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Vatican hires accounting and communications firms

'To align procedures with international norms'

19 December, 17:46
Vatican hires accounting and communications firms (ANSA) - Vatican City, December 19 - The Vatican on Thursday awarded contracts to two major consulting firms to improve its accounting and media organization in its ongoing bid to align its finances with international norms and modernize communications. The accounting contract went to Dutch professional services company KPMG while the media contract went to New York-based McKinsey & Company. Since his elevation to the papacy in March, Francis has set up committees to advise him on the troubled Vatican Bank, which is officially known as the Institute of Religious Works (IOR), clergy sexual abuse of children, and reforming the Church's administration. The administrative reform committee contracted KPMG because "it needed to align the accounting procedures of all departments of the Holy See to meet international standards," said the Vatican.

McKinsey was hired to come up with a strategy to make its communications "more functional, efficient and modern".

Currently the Vatican has six separate media departments, which include offices for television, radio, newspaper, Internet, press relations and a communications council, which sets media policies in the Vatican. They have a reputation for not working well with each other, and even for competition. As for the Vatican's accounts, the Vatican has made significant progress, according to the Council of Europe's Moneyval agency.

Last week the monitoring group of financial experts said in a report that it approved of the efforts made by the Vatican to bolster financial transparency within its institutions.

But it added that more work must be done. Francis has not ruled out eventually getting rid of the Vatican bank altogether if reforms fail.