The Vatican has announced it will be hiring large American consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. to advise it on modernizing its communications operations.

It will also be bringing in Netherlands-based auditors KPMG to study the Vatican's internal accounting.

In a statement issued this morning, the Vatican said management consultants McKinsey & Co. was chosen to “provide advice contributing to the development - in close collaboration with the heads of the relevant departments - an integrated plan to make the organization of the means of communication of the Holy See more functional, efficient and modern.”

The decision was made on Wednesday by the commission of inquiry into the Vatican's overall financial health created by Pope Francis as part of his reform of the Roman Curia.

The Vatican said the consultancy project, which will involve integrating the curia's communications operations, aims to "provide the commission with the information needed to make appropriate recommendations to the Holy Father.”

Today’s statement said the commission of enquiry into APSA - the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See – chose McKinsey & Co. after a bidding process.

For some years, officials have argued for a better communications system in the Vatican, especially after a string of perceived media gaffes and the Vatileaks scandal. Observers have criticised the curia for lacking a centralized office of communications, leading to unnecessary duplication in various Vatican media outlets. Other observers have also proposed having a coordinated network of media spokesmen in some or all of the dicasteries (Vatican departments), overseen by the Holy See's Press Office director.

At the same time, the Vatican said today that auditors KPMG will “study and address” the economic and administrative affairs of the Holy See in collaboration with the commission, taking “whatever steps are necessary to align the accounting procedures of all agencies of the Holy See with international standards.”

The Vatican has already hired regulatory compliance firm Promontory Financial Group to assess Vatican finances, review accounts and make sure it conforms to international norms to fight money-laundering and terror financing. Promontory is also advising the APSA.

Meanwhile Vatican City State, which oversees the running of the Vatican Museums, has appointed Ernst and Young, an auditing and consultancy firm, to check its books.