pole Emploi) have not respected a reasonable time delay between the date when pitching staffing agencies were informed of their rejection and contracts were signed with the winners of the public tender, thereby not allowing rejected agencies to appeal against the decision, French daily Le Point reports.

Pierre Ferracci, President of Alpha Group, the parent company of staffing firm Sodie Emploi, had contested the recent public tender by the government's job centres (Pole Emploi) among staffing and HR agencies for outplacement services to 70,000 French managers.

Ferracci told French daily Le Parisien in July that Alpha's subsidiary Sodie Emploi was not awarded any part of the contract because their quote correctly included Valued Added Tax (VAT) whilst other agencies had quoted ex-VAT prices in order to artificially reduce the cost to Pole Emploi.

Ferracci believes that Pole Emploi's public tender last year for staffing services by temporary employment agencies to 320,000 individuals officially registered as unemployed, equally contained pitches with ex-VAT quotes.

Ferracci told Le Parisien that Sodie Emploi "is the victim of false accounting by the purchasing department of Pole Emploi and that it is paying the price for revealing the unbelievable manipulation on VAT."

Pole Emploi told the tribunal that it was under no obligation whatsoever to respect any time delay between the sending out of letters of rejection and the signing of contracts with the successful candidate agencies.

Pole Emploi added that it had gone beyond its obligation by informing Sodie Emploi of their rejection on 2 June 2010, which Pole Emploi regards as perfectly reasonable.

The tribunal ruled that Alpha Group's appeal to render the public tender null and void did not have enough grounds for consideration and threw the case out of court.

The lion share of the recent public tender on outplacement services to 70,000 French managers was awarded to outplacement agency Ingeus (19 million Euro, 39% of tender value). 22% of the tender or 10 million Euro went to the Association for the Employment of Managers (Apec) and 21% or 9.8 million Euro were awarded to Adecco. Sodie Emploi left with nothing.



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