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THE 2015
Follow-up of recommendations
Summaries are intended to facilitate the understanding
and use of the report produced by the Cour des comptes.
Solely the original report is legally binding on the Cour des
comptes. The responses of administrations and other bodies
concerned are included in the report.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Responsible for ensuring the proper employment of public funds, the Cour des
Comptes examines management, policies and public accounts and gives an opi-
nion on their compliance with the applicable rules and standards as well as on
the efficiency and effectiveness of the actions carried out.
Beyond what constitutes its core duties, particularly since the beginning of the
2000s, it has had to respond to two complementary and recurring expectations:
firstly, proposing solutions to the shortcomings that it identifies; secondly, follo-
wing up how public-decision-makers respond to its work.
The legislator has gradually established these two expectations as obligations
that the Court is now required to fulfil.
It sets out to do so by issuing recommendations in its work and by systematically
carrying out periodic examinations of the follow-up to its recommendations.
The regional and territorial courts of accounts embarked on the same path in
The examination by the Court of the follow-up to its work is based on the follo-
wing organisation
• at the beginning of each inspection, an in-depth analysis of the implemented
following the findings of the previous inspection;
• in between two periodic inspections, if the need arises, the implementation of
a "follow-up" inspection, restricted to the examination of actions arising from
the previous inspection, or anticipating the next in-depth inspection;
• lastly, with the new article L. 143-10-1, introduced into French Code of
Financial Jurisdictions by the amending Finance Act of 29 July 2011, the legisla-
tor institutionalised the follow-up of the work of the Court, setting a particularly
ambitious configuration and applying obligations both for the recipients of
observations and for the Court itself:
- the addressees of the final observations of the Cour des Comptes are requi-
red to provide the latter with reports of the follow-up actions that they have
- for its part, the Court presents these follow-up actions in its annual public
report, based on the reports provided.
1) These principles are incorporated into professional standards: Compendium of professional
standards, chapter 3 – C.
The present instalment first presents the
overall results of the follow-up car-
ried out by the Court regarding all its recommendations made public
the years 2011 to 2013 (chapter I). It then comprises a series of summaries of
11 follow-up investigations
that it has carried out.
These 11 texts are divided into three categories, represented by a specific
colour to reflect the level of implementation of the recommendations pre-
viously made by the financial jurisdictions:
- first category (green) (chapter II):
the Court has observed evidence of pro-
- second category (orange) (chapter III):
the Court reiterates the importance of
taking action
- third category (red) (chapter IV):
the Court issues a warning
The formulation and follow-up of recommendations in accordance with
the ISSAI 300 standard
The follow-up of recommendations and the publication of the work of the
Cour des Comptes meet the professional standards and directives for best
practices for public-sector auditors approved by the International
Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).
To this purpose, the ISSAI 300 standard establishes fundamental principles
for performance checks relative to the formulation and follow-up of recom-
It states that "the auditors must take care to make constructive recommenda-
tions that are likely to significantly contribute to remedying the weaknesses or
problems highlighted during the audit". Quality criteria are established. In par-
ticular, the recommendations must "deal with the causes of problems and/or
weaknesses" and they must be made "in such a way as to avoid obvious truths
and not just reverse the terms of the conclusions of the audit".
The recipient of each recommendation, and the person responsible for taking
all initiatives, must be identified and mentioned. The direction and relevance
of the recommendations should be mentioned, stating "how they will contri-
bute to improving performance".
This standard has been transposed into the professional standards of the Cour
des Comptes.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Chapter I - Follow-up of recommendations in 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Chapter II - The Court has observed evidence of progress . . . . . . .11
Escheated bank assets and life-insurance contracts: enhanced protection
for savers
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Partial unemployment: a renewed device, still insufficiently used . . . . .16
Chapter III - The Court reiterates the importance of taking action
The management of researchers: improvements still necessary . . . . . . .21
Palliative care still inadequate in France
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
The management of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council: a
will to reform, work to be continued
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
The public authority for the development of La Défense Seine Arche:
order insufficiently restored
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
The Jussieu construction site and the conduct of large property
transactions by universities in the Paris area: lessons to be learned . . .31
The "Château de Versailles Spectacles" company: progress to be
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
The real estate transactions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Paris
region: an unsatisfactiry outcome
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Chapter IV - The Court issues a warning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
The network of sub-prefectures: between
status quo
experimentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
An example of poorly-planned local public investment: the airports of
Dole and Dijon
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Follow-up of the Court’s recommendations
Chapter I
Follow-up of recommendations in 2014
Follow-up of recommendations in 2014
The degree of implementation of the recommendations made by the Court and
published during the last three years constitutes the main performance indica-
tor for the State's budget programme (programme 164 –
Cour des Comptes and
other financial jurisdictions
) relative to the financial jurisdictions.
This indicator is defined as the share, in the most significant recommendations
made during the period, of those that were followed by actual implementation.
To be considered as effective, implementation must not necessarily be total; it
may be only partial.
(follow-up of
tions made in
2009, 2010
and 2011)
(follow-up of
tions made in
2010, 2011
and 2012)
(follow-up of
tions made in
2011, 2012
and 2013)
Increase in the
number of
tions between
follow-up for
2012 and
Number of
1 924
+ 58,6%
or totally
1 033
1 343
+ 55,8%
Change to the indicator on the follow-up of recommendations for the last
three years
Source : Cour des comptes
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Due to the increase in the number of publications by the Court, the number of
recommendations made and followed-up has clearly increased in 2014 (1,924
followed-up in 2014 compared to 1,671 in 2013 and 1,213 in 2012). Indeed,
2012 and 2013 were both marked by a high level of publications, with a great
impact on the number of recommendations to be followed-up in 2014.
Moreover, since 2012, the publication of summary proceedings and the recom-
mendations stemming from them has been almost systematic.
The recommendations follow-up indicator increased by 7.8 points from 62% in
2013 to 69.8% in 2014. Thus, out of 1,924 recommendations followed-up in
2014, the number of recommendations partially or totally followed-up was
The increase in the indicator in 2014 is explained by two factors: a higher overall
rate of implementation in 2014, particularly for the recommendations issued in
2011 and 2012, and the improvement in the quality of the follow-up of recom-
mendations, which is now done systematically.
Follow-up of recommendations in 2014
Chapter II
The Court has observed evidence of progress
1 - Escheated bank assets and life-insurance contracts:
enhanced protection for savers
2 - Partial unemployment: a renewed device, still
insufficiently used
Escheated bank assets and life-
insurance contracts: enhanced
protection for savers
The situation of escheated bank
assets and life-insurance contracts
raises important issues regarding the
protection of savers, which the Court
highlighted in a communication made
upon a request from the Chairman of
the National Assembly's finance com-
Bank assets may become escheated
either because the owner, who is still
alive, cannot be found or because
his/her death is not known to the ins-
titution or, even if known, no heir has
come forward. In the communication
to Parliament dated June 2013, the
amount of bank assets escheated was
estimated at around €1.2 billion, at
The escheated contracts designate
the amounts due pursuant to life-
insurance contracts which are not
redistributed to the beneficiaries des-
ignated in the contracts, in spite of the
death of the subscribers. In its com-
munication, the
escheated life-insurance and endow-
ment contracts, covering life-insu-
rance benefits not paid three years
after the death of the insured party or
two years after the expiry of the
contract, as well as endowment
contracts not claimed ten years after
expiry of the contract, at a minimum
of €2.76 billion in 2011.
Out of the 17 recommendations
issued by the Court, 12 were fully
13 June 2014 relative to inactive bank
accounts and escheated life-insurance
contracts, three were partially imple-
mented, and only two were not imple-
The law of 13 June 2014 streng-
thens the protection of the owners
of inactive bank accounts
The communication to Parliament
stressed that inactive bank accounts
which later became escheated were
governed by a deficient legal frame-
work. The only legal obligation impo-
sed on banks concerning escheated
bank assets was to transfer these to
the State at the end of the thirty-year
limitation. On the other hand, the
French Monetary and Financial Code
did not include any specific obliga-
tions concerning inactive accounts,
meaning those with no movements at
the initiative of the client and for
which the client has not come for-
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Escheated bank assets and life-insurance
contracts: enhanced protection for savers
As the Court recommended, the law
of 13 June 2014 created a legal frame-
work specifically applicable to inactive
bank accounts. The main contribu-
tions are as follows:
- the obligation for credit institutions
to list inactive accounts each year and
to transfer the unclaimed funds, after
a certain period (three years after the
death of the owner, ten years after the
last recorded account movement), to
- miscellaneous obligations incum-
bent upon credit institutions and the
Caisse, intended to protect the rights
of savers. This mainly involves infor-
mation to clients, but also the limita-
tion of bank charges deducted from
inactive accounts by the banks, and
the obligation for the Caisse not to
disburse the capital of transferred
bank assets.
The law of 13 June 2014 also includes
new guarantees for the beneficiaries
of life-insurance contracts
The communication to Parliament
17 December 2007, insurance compa-
nies were specifically obliged to iden-
tify the deceased policyholders and
seek out the beneficiaries of life-insu-
rance contracts. However, this law was
not fully applied by insurance compa-
nies, even though it came into force
more than six years ago.
The law of 13 June 2014 provided for
improved information to subscribers
of life-insurance contracts and streng-
thened requirements with regard to
insurance companies in matters of
identifying deceased insured parties.
It also provides for the mandatory
transfer to the Caisse des Dépôts et
Consignations of amounts due pur-
suant to life-insurance contracts and
endowment bonds or contracts for
which no request for payment of
benefits or capital has been received
after a period of ten years from the
date of knowledge of death by the
insurer or the expiry of the contract.
The role of notaries strengthened
The communication to Parliament
emphasised that the lack of know-
ledge of the death of their clients by
the banks was partly related to the
fact that notaries did not have the
specific right, during succession, to
accounts (FICOBA) that lists all bank
accounts open in France. It recom-
mended making it mandatory for
notaries to consult the FICOBA during
a succession. The law of 13 June 2014
implemented this recommendation
and even went beyond it, since it spe-
cified access by notaries to the data-
known as FICOVIE.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Escheated bank assets and life-insurance
contracts: enhanced protection for savers
Although the new legislative arran-
gements do not take effect until
1 January 2016, changes to the beha-
viour of those involved are already
We note that professionals have
become more aware of the subject. In
particular, the
Supervisory Authority (ACPR) has
strengthened its checks. The ACPR's
Sanctions Committee penalties com-
mission handed down rulings of heavy
financial penalties on 7 April 2014,
19 December 2014.
Significant legal and technical work
remains to be done to ensure the
rapid implementation of the legisla-
The Court will remain particularly vigi-
lant concerning the issue of the pro-
tection of savers. It will continue to
closely monitor the implementation
escheated bank assets and life-insu-
rance contracts.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Partial unemployment: a rene-
wed device, still insufficiently
In its thematic public report entitled
"The jobs market : improving policy
targets to cope with high unemploy-
(January 2013), the Court
had noticed a weak implementation of
the partial-unemployment system,
unconducive, in spite of the repetitive
modifications made since the begin-
ning of the crisis in 2008. It recom-
mended merging the current systems
and approving the attractiveness of
partial unemployment for companies.
Germany, which has experienced a
greater loss of GDP than France since
2009, has more effectively protected
its employment with partial unem-
ployment, massively funded by the
german unemployment insurance
system. To the opposite in France, the
system, mainly funded by the State,
has remained mostly circumcised to
large companies in the industrial sec-
tor (particularly automobile).
The main issue of the June 14, 2013
law reform to protect employment lay
in the definition of a new device, called
partial activity, made attractive for
the small companies.
An easier and more attractive device
for companies
The June 14, 2013 law simplified the
device by establishing a single com-
pensation, payed for by the State and
the UNEDIC, and eliminating the obli-
gation of contracting with the State
in order for companies to benefit of
the most favourable terms. The admi-
nistrative measures have been simpli-
fied (the procedures are now entirely
electronic), with longer periods of
authorised partial unemployment (six
months renewable), and confirmation
of the limit of 1,000 hours per year
and per employee.
The financial incentives have been
reviewed : the cost per hour of unem-
ployment for the employers is now
limited to 31% of a three times the
minimum wage salary (it is zero for a
minimum wage salary), whilst the
compensation for the employees has
been reduced.
The cost of the partial activity com-
pensation served to the employers by
the Service and Payment Agency
(ASP) in 2014 was about €220 million.
The hourly amount of the compensa-
1) Cour des comptes,
Thematic public report
The job market: improving policy targets to cope
with high unemployment
. La Documentation française, January 2013, 170 P., available at
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Partial unemployment: a renewed device,
still insufficiently used
tion (over 80% of the gross hourly
minimum wage) is paid for by the
State up to roughly 60%, and the rest
by the UNEDIC on the unemployment
insurance funds.
The possibility of professional trai-
ning courses during periods of unem-
ployment has been encouraged by
two measures : the range of eligible
courses has been extended and the
employees fixed at 100%.
The Court observes that the 2013
reform follows what had been its
A new system to be promoted and
It is still too early to measure the
effects of the reform on companies’
strategies, but it seems that the num-
ber of demands is increasing and that
more companies are considering par-
tial unemployment.
As from now, public authorities are
have to play alongside
companies and professional networks
to make the new device popular
amongst the different job saving ins-
amongst companies that were not
used to it, particularly small ones.
Due to lack of individual data for
unemployment, it has not been possi-
ble up to know to evaluate the impact
of this system on job saving The infor-
mation system development will open
new perspectives here, which should
allow to build up an evaluation pro-
The Court thus issues the following
- build tools to be able to measu-
rethe impact of the device on two
- the employees matching skills to
professional careers;
- the long-term preservation of
the concerned employees in their
1) DIRECCTE : regional services of the Labor and Employment ministry.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Chapter III
The Court reiterates the importance
of taking action
1 - The management of researchers: improvements still
2 - Palliative care still inadequate France
3 - The management of the Economic, Social and
Environmental Council: a will to reform, work to be
4 - The public authority for the development of La Défense
Seine Arche: order insufficiently restored
5 - The Jussieu construction site and the conduct of large
property transactions by universities in the Paris area:
lessons to be learned
6 - The "Château de Versailles Spectacles" company: progress
to be consolidated
7 - The real estate transactions of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs in the Paris région: an unsatisfactory outcome
The management of resear-
chers: improvements still
The eight public institutions of a
scientific and technological character
had 16,662 active statutory
researchers in activity in 2013, compa-
red to 17,005 in 2006, with a payroll of
€1.67 billion. The CNRS alone accoun-
ted for two thirds of the workforce.
Improved reception of young resear-
The increased funding for project
research since 2006 and the clarifica-
tion of the legal situation of young
researchers have improved the condi-
researchers. As such, the number of
contractual researchers in the EPST
has substantially increased (+22%
between 2008 and 2013) and they
currently represent one third of
researchers (compared to one fifth in
which is very positive for the attracti-
veness of French research, neverthe-
less may result in job insecurity for
young researchers, of which the insti-
tutions are aware, but that laborato-
ries must contain when recruiting
Recruitment of statutory researchers
unrelated to national priorities
The opportunity offered by the great
wave of retirement during the 2000s
(from 2006 to 2013, more than 20% of
researchers who were active in 2006
have retired) to reallocate recruit-
ments to research’s main priorities
was not seized. In contradiction with
the duration of projects, mainly fixed
short term researchers are assigned
to the priority topics of the national
strategy for research and innovation
Since 2006, the rate of recruitment of
statutory researchers has dropped
reduction in retirements over the
coming years means that this trend is
likely to continue. In this context, in
order to better adress cientific priori-
ties and better anticipate changes, the
definition of a long-term recruitment
plan , global and by discipline, is requi-
red, based on the budgetary capacity
made advailable by leaving staff.
3) National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the French Institute of Science and
Technology, for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR), the National Institute for
Demographic Studies (INED), the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the
National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the National Institute for
Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), the Research Institute for
Development (IRD) and the National Research Institute of Science and Technology for
Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA).
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The management of researchers:
improvements still necessary
Supporting career paths
As the number of applicants is gro-
wing while the number of recruit-
ments of research fellows has drop-
ped by 22% between 2006 and 2013,
selectivity when entering EPST is
increasingly high and the average age
of recruitment is significantly increa-
sing. It is now between 30 and 34
years old, which has several conse-
quences in terms of remuneration
level, career development and retire-
ment credits.
The "careers plan" introduced in 2009
career development, but the main
problems identified in 2003 remained:
difficulty to reach the highest grades
(25% to 30% of researchers remain at
the last grade of first-class research
fellow), low personnel mobility and
limited impact of individual appraisal
on career development and remune-
ration. This situation is all the more
paradoxical as requirements in terms
of scientific quality and experience for
recruitment are increasing. These fin-
dings may eventually harm career
A remuneration policy that lacks
Due principally to the "career plan",
the average gross remuneration of
researchers, index-related salary and
all bonuses, has increased between
2009 and 2013.
Changes in the specific compensation
for functions of collective interest
now provide greater reward for taking
on responsibility. However, the proce-
dures for assigning the doctoral and
research supervisory bonus, which
succeeded the scientific excellence
bonus, do not appear fully satisfactory
and require reform in order to better
take into account individual apprai-
Moreover, it is not fair that, in a an
insufficiently controlled context, the
compensation relative to the time
savings account weighs so much
affects the payroll expenditure of the
establishments, sometimes exceeding
the budgets assigned to responsibility
or performance bonuses.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The management of researchers:
improvements still necessary
Consequently, the Court issues the
following recommendations:
To the Ministry of Research:
organise the feedback of infor-
mation and improve the coordination
of the EPST’s strategic plans (recom-
mendation reiterated);
encourage the integration of
statutory researchers into the body
of teacher-researchers (recommen-
dation reiterated);
reform the procedures for the
assignment of the doctoral and
research supervisory bonus, by lin-
king it to the individual evaluation.
To the Ministry and to the public ins-
titutions of a scientific and technolo-
gical character (EPST):
recruitment plan per discipline and
competence according to strategic
improve knowledge of contrac-
tual researchers and their professio-
nal development by carrying out
cohort monitoring studies;
strictly control the implemen-
tation of the time-savings account
and limit its budgetary impact.
To the EPST:
improve the selection of post-
doctorate candidates in order to
ensure that they have genuine pro-
fessional prospects.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Palliative care still inadequate
in France
In 2007, the Court pointed out how
slow the development of palliative
care had been in France. It called for
the implementation of a more active
policy in this field, based on a better
evaluation of needs, addressing geo-
graphical inequities, and emphasising
the development of palliative care at
home and in the medical-social sector.
Since then, a national programme to
develop palliative care was implemen-
ted in 2008, this field being one of the
government's three major public
health priorities, along with cancer
and Alzheimer's disease. The Court
endeavoured to assess whether this
programme provided a better res-
ponse to the needs of patients and
their families.
Access to palliative care still very
insufficient overall
In 2011, as the Court recommended,
the national Observatory on End of
Life issued a first estimate of the num-
ber of persons likely to need palliative
care. According to this study, out of
the 535,451 persons who died in
2008, 64% would have required pallia-
tive care.
No comprehensive estimate of the
number of beneficiaries of palliative
care over a given year is available. This
lack of reliable, comprehensive and
up-to-date data illustrates the persis-
tent difficulty in making palliative
approach a real priority in public
health, in contrast to other countries
where it is much more developed, par-
ticularly in Anglo-Saxon countries.
Only partial information exists, which
shows limited use of palliative care,
despite an increasing trend in benefi-
ciaries between 2009 and 2013. In
hospitals, only one third of the
238,000 patients who died in 2009
during short-stay hospitalisation and
were in need of palliative care actually
benefited from it.
The development of palliative care
primarily focused on hospitals
The programme to develop palliative
care aimed at organising three levels
of management, from the simplest
(ordinary beds) to the most complex
cases (in specialised units). In between
these two levels, palliative care is pro-
vided in so called “palliative care iden-
tified beds”, which can be put in place
as needed in any hospital ward. In
addition to this, most hospitals have a
mobile palliative care team, which can
provide a specialised assistance to the
establishment's various departments.
Overall, the objectives set by the
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Palliative care still inadequate in France
national programme were achieved
with regard to the creation of beds. As
far as mobile teams are concerned, in
spite of their development, major dis-
parities in their resources and their
practices are to be underlined.
In addition to that, major geographi-
cal inequalities remain both between
and within regions: equipment rates
vary considerably from one region to
Financial incentives have contributed
to the development of palliative care
in short-stay and “hospital at home”
facilities, but this is not yet the case in
rehabilitation and long term care ins-
titutions. Training of physicians and
other health professionals who are
the main asset to enhance palliative
care awareness has improved but
remains highly insufficient.
Palliative care outside the hospital
still to be developed
Progress has been much more limited
in providing home care, even though
this type of service meets the prefe-
patients. The same is true for care in
nursing homes.
While the development of chronic
pathologies calls for new practices
and integrated care, coordination of
primary care professionals, networks
of palliative care, “hospital at home”
and home nursing services is gene-
rally poorly organised.
This issue has not been a priority of
the national health-insurance in its
negotiations with health professions.
Support for patients requiring pallia-
tive care in nursing homes is hindered
in particular by the lack of medical
and nursing staff as well as an insuffi-
cient access to mobile palliative care
Support for patients’ families remains
unsatisfactory. The system of “family
solidarity leave” was not effectively
implemented until 2008, nine years
after the law under which it was insti-
tuted. It is rarely used. Financial bene-
fit for supporting persons at the end
of their lives was not established until
2010, five years after the proposal
made by a parliamentary mission. The
arrangement, which is limited (pay-
ment by the social security of hours of
appears poorly known and under used
Of the three public-health priorities
declared in 2008, development of pal-
liative care thus appears as the one
which, in spite of the progress made,
approach has remained institutional,
focused on hospitals, and yet often
characterised by an essentially cura-
tive and technical medical culture,
whereas patients and their families
would rather prefer home-based care
and support with a greater concern
for humanity.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
While population ageing and develop-
ment of chronic pathologies are likely
to increase the demand for palliative
care, adapting our health system to
these expectations must remain a
The Court issues the following
maintain a clearly identified
policy on development of palliative
care, supported by a specific action
plan, as part of the national health
strategy (reiterated recommenda-
tion) ;
give priority to the develop-
ment of palliative case at home and
in nursing homes (reiterated recom-
agreement currently under negotia-
tion between the national health
insurance and health professions to
support this objective and develop
home interventions by multidiscipli-
nary teams;
in addition, pursue the deve-
lopment of support systems for next
of kin caregivers;
extension of hospital based palliative
care in order to reduce regional dis-
put in place specific proce-
dures for funding palliative care
within rehabilitation and long term
hospitals so as to foster long term
palliative care.
Palliative care still inadequate in France
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The management of the
Economic, Social and
Environmental Council: a will
to reform, work to be continued
Environmental Council (ESEC), which
has 140 members of staff and an
annual budget of €38 million, has the
task of issuing opinions on govern-
ment bills. Since the constitutional
reform of 2008
, it may also have
matters referred to it by Parliament
and through petitions, concerning any
problem of an economic, social or
environmental character.
A special financial regime
Its specific budgetary regime, which
does not differentiate between the
authorising officers and accounting
officers, is not justified. Invoices are
paid more slowly and the accounts are
run less rigorously than under the
common law regime, while public pro-
curement is still not fully controlled.
Progress in staff management
Progress has been seen in the field of
human resources thanks to the crea-
tion of an administration system and
the beginnings of dynamic staff
management, which is based to a
contracted staff. But staff promotion
remains too rapid, the "job ceiling" is
over-valued, and working hours are
Furthermore, the legal basis for the
compensation payment of personnel,
decided by the Chairman, has not
been established.
A pension fund still in deficit
In spite of reforms, the pension fund
for former members of the Council
remains in long-term deficit due to
contributions that are too low in rela-
tion to the level of pensions provided,
which requires the ESEC to compen-
sate the difference from its ordinary
The Court therefore recommends
that the accounting regime of the
ESEC be brought into line with com-
mon law, that the organisation of wor-
king time be reviewed, that the regula-
4) Constitutional law of 23 July 2008 on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The management of the Economic, Social and
Environmental Council: a will to reform, work to
be continued
The Court issues the following
place the ESEC under a budge-
tary and accounting regime com-
pliant with the provisions of the
decree of 7 November 2012 (recom-
mendation reiterated);
continue the reorganization of
working time in accordance with the
regulatory framework in force;
give a regulatory basis to the
compensation arrangements ;
continue adjusting the parame-
ters for calculating contributions and
retirement pensions (double contri-
bution, basis for calculation, amount
of State contribution, etc.);
move the members' pension
scheme towards a defined-contribu-
tion scheme, which does not commit
the State beyond the initial funding
granted and applicable to all pen-
sions that have not yet been settled.
tory basis for compensatory arrange-
ments be consolidated and that
reform of the pension scheme be
continued in order to bring it into
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The public authority for the
development of La Défense
Seine Arche: order insuffi-
ciently restored
The public authority for the develop-
ment of La Défense Seine Arche (EPA-
DESA) is the successor of the public
authority for the development of La
Défense (EPAD) created in 1958 to
contribute to the creation of an inter-
national business district built on an
esplanade at La Défense. The area of
intervention of the EPADESA extends
over four municipalities: Nanterre,
Puteaux, Courbevoie and La Garenne-
Colombes, representing 564 hectares.
In its 2013 annual public report, the
Court made several observations and
Improvement of information and
more rigorous management of the
Internally, the authority has cleaned
up its management, improving the
quality of financial information that it
delivers to the supervisory authority
and board of directors. Since 2011, the
authority has gradually created long-
term documents including business
forecasts and a long-term plan. Since
2013, these documents have provided
a better record of the progress of
various operations and their contribu-
tion to the results.
In terms of wages, the authority now
applies the same wage increase cei-
lings to executives as those which
employees of the authority.
Furthermore, it has improved the
monitoring of certain expenditure
items. The policy to reduce communi-
cation expenses has been continued.
Uncertainty regarding funding for
the refurbishment of the business
The Court has analysed the changes
that have occurred since 2012 in the
situation and environment of the
Since the formation in 2007 of the
public authority responsible for mana-
ging facilities in the business district,
known as Defacto, the activity of EPA-
DESA has been hindered by uncertain-
ties concerning the sharing of their
respective competences. The law of
27 January 2014 on the modernisa-
tion of regional public action and
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The public authority for the development of
La Défense Seine Arche: order insufficiently
(known as the MAPTAM law) establi-
shed a clear legal regime for public
assets and spaces: as the property of
EPADESA, they may only be made
available to the managing establish-
However, the question of sharing the
cost of the refurbishment of these
assets, which exceeds €350 million
according to EPADESA (including
€156.8 million for the tunnels) is not
yet resolved, even though article 24 of
Government to present a report on
this question to Parliament before the
end of 2014. The decisions are there-
fore postponed to 2015.
A development strategy that remains
to be defined
Moreover, the EPADESA, which until
then had no policy document, has
been working since the autumn of
2013 on constructing an operational
strategic project applicable to its
entire scope of intervention based on
State-defined policies.
This development is difficult as exter-
nal uncertainties which affect large
projects in the Paris area, whether
they involve transport or the organisa-
tion of the metropolis, are coupled
with internal difficulties in reconciling
different points of view. The 40,000
new jobs expected in the business dis-
trict before 2027 may contribute to
increasing the congestion of transport
capacity. The office property market,
for its part, remains lifeless: more
than 440,000 m² remained unoccu-
pied in the 1st quarter of 2014.
The actions of EPADESA must come
within a concerted development pro-
cess with the municipalities and their
groups, while respecting the preroga-
tives of each of them. However, the
Court noted that reconciling points of
view has often been difficult and
warns about the consequences of the
lack of clear choices, which would risk
compromising the future of the
While noting the progress that has
been achieved in the internal mana-
gement of the EPADESA, the Court
recommends that the public authori-
ties and the development authority:
quickly determine the proce-
dures for distributing the costs of
refurbishing facilities for the La
Défense district;
prepare a strategic document
specifying the development that
they intend to carry out in this busi-
ness district over the next ten to fif-
teen years.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The Jussieu construction site
and the conduct of large pro-
perty transactions by universi-
ties in the Paris area: lessons to
be learned
In 2014, the Court carried out a fol-
low-up investigation on the thematic
public report published in 2011: "The
Jussieu campus: the excesses of a
badly-run renovation".
An interminable construction site at
an increasing cost
The public establishment for the
development of universities in the Île-
de-France region (EPAURIF) acts as
the contracting authority for all ope-
rations carried out on the Jussieu
campus. Seventeen years after the
first work began on the site, an agree-
ment of 8 October 2013 between the
State, the Pierre et Marie Curie
University and the EPAURIF determi-
ned the establishment’s duties with
regard to asbestos removal and the
renovation of buildings, as well as the
rehousing and transfer of their occu-
In accordance with the timetable set
by the agreement, the "centre-west"
sector was handed over in July 2014.
Handover of the "east" sector, plan-
ned for the second quarter of 2015,
could be delayed due to unforeseen
asbestos removal work, while remai-
ning within the deadline set by the
agreement of 8 October 2013.
While this agreement indicated that
the main operations would be com-
pleted in 2015, the Pierre et Marie
Curie University is already planning an
operation to renovate the "barres de
Cassan", buildings located to the
north of the campus which were not
originally included in the scope of the
operation. This work could be carried
out between 2015 and 2025 for an
estimated final amount of €249 mil-
lion (2012 value), but no financial
commitment has yet been made for
this operation.
The Court had noted that the projec-
ted costs of the Jussieu operation
have constantly increased since the
€591 million in 1998, €800 million in
2002, €1.03 billion in 2005 and
€1.77 billion at the end of 2008.
In 2011, the Court evaluated the ove-
rall cost of renovating the Jussieu
campus at €1.71 billion, correspon-
ding to €1.80 billion valued in 2014.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The Jussieu construction site and the conduct of
large property transactions by universities in the
Paris area: lessons to be learned
Given the additional cost planned for
the "barres de Cassan", the final pro-
jected cost of the renovationof the
Jussieu campus may be estimated at
more than €2 billion in 2014.
The contribution of EPAURIF to uni-
versity property transactions: pro-
gress to be confirmed
As the Court had suggested in 2011,
the EPAURIF signed an objectives and
performance contract with the State
in 2012.
The Court noted that the operations
carried out on the Jussieu campus had
no defined objectives in terms of
scope, deadlines and costs. Now, each
operation is covered by an agreement
defining the essential parameters of
the project: nature of tasks, deadlines,
funding conditions, mode of gover-
nance and estimated final cost. The
EPAURIF's board of directors, which
includes representatives of the State,
regional authorities and the university
sector, is regularly informed of the
conduct of operations. These impro-
vements, as well as the expertise
acquired on the Jussieu site, have allo-
wed the establishment to acquire
technical legitimacy with regard to
the Ministry and the university esta-
The EPAURIF was made responsible
for some 40 operations other than
Jussieu in 2014, in which it intervened
in various capacities (contracting
authority, project coordinator, assis-
tant to contracting authority or
expert). Since 2011, the establish-
ment has adapted its organisation to
the diversification of its tasks, particu-
larly by reinforcing the teams respon-
sible for prior studies and property
The Ministry of Higher Education and
Research must nevertheless refine its
doctrine on the employment of the
public establishment, specifying for
which types of operations or accor-
ding to which financial thresholds it
Given the numerous risks (legal, finan-
cial, deadlines, etc.) to which it is expo-
sed, the EPAURIF still needs to
enhance its internal legal control of
the establishment, finish the project
to write procedures begun in 2011,
and improve the quality of its accoun-
ting to end the current situation of
dual accounting of capital assets.
University property in the Paris area:
strategic management to be put in
As the Court recommended in 2011,
developments to the regulatory fra-
mework applicable to State invest-
ments and its public establishments
have improved the evaluation phases
prior to property projects. A new circu-
lar relative to the expert appraisal of
property projects, covering all opera-
tions (State-region project contract,
campus operations, etc.) should be
published at the beginning of 2015.
However, the diversity of the players
contributing to the property policy
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
orientations of higher education and
research in the Île-de-France (univer-
sities, establishment communities,
development establishments) does
not facilitate the coherence of initia-
tives in the matter.
In 2012, a first plan was drawn up for
the location of property for higher
education and research activities and
facilities for student life in the Île-de-
France. This document was never dis-
tributed and its policies are partly
obsolete due to numerous changes
which have occurred since 2012, parti-
cularly concerning the merger of esta-
The strategic framework for large
operations in the Île-de-France must
be modernised. Design of an overall
plan cannot be assigned to a single
body such as the committee of chief
education officers specified by article
R.222-2 of the French Education
Code. It must take into account other
organisation plans (particularly the
work carried out in relation to Greater
Paris in matters of transport infra-
structure) and the new issues invol-
ving university property (site policy,
energy transition, digital development
and cost of operation/maintenance).
Lastly, the establishments' property
strategy can only be designed in appli-
cation of a previously defined strategy
for higher education and research in
the Île-de-France, as property is
merely a support function to serve the
establishments' primary objectives.
Consequently, the Court issues the
following recommendations to the
Ministry of Higher Education and
arbitrate the programming and
financing of the renovation work on
the "barres de Cassan" envisaged by
the Pierre et Marie Curie University;
employment of the EPAURIF for
implementing property projects at
universities in the Paris area;
bring the property location
plan specified by the decree of
26 August 2010 into line with the
State strategy in terms of higher edu-
cation and research in the Île-de-
France and the development of
Greater Paris (recommendation rei-
The Jussieu construction site and the conduct
of large property transactions by universities in
the Paris area: lessons to be learned
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The "Château de Versailles
Spectacles" company: progress
to be consolidated
Founded on 24 December 2003,
Château de Versailles Spectacles"
(CVS) is a simplified joint stock com-
pany owned by a sole proprietor
(SASU), a wholly-owned subsidiary of
the public establishment that covers
the château, the museum and the
estate of Versailles (EPV). In particu-
lar, it organises the "fountain shows"
in the gardens of the estate, contem-
porary art exhibitions, and the musical
season at the Royal Opera. In a sum-
mary judgement of 24 September
2010, the Court noted the limits of
outsourcing a statutory task and the
irregularities related to the collection,
by CVS, of income from sponsorship
and the ancillary remuneration of
agents of the EPV intervening for the
benefit of this company.
Positive changes since 2010
CVS has managed to develop and
diversify its activities. The profitability
of the "fountain shows" has been
increased. The contemporary art exhi-
bitions now have an international
influence, even though their impact
on visitor numbers in the château is
difficult to establish due to the fact
that they are free of charge. Lastly, the
musical activity, which has long been
marginal, has developed considerably,
with the organisation of a season of
Baroque music, the quality of which is
renowned and which is encountering
a certain degree of public success. The
development and diversification of
the activity of CVS since 2010 resulted
in significant growth of the company,
the turnover of which rose from
€10.50 million in 2009 to €14.5 mil-
lion in 2013.
In accordance with the recommenda-
tions issued by the Court in 2010, pro-
gress has been made by the company
in managing its human resources and
in its governance. The role of the
EPV's board of directors in relation to
Procedures intended to secure its abi-
lity to receive corporate sponsorship
have been successfully concluded.
Lastly, although the financial equili-
brium of CVS was shaken several
times during the period 2003-2009,
the situation was consolidated over
the period 2010-2013, with net annual
results close to balance, enabling
flows between the EPV and its subsi-
diary to be stabilised.
requires increased control of risks
In spite of observed progress, shortco-
mings remain in the procedures appli-
cable to travel expenses, procurement
and the establishment of the financial
balance sheet for the contemporary
art exhibitions. Furthermore, new
financial risks have appeared over the
last few years: the first relates to the
financial setup of the contemporary
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The "Château de Versailles Spectacles": pro-
gress to be consolidated
art exhibitions, which have highly
variable cost structures depending on
the artists presented and are based
almost exclusively on resources from
sponsorship; the second relates to the
large deficit for the musical season,
faced with low prospects for increa-
sing income from ticket sales and
Moreover, the Court reiterates its pre-
vious observations concerning the use
of the "sponsorship hours" arrange-
ment to remunerate additional work
carried out by EPV personnel for the
benefit of CVS. This arrangement is
not controlled at the legal level and
the use of alternative solutions, when
possible, would have advantages in
terms of cost and organisation of
The organisation chosen by the EPV,
through the creation of a subsidiary,
seems at last to have found a point of
equilibrium which should now be
consolidated. Beyond this, improve-
ments remain to be made to the admi-
nistrative and financial functioning of
CVS, while respecting its manage-
ment independence. The information
provided to the board of directors of
the EPV on the activities of CVS needs
to be improved, and better incorpora-
ted into the development of the range
of cultural services available at the
Château de Versailles.
Consequently, the Court issues the
following recommendations:
make the use, by CVS, of the
"sponsorship hours" arrangement
compliant with the regulations, while
working on developing alternative
apply open competition proce-
dures in procurement, in accordance
with the provisions of the ordinance
of 6 June 2005 on contracts awarded
by certain public or private entities
not subject to the Code of Public
improve the management and
organisation of the contemporary art
exhibitions while clarifying the res-
pective responsibilities of the EPV
and CVS and making the financial
balance sheets more reliable;
strengthen the monitoring role
of the EPV's board of directors by
improving information on the cost of
the activities of CVS, particularly its
musical season, and their impact on
the financial equilibrium.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The real estate transactions of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
in the Paris region: an unsatis-
factory outcome
When drawing up the assessment of
the real estate transactions of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on
the La Courneuve and Rue de la
Convention sites in Paris, the Court
noted that the failures in managing
such projects, which it had already cri-
ticised in 2005 and 2008, had not
disappeared in 2014. The Ministry still
does not have the means to prevent
dysfunctions that impact on public
Incomplete rationalisation
Although the work to rationalise the
real estate settlements in the Paris
region is reflected in the 39% reduc-
tion of net floor space occupied, it still
has not reached the objectives that
were hoped for "by 2010".
Unrealistic programming
The lack of realism in the program-
ming of real estate transactions is
demonstrated in the almost systema-
tic under-evaluation of financial pro-
jections (taking over the building on
Rue de la Convention exceeded esti-
mates by more than €47 million), in
the flawed manner in which the requi-
rements of the administration and its
users were taken into account (oversi-
zing the archives reading room at the
La Courneuve site), and the lack of
monitoring of initial priorities (instal-
Cooperation and Francophonie at Rue
de la Convention for an additional
cost of work of more than €2 million).
Furthermore, the archives wing at the
Quai d'Orsay will, in 2018, have remai-
ned unoccupied for nine years, for a
cost estimated at more than €6 mil-
Lack of professionalism
The lack of professionalism is reflec-
ted in the shortcomings of the
contracting authority, with choices
that compromised the goal; the time-
table and the budget of the concer-
ned projects (change of the opinion of
the Minister on the layout of works-
paces causing additional costs of 24%
to the contract, which increased from
2.55 to €3.15 million) and in the
undersizing and lack of training of
teams, who were unable to stand up
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The real estate transactions of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in the Paris region: an
unsatisfactory outcome
In the light of these observations, the
Court issues the following recom-
take into account, in the MFA's
real estate strategy plan, the expec-
ted prospects for changes of its work-
force in the central services, of its
administrative organisation, of its
activity and of its business lines;
enhance the technical and legal
competences of the Ministry's real
estate and logistics department to
ensure the quality and reliability of
real estate transactions and to over-
see the stability of the programs that
are thus defined; failing this, consider
the use of a delegated contracting
to some inflationary demands of the
hierarchy of the Ministry (increase of
€4.60 million through amendments
for contracts of an initial amount of
€9.20 million for various develop-
ments at the Convention site).
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
Chapter IV
The Court issues a warning
1 - The network of sub-prefectures : between
and experimentation
2 - An example of poorly-planned local public investment : the
airports of Dole and Dijon
The network of sub-prefec-
tures: between
status quo
On 1 January 2015, the network of
235 sub-prefectures covered a histori-
cal map of 336
tricts), an administrative level that is
generally absent from the regional
structures of comparable European
In its 2012 public report, the Court
found that the gap was widening bet-
ween the sociological and administra-
tive transformations that the country
is undergoing and this practically-
intangible network. It observed the
gradual reduction of the traditional
tasks of sub-prefectures and criticised
the lack of overall reform of a network
organised according to an anachronis-
tic map.
The follow-up inspection carried out
by the Court led to the observation
that the
status quo
had only been cal-
led into question very recently by the
development of certain experimental
The artificial retention of "counter
In application of the official doctrine
of the Ministry of the Interior, "counter
tasks" should rapidly decrease by
2015. In fact, personnel remain assi-
gned to these duties within the sub-
prefectures. Firstly, they devote them-
selves to material tasks involving
checking legality, which a dedicated
computer application has made lar-
gely pointless.
Secondly, they carry out activities
involving the delivery of administra-
tive documents, which the generalisa-
tion of electronic services or issuance
in the prefecture were supposed to
make obsolete.
A constantly postponed reorganisa-
tion of maps
While the intervention of the State at
a regional level has given rise to many
studies at the inter-ministerial and
ministerial levels, the situation of the
and sub-prefectures
has barely changed since the last
major overhaul in 1926. It has remai-
ned practically unchanged over the
last few years, due to a lack of will
from the public authorities. In spite of
reform projects studied by “
" and "t
ask groups of senior
", the Ministry has defined no
overall strategy to adapt these local
services to the requirements of citi-
zens and local authorities.
An "
experimental mission on the reno-
vation of the network of sub-prefec-
" for the
of the
Alsace region and the Moselle depart-
ment was assigned to the prefects of
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
The Court reiterates its recommen-
dations and issues two in the guise of
a summary:
Design a new map of arrondis-
sements, keeping only those sub-pre-
fectures for which the presence of a
sub- prefect and a decentralised level
of administration is necessary;
Implement this map gradually,
according to a timetable fixed in
the region concerned, to correct an
atypical situation inherited from the
19th century. It led to measures to
reduce the network, which took effect
on 1 January 2015 (five sub-prefec-
tures were eliminated in 2015 and one
will be eliminated in 2016, as well as
A pending redefinition
The redesign of the map of arrondis-
sements is not, in itself, sufficient to
ensure appropriate intervention of the
State's services at the sub-depart-
mental level. The Ministry of the
Interior has considered two avenues
for reform: the concept of the "State
administrative centre", and the pro-
ject to have "mission-oriented" admi-
nistrations organised by arrondisse-
ment sub-prefects.
Neither of these ways has currently
come to fruition. What is more, their
appropriateness is rather unconvin-
cing as they do not, in reality, provide
any solution that is up to the task of
adapting the presence of the State at
the local level, while a reform of local
authorities has begun.
The network of sub-prefectures: between
and experimentation
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
An example of poorly-planned
local public investment: the air-
ports of Dole and Dijon
In a 2008 public report on airports in
the face of changes to air transport,
the Cour des Comptes highlighted the
chronic deficits of numerous local air-
ports, which have been compensated
by high subsidies. It noted the lack of
rationality in the locations of airports
and the lack of synergy. The Court ins-
tructed players to develop inter-
modal solutions to make more effi-
cient of use the existing infrastructure
and invited financiers to question
whether airports in deficit should be
kept in activity.
In the same vein, six years later, the
Bourgogne, Franche-Comté examined
the situation of the two airports of
Dijon and Dole.
The implementation of competing
The low degree of co-operation bet-
ween managers and financiers of the
two airports is largely explained by
complex governance: the Dijon air-
Bourgogne region, the Côte-d'Or
department, the urban community of
Greater Dijon and the Côte-d'Or
chamber of commerce and industry)
and the Dole airport is mainly subsidi-
sed by the Jura department. This lack
of coordination, made possible by the
"general competence" clause speci-
fied by the General Local Authorities
Code and by the location of facilities
in two different regions, led to the
coexistence of competing develop-
ment plans.
Massive and diversified public sup-
This competition of facilities less than
50 km apart, characterised by largely
intersubstitutable catchment areas,
resulted in inefficient allocation of
public funding. In Dijon, the moderni-
sation of the airport represented a
cost of €14.7 million. In Dole, if the
project to build a new terminal is com-
pleted, the investments should reach
€9.5 million by the end of the public
service concession, representing a
total of over €24 million for the
modernisation of both airports.
Regarding support to the operation of
the Dijon airport, financiers paid out
more than €3.5 million between 2010
and 2013. At the same time, in Dole,
the total contribution of the Jura
department reached €2.65 million:
with aid paid by other organisations,
the total amount of aid to operation
reached €3 million.
The financiers of the Dijon airport also
paid €3.3 million to an airline com-
pany, of which €2.3 million in aid to
routes and €1 million for marketing
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
An example of poorly-planned local public
investment: the airports of Dole and Dijon
2013 passenger traffic for the main airports concerned by the catchment area
for the Dijon and Dole airports
Source : Cour des Comptes, according to data from DGAC
contracts. The Bourgogne region also
granted €0.5 million in investment to
the company to help its establish-
ment. In the Jura, aid to airline compa-
nies amounted to more than €2.5 mil-
lion between 2011 and 2013. The Jura
department chose not to notify the
European Commission of the aid paid
to the airline companies, exposing
itself to the risk of a repayment
Related to traffic, the subsidies for aid
to regular routes in Dijon stood at
approximately €45 per passenger
transported. In Dole, the subsidies
paid to low-cost airlines reached
approximately €23 per passenger.
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes
2013 passenger traffic
Dole Jura
Dijon Bourgogne
Aéroports de Paris (Paris Airports)
Lyon Saint-Exupéry 8,500,937
Geneva 14,436,149
An example of poorly-planned local public
investment: the airports of Dole and Dijon
Two projects in difficulty
Although the financiers of the Dijon
airport had set objectives of 190,000
and 250,000 passengers for 2014 and
2017, the 2013 traffic was less than a
fifth of the forecast traffic anticipated
for 2012, and even less than that seen
in the early 2000s, due to high rates of
leakage towards competing airports.
The increase in traffic at Dole excee-
ded contractual forecasts, given the
repositioning on low-cost flights, and
reached approximately 100,000 pas-
sengers in 2014. Although the combi-
ned traffic of both airports has increa-
sed, it is nevertheless below 150,000
passengers and remains a long way
off the threshold identified by the
Cour des Comptes in 2008 as being
able to generate a gross operating
profit. Lastly, aircraft load factors have
proved disappointing at both airports,
with the exception of two routes.
As such, these airports have not
managed to generate a gross opera-
ting profit excluding subsidies. The
financial situation of the Dijon airport,
which is particularly weak, has meant
that its financiers have had to increase
their management of deficits which
were initially designed to be dimini-
shing. In the first half of 2014, some
decided to bring their participation to
an end, which spells death for com-
mercial activity at Dijon.
At both Dijon and Dole, the economic
benefits have not been accurately
measured. The number of jobs created
is low with regard to the aid paid, and
hotel and catering services have not
undergone substantial changes. In
Dole, the low economic benefits due
to insufficient use by foreign travellers
partly explains the decision of the
Franche-Comté region not to pay any
subsidies in 2015.
The supply of airport services in the
regions concerned must be rationali-
sed, against the backdrop of the clo-
sure of air base 102 (Dijon) in 2016
and a merger of these regions.
Whether it is even appropriate to
develop a single inter-regional airport
is questionable. The potential conti-
nuation of development of an airport
may only be envisaged based on an
economic model that is founded upon
realistic budget and traffic assump-
tions, after studying an alternative
scenario that takes into account the
service provided by competing air-
ports and the budgetary restrictions
of financiers.
The Cour des Comptes issues the fol-
lowing recommendation to the local
authorities and public bodies concer-
bring support for two facilities
to an end and plan an alternative sce-
nario to the development of air ser-
vice, based on the possibilities of
modal transfer (rail, road) and on the
service of the large neighbouring air-
Summaries of the 2015 Annual Public Report by the Cour des Comptes