Sort by *
of recommendations
These summaries are intended to facilitate the understanding
and use of the report produced by the Cour des comptes.
Only the original report is legally binding on the Cour des
The responses of the administrations and government authori-
ties concerned appear after the report.
The order of the summaries corresponds to the order of the
chapters of the report.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The Cour des Comptes ensures that public funds are used properly. It examines
public management, policies and accounts and rules on their compliance with
the relevant rules, laws, regulations and standards and on the efficiency and
effectiveness of actions taken.
In addition to its core duties, since the start of this century the Cour des
Comptes has been meeting two further complementary and regular needs: for
recommendation of solutions to the problems it identifies and for monitoring
of how public policy-makers follow up those recommendations.
Parliament has gradually turned these needs into duties that the Cour des
Comptes must now fulfil.
It consequently produces recommendations as an automatic part of its work
and regularly reviews how they have been followed up. The regional and ter-
ritorial chambers of accounts have done the same since 2013 - an approach
voted into the Law of 7 August 2015 on the new territorial organisation of the
Republic, which requires the regional and territorial chambers of accounts to
produce an annual summary of follow-up reports on their final observations.
The Cour des Comptes review of the follow-up of its recommendations is organised
as follows
• audits start with a thorough examination of the responses to the comments
made at the end of the previous audit;
• if required between regular audits, a follow-up audit will be carried out. This
will look only at the response to the previous audit or will prepare for the next
thorough audit;
• finally, the addition by the Supplementary Budget Act of 29 July 2011 of article
L. 143-10-1 to the Financial Jurisdictions Code made follow-up an official duty
of the Cour des Comptes, creating a particularly ambitious framework for it and
imposing obligations on both the recipients of the observations and on the Cour
des Comptes itself:
These principles are incorporated in professional standards: Recueil des normes profession-
nelles, chapter 3 – C, available at
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
-  recipients of final observations by the Cour des Comptes must report to it on
how those observations have been followed up;
-  based on said reports received, the Cour des Comptes must in its own annual
public report set out the follow-up action that has been taken.
This booklet sets out firstly the general results of Cour des Comptes monitoring
of all the recommendations it published 2013-2015 (chapter I). It then summa-
rises 10 follow-up investigations it has performed.
The 10 summaries are organised into three categories that are colour-coded to
indicate the degree to which the recommendations made by the financial juris-
dictions have been implemented:
- category 1 (green) (chapter II):
Cour des Comptes notes progress
- category 2 (orange) (chapter III):
Cour des Comptes emphasises
- category 3 (red) (chapter IV):
Cour des Comptes warns
Preparation and follow-up of recommendations in accordance
with ISSAI 300
The follow-up of Cour des Comptes recommendations and the publication of its
work comply with professional standards and the guidelines on best practice for
public sector auditors approved by the International Organisation of Supreme
Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).
ISSAI 300 sets out the fundamental principles of performance auditing as they
relate to the preparation and follow-up of recommendations.
This states that «auditors should seek to provide constructive recommendations
that are likely to contribute significantly to addressing the weaknesses or pro-
blems identified by the audit». It adds quality criteria. In particular, recommendations
must «address the causes of problems and/or weaknesses … in such a way that avoids
truisms or simply inverting the audit conclusions». And «It should be clear who and what
is addressed by each recommendation, who is responsible for taking any initiative
and what the recommendations mean - i.e. how they will contribute to better
The standard has been transposed into Cour des Comptes professional
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Follow-up of recommendations
Chapter I - Follow-up of recommendations in 2016
Chapter II - Progress noted by the Cour des Comptes
Outsourced processing of visa applications abroad:
a successful reform that must be built on
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter III - The Cour des Comptes emphasises
Traveller accomodation and support: slow and uneven progress;
aims must be redefined
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The big sea port reform: uneven implementation; modest im-
pact and insufficient attraction
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Housing for the homeless: improvement; strategy required . . 28
Rail motorways: an ambition struggling to survive
. . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter IV - Cour des Comptes warns
ONEMA: the success of its integration in the French
Biodiversity Agency is at stake
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Support for tobacconists: stop income support, review
relations between Government and tobacconists
. . . . . . . . . . . .
CIPAV (Interprofessional Welfare and Pension Fund for the Libe-
ral Professions): service quality remains mediocre,
urgent reform required
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Social policy at the Directorate General for Civil Aviation: high-
cost stagnation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals: finances compromised by pay rises
unrelated to performance
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter I
Follow-up of recommendations
in 2016
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The degree to which Cour des Comptes
recommendations published in the last
three years have been implemented
constitutes the key performance indi-
cator used in the Government’s Budget
programme (Programme 164 – Cour des
Comptes and other financial jurisdictions)
for financial jurisdictions.
The indicator reflects the extent (in
percentage terms) to which the most
over the period have actually been
tation does not necessarily mean full
The indicator shows how recipients
respond to the main recommenda-
tions made by the Cour des Comptes
in its publications: annual public and
themed reports and the reports on public
finances and accounts required by theor-
ganic laws of 1 August 2001 on the
budget Acts (LOLF) and of 2  August
2005 on the Social Security financing
Acts (LOLFSS); and Cour des Comptes
reports to Parliament, the Prime Minister
and ministers (the reports).
The recommendations considered in
the 2016 follow-up investigation were
made in the final reports published
by the Cour des Comptes between
1 March 2013 and 28 February 2016,
including the 2016 annual public report.
Follow-up of recommendations
in 2016
Recommendation follow-up indicator for the last three years
follow-up of
2011, 2012
and 2013
(follow-up of
2012, 2013
and 2014
(follow-up of
2013, 2014
and 2015
Number of recommendations
followed up
1 924
1 792
1 623
- 15.6%
1 343
1 256
1 168
+ 2.2 pts
Source: Cour des Comptes
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Following a material rise in the
made and followed up by the
Comptes until 2014,
the 2015 slide continued in 2016
(1 623 recommendations followed
up in 2016 vs 1 792 in 2015). While
2012 and 2013 saw a particularly
large number of publications with
a big impact on the number of
recommendations to be followed up
in 2014. Publication numbers have
fallen off since then.
The recommendation follow-up indica-
tor improved slightly in 2016 (72% of
recommendations were implemented
in full or in part) after marginal progress
2014-2015. Of the 1 623 recommenda-
tions followed up in 2016, 1 168 were
implemented in full or in part.
Six types of rating are used to give as true
a picture as possible of recommendation
implementation by the administrations
concerned and to provide a better
understanding of the degree to which
each recommendation was imple-
mented over the three consecutive
follow-up years.
Rating of recommendations followed up in 2015 and 2016
Number of
in 2016
Number of
in 2015
Fully implemented
Implementation in
Not implemented
1 623
1 792
Source: Cour des Comptes
Follow-up of recommendations in 2016
Chapter II
Progress noted by the Cour des Comptes
1. Outsourced
a successful reform that must be built on
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
A necessary, cost-cutting
reform for the public finances
to deal with rising demand for
2010-2015 the number of visa
applications handled by French
and consular services
across the world saw a particularly
strong rise of over 50%, especially
in emerging countries, from 2.2 to
around 3.6 million.
France, like other countries, has the-
refore outsourced the processing of
visa applications. While consulates are
still responsible for actually checking
applications and deciding whether
to grant visas, private providers now
prepare the applications for a fee paid
by the applicants themselves. Capped
at €30, this fee is in addition to the
registry fee (€60 for a short-term
Schengen visa) paid to the Govern-
process has proved an economical
solution for the public purse since
the cost is paid by the applicants
collected applications, along with
around thirty consular offices that
had sub-contracted the arrangement
of appointments only. Some centres
are located in towns that previously
had no consulates, meeting the de-
mand for a local service and comple-
ting the consular map.
Although the set-up and operation
of the outsourced centres has been
at no additional cost to the Govern-
ment, this is not the case for the bio-
metric data collection required under
uses BIONET, an application that had
to meet data security specifications
before it could be used in outsourced
centres. The cost of installation to the
public purse was around €15 million
2010-2015. At the start of 2015 and the
introduction of biometrics in China, India
and Russia, around 300 stations were in
place world-wide.
Outsourced processing of visa
applications abroad: a successful
reform that must be built on
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Number of visas issued
Source: Cour des Comptes based on Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
(MAEDI) data
Outsourcing has reduced the number
of extra staff needed to cope withap-
plications. The consular services thus
benefited from the 1 200 agents
hired by the outsourcing companies,
or in other words in 2015 from 1 200
members of staff that the Govern-
ment did not have to recruit or train.
A reform that redefines sovereign
Visa issue is a sovereign duty by its
very nature. The sharing of tasks and
responsibilities between Government
and the private operator as a result of
the reform has led to the production
of a set of procedures common to all
consulates and to identification of the
tasks that can be delegated.
The legal framework for outsourcing
is now established. Although competi-
tive tendering did not always occur in
the first few cases, it has become the
rule as even contracts awarded abroad
must comply with public procurement
However, the proper collection of registry
fees by providers remains a problem. The
Law of 20 December 2014 permits the
Government in certain circumstances
to instruct a private third party to
recover certain items of public reve-
nue, including registry fees. Mandate
agreements have been signed with
the operators that set out their obli-
gations formally and in detail. But the
legality of these agreements depends
on issue of a decree that will implement
the Act. Even though this is required in
Outsourced processing of visa applications
abroad: a successful reform that must
be built on
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Outsourced processing of visa applications
abroad: a successful reform that must
be built on
the Act itself, no such decree has yet
been issued.
With regard to the management and
control of outsourcing in general,
the dual supervision exercised by the
Foreign and Internal Ministries,
does ensure proper management
of the visa system. It has led to
and documents that are common to
all consulates. The Cour des Comptes
has however found that the in situ
inspections of private operators by the
consulates and central administration
audits cannot on their own ensure that
centres are complying in full with their
duties to protect and keep safe the
personal data they handle.
A successful reform with a
doubtful future
The original criticism of outsourced
processing of visa applications was
triggered by fear of job losses in
consulates, by the hesitant start to
outsourcing and by its repercussion
on the cost of visas to applicants. The
reform has today achieved its aim of
freeing up consulates to do other
work and of offering far better quality
service. Consulates can now focus on
their core business while at the same
time meeting their 48-hour visa issue
target. More efficient visa issue
has helped enhance the attraction
of France both economically and
also as a tourism destination.
Fluctuating demand for visas and
technological change are however
leading to concern about the future.
2016 saw a marked drop in the number of
applications (around 8%). It therefore
cannot be assumed that the strong
growth in visa applications over
the last decade will continue into
the future.
Technological change is also raising
questions about whether outsourcing
to private centres can continue in its
current form. The France-Visas system
that is to be deployed in all French
diplomatic and consular services by
2018 will manage visa applications on line.
Digital passports and digitised supporting
documents will allow paperless processing
of visa applications since all documents will
be submitted and processed electronically.
A paperless process therefore raises
questions about the role of outsourced
centres and about how many can be
maintained - even if they continue to
provide the public with services the
consulates are no longer able to offer:
assistance using the internet portal,
collection of biometric data, submission
and return of passports, etc.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
give the collection of registry fees
by private providers a legal basis, as
required by the Law of 20 December
2014 on simplifying the life of com-
panies and on provisions to simplify
and clarify the law and administra-
tive procedures;
controls of private providers.
Outsourced processing of visa applications
abroad: a successful reform that must
be built on
Chapter III
The Cour des Comptes emphasises
Traveller accomodation and support: slow and uneven pro-
gress; aims must be redefined
2. The big sea port reform: uneven implementation; modest
impact and insufficient attraction
Housing for the homeless: improvement; strategy required
Rail motorways: an ambition struggling to survive
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The duty to provide accomodation
to travellers is written into the Law
of 31 May 1990 on the implementa-
tion of the right to housing, which re-
quires municipalities with over 5 000
residents to provide them with decent
and suitable temporary camps{SR}.
Ten years on, and having learned the
lessons taught by the relative failure
of the encampment areas that were
created, the Law of 5 July 2000 on the
support and settlement of travellers,
which offers more incentives, has re-
balanced the rights and duties of mu-
nicipalities and travellers.
In October 2012 the Cour des Comptes
assessed this public policy and made
23 recommendations regarding the
problems faced by travellers. 22 of
these have been acted on in part or
in full, primarily through the Law of
25 March 2014 on access to housing
and new urban planning and the Law
of 22 December 2016 on equality and
Slow, uneven progress
Councils regularly create permanent
encampment areas. But they cover
only 69% of travellers’ needs, as iden-
tified by host départements. There are
still big differences between regions.
The reform of site operating aid (ALT
2) abolished flat-rate payments in
favour of an allowance based on
actual site occupation. This cut
the total cost to the Government
and the National Family Allowance
Fund from €36.7 million in 2014 to
€32 million in 2015.
Permanent occupation of short-term
encampment areas in violation of their
purpose is increasing as the travellers
desire for a local base grows. This
is mainly because of the precarious
finances of some of them, whose in-
come depends largely on RSA (active
solidarity revenue), in-work benefit
or other allowances, such as disabled
adult allowance (AAH). For these
households, permanent residence in
encampment areas means that they
do not have to use sites without any
connection to public supply networks
(electricity, water…).
The education of traveller children
remains inadequate at both prima-
ry and secondary levels despite the
efforts made by the national educa-
tion authorities. The National Centre
accomodation and
support: slow and uneven
progress; aims must
be redefined
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
for Remote Learning (CNED) from
secondary level cannot on its own
provide apprenticeships or education
for these children.
(Mainly summer) big events attract
travelling groups of up to two hundred
Action Grand Passage (AGP): this is an association that contacts the mayors of the municipalities
through which large traveller caravan trains are planned to pass.
caravans and continue to be badly
managed. Attempts to organise these
treks by traveller associations, elected
councillors in the host municipalities
and département prefects have been
unable to prevent a lot local conflicts
that remain.
Requests for caravan train permits made by Action Grand Passage
Source: Cour des Comptes
Aims must be redefined
As needs change, support for mobility
can no longer be the unique aim of
travellers policy. These are groups of
people who wish to retain the caravan
as a way of life, even if their caravans
no longer movel. The concept of an
appropriate housing for travellers the-
refore needs to be promoted. The law
on equality and citizenship takes into
account of this change by increasing
the duties of municipalities to include
accomodation and support: slow and
uneven progress; aims must be redefined
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
accomodation and support: slow and
uneven progress; aims must be redefined
tegration rental loans (PLAI) which
equate a caravan with a building. We
are therefore gradually seeing a move
from settlements provided in the form
of public facilities to private housing
that are rented or owned outright.
Making up for municipal reluctance
to comply with scheme requirements,
the law on equality and citizenship
has introduced a new prefectural su-
tion of the procedure is however quite
a delicate matter. At the same time,
the legal grounds on which travel-
lers can be removed from plot they
have unlawfully occupied have in-
creased. Finally, land that does not
comply with the Urban Planning
Code can now be brought into use if
regularised - on a case-by-case basis
– in accordance with article L. 444-1
of the Code.
Ordinary law on travellers has developed
thanks firstly to the repeal of the special
status created under the Law of 3 January
1969 on the regime applying to persons
travelling in France without a domicile
or fixed abode, and on the other hand
to the extension of the domiciliation
conditions that has made it easier to
exercise social rights. Generalisation
of ordinary law rules and procedures
must however leave room for special
provisions aimed at those travellers
who are in precarious situation.
The difficulty in achieving the aims set
by the law exposes the organisational
and managerial weaknesses of this
policy. These are complicated by the
considerable, mainly legal, problems
faced in collecting relevant documents.
reset the aims of travelle rac-
comodation and support policy,
taking account of their need for
suitable sites;
improve traveller support po-
licy management by appointing
the Interministerial Delegate for
Accommodation and Access to
Housing as Interministerial Mana-
ger, and at local level by expanding
the co-ordination duty of regional
at national level work together
with the representative associations
to co-ordinate the organisation of
large caravan trains.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The 2008 port reform was intended
to round off previous reforms and to
make French ports more competitive.
In an earlier review, published in its
2012 annual public report, the Cour
des Comptes highlighted not only
progress but also cost overshoots and
many compromises.
Now that those problems (financial
crisis and social tension) are over, the
Cour des Comptes has been able to
examine with better hindsight the
measures involved in the reform and
its impact on competitiveness.
Uneven implementation of the
2008 reform at a potentially
high cost
Governance reform and strategic pro-
jects have been fairly comprehensively
implemented. Their benefits should be
retained: a tight decision-making body
with independent financial expertise;
lessening of conflicts of interests; joint
development of strategic projects. The
strategic projects have, however, pro-
ved of limited impact and advances
could have been greater - particularly
the enforcement of the code of ethics.
The implementation of other mea-
sures has been either laborious or re-
mains largely outstanding.
Equipment transfer has proved expen-
sive and some ports have retained a
maintenance business, contrary to the
aims of the reform. There have been
problems setting up and implementing
terminal agreements.
Implementation of social aspects has
been long and hard because of the
negotiation of the unified national
collective agreement (CCNU), and
of the negotiation on work arduous-
ness, and its cost could be high. The
CCNU now covers all personnel in all
though was originally intended
to apply only to those transferred to
port handling companies. It also relies
essentially on seniority-based pay
increases and thus reduces ports’
ability to manage their own labour
costs. The aim of unified control by
handling companies of the drivers,
maintenance operators and dockers
(transferred in 1992) has not been
achieved despite expensive incentives.
Only 53% of the operators in question are
now employed by handling companies.
Of these, only 3% have actually been
transferred and the other 50% have
merely been “seconded”.
The levers offered by the reform have
been little, or unevenly, used.
The new planning role given to the ports
has come up against the problems of
lengthy procedures regarding the trans-
The big sea port reform: uneven
implementation; modest impact
and insufficient attraction
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The big sea port reform: uneven implementation;
modest impact and insufficient attraction
fer of land within ports, and the cost of
upgrading rail lines. Moreover not all
planned investments in infrastructure
have been made.
The tools for inter-port co-operation
have materialised only in the case of
the Seine Axis since the Atlantic ports
took no interest in them.
The supervisory authorities have not
created any indicators for calcula-
ting the total cost of the reform. The
reviews requested by the Cour des
Comptes and supplied by a few ports
are incomplete but the figures shown
are already high and close to the an-
nual turnover of the ports concerned.
Varying features of the seven French big sea ports
Source: Cour des Comptes based on DGITM, Chorus, OCDE and CGEDD data
Anvers / Rotterdam
La Rochelle
2015 turnover (€M)
2015 Government share of investment (€M) - DGITM data
2015 Government share of dredging expense (€M) - Chorus data
Total 2015 traffic including containers (millions of tonnes) - DGITM data
2015 container traffic (millions of tonnes) - DGITM data
Hinterland des GPM:
Hinterland of foreign competitors
Rail transport
River transport
Le Havre
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The big sea port reform: uneven implementation;
modest impact and insufficient attraction
Performance and competitiveness
targets still not met
The performance and competitiveness
targets have not yet been met, as traffic
and attractiveness make clear.
French big sea port traffic vs.
big European port traffic (base = 100)
Source: Cour des Comptes based on DGITM
and Eurostat data
In its 2012 annual public report the
Cour des Comptes noted that traffic
at the seven biggest sea ports (GPM)
fell almost 10% 2007-2010, at the
time probably as a result of the 2009
global financial crisis and the problems
encountered in implementing the port
reform. But while traffic has continued
to drop in France, it has started to rise
again in Europe. Factors not attributable
to the reform (drop in hydrocarbon
traffic and de-industrialisation) can ac-
count for only part of the fall.
The attractiveness of the big sea ports
is harder to analyse since it depends
on a number of different factors: not
just service pricing but also customer
that they will not be locked in the
port in the event of conflict, faster
unloading and transit times, range of
logistics services offered, etc.). Within
Europe, the positioning of French ports
in terms of port transit costs varies
depending on traffic, while the
non-price efforts made to improve
competitiveness have yet to bear
Further change required
Priority must be given to two financial
Firstly, port transport links must be
able to cope with forecast traffic. 2014
rail freight was down on 2006 (-16%
vs + 30% for river traffic and + 32%
for road haulage). This must become
a priority if French ports are to become
more attractive and the timetable of
works to 2020 on the Serqueux-Gisors
line and 2030-2050 on the new Pa-
ris-Normandy line must consequently
be speeded up.
Secondly, property management must
become more dynamic and professio-
nal in order to improve the financial
footing of the ports and to give them
less volatile financial resources than
port tax. Property income today ac-
counts for only 25% to 35% of port
turnover (vs over 40% at Antwerp and
Rotterdam). The amount of property
that could be used is significant (32%
of total man-made property) but pri-
cing policy is out of date and unsui-
table. Some recent new thinking on
this point should be followed up and
supported better by the supervisory
GPMs and their neighbours (decentra-
lised and other ports) has begun with
major port groups: the HAROPA EIG
on the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen
and Paris), Medlink on the Rhone
Axis (Marseilles, Sète and river ports),
7 big sea ports
EU ports
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The big sea port reform: uneven implementa-
tion; modest impact and insufficient attraction
Ports Hauts de France (Dunkirk, Ca-
lais, Boulogne and inland ports). Their
long-term added value remains yet
to be seen but these new cooperation
schemes seem better able to publicise
French ports, to use economies of scale
to make them more competitive and to
offer integrated logistics in potentially
competitive ports. We should continue
down this path.
Finally, Government must make clear
what its strategic choices are. The big
sea ports do not form a homogenous
group. Some serve a large hinterland
and have the potential to compete
with the big European ports (Le
Havre or even HAROPA, Marseilles
and Dunkirk). Others, namely those
on the Atlantic coast, do not. These
differences in GPM challenges and
positioning must be reflected in
the national port strategy and in
financing, which is not currently the
case. As the Government’s financial
resources dwindle, it should focus on
investments that will make France’s big
sea ports more competitive and of real
benefit to the nation.
strategy in order to identify
between ports and investment
prioritise the improvement of
rail services to the biggest sea
ports (Le Havre and Dunkirk);
improve property management
by increasing revenue and making big
sea port management more reliable;
obtain and update declarations of
interest in accordance with regulatory
deadlines and criteria and in a for-
mat that enables them to be analysed
by mid-2017.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
141 000 people were homeless in main-
land France in 2012. Their number had
risen 44% on 2001. They now include
more women, children, foreigners, active
workers and graduates.
The main aim is to get them into secure
housing as quickly as possible, with
social support if required. In cases of
medical, psychiatric or social distress
emergency accommodation remains
subject to no conditions.
The results of the public policy
on emergency accommodation
have improved.
The Government is responsible for
providing accommodation for the
homeless and spent €1.98 billion on
this in 2016 (+56.6% in six years).
The main focus has been on supported
housing, a sector in which the number
of places rose 128% to 215 750 in the
period 2009-2015.
Housing for the homeless:
improvement; strategy required
General schemes
- Accommodation (emergency accommodation centres, hotel stays, etc.): recep-
tion, which is usually for short periods only, does not include leases or payment
of rent but may involve some financial contribution.
- Housing (social residences, homes for young workers, etc., ordinary sub-lets
and suitable managed rentals): reception is short-term or for longer periods,
with those housed paying rent or making a contribution, depending on their
The national reception scheme (DNA)
Reception centres for asylum seekers (CADA), temporary and long-term emer-
gency accommodation for asylum seekers (HUDA), and temporary Asylum
Service reception places (AT-SA): these are not available to people who have
not applied for asylum or whose applications have been rejected.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Number of available and funded places (2009-2015)
Source: Cour des Comptes based on data from the Interministerial Delegation for Accommo-
dation and Access to Housing (DIHAL), April 2016, based on the AHI survey of the Directorate
General for Social Cohesion (DGCS)
General emergency accommodation has
also increased, as has accommodation
specifically for asylum seekers. But 40%
of asylum seekers were still not being
housed in this emergency accommo-
dation in January 2016.
The humanisation plan launched in 2009
has improved conditions in emergency
and stabilisation facilities. Those housed
are more often involved in the life of the
community. There has been progress in
the prevention of evictions and in the
recovery by perfects of their social
housing quotas. Finally, €12 million was
spent on slum clearance 2012-2015.
Distribution across France of places available at 31 December 2015
under general schemes (including hotels)
Source: Cour des comptes
Housing for the homeless:
improvement; strategy required
de places
94 653
99 665
126 492
134 199
185 583
209 749
215 750
70 120
72 268
75 574
82 288
93 591
103 866
112 366
164 773
171 933
202 066
216 487
279 174
313 615
328 116
Number of places available
under general schemes
Moins de 1 000
De 1 000 à 2 000
De 2 000 à 5 000
De 5 000 à 10 000
Plus de 10 000
X.XX%: Hotels
as a % of places
per département
9,13 %
31,75 %
6,94 %
8,19 %
3,85 %
6,90 %
5,26 %
23,87 %
11,22 %
2,17 %
1,54 %
0,95 %
37,58 %
16,53 %
9,54 %
7,70 %
5,01 %
5,58 %
19,21 %
0,87 %
Cour des Comptes/SPRPP - DL - November 2016
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
At the same time, accommodation periods
have lengthened and people are less often
returned to the streets after a night in a
Finally, a SIAO (integrated reception and
orientation service) has been set up in
three-quarters of the départements to
manage all places in accommodation
and supported housing. This has in-
creased occupancy.
The economic crisis and the
international situation is however
limiting the impact of the efforts
made so far.
Monetary poverty went up 12.6%
2008-2014 and now affects 8.8 million
people, or 14.1% of the population of
mainland France. This has pushed up
the number of homeless.
No SIAO today has sufficient places.
In 2015, Insertion 75 was able to meet
fewer than one request in five for
The supported accommodation and
housing offered is still not entirely sui-
table. In the first half of 2016, nights in
hotels (costing €234 million in 2015)
rose a further 8%.
At the same time, the number of
increased 27% 2012-2015 to over
80 000 in 2015. Initial applications for
asylum went up 15% in the first half of
2016. Combined with the number of
rejected asylum seekers who remain in
France, this has helped drive emergency
accommodation to saturation.
As part of the European scheme for re-
location, France has agreed to accept
19 714 asylum seekers from Greece and
Italy. On 1 September 2016, 1 658 people
were being accommodated on this basis.
Since the end of 2015 the clearance
of the Lande site in Calais has led to
the opening of new reception and
orientation centres (CAO) across
France at an estimated cost of
€25 million in 2016. These centres
also accommodate people evicted
from the camps regularly set up in
The emergency accommodation
policy requires tighter manage-
ment and better co-ordination
with the other policies that affect
There is still little understanding of the
homeless and their needs. Spending
needs are regularly under-estimated
and emergency loans have to be given
during the year. But partner, mainly
voluntary, organisations are forced to
seek cash advances, which does not
make it easy to establish clear finan-
cial relations with them.
Co-ordination among the various
must also be improved. The Ministry
of Health in particular should be
more deeply involved.
Accommodation policy for the homeless
depends on other public policies, such as
child welfare. On leaving the facilities
that have looked after them so far,
young adults often find themselves on
the streets. The same applies to people
leaving prison and unaccompanied
foreign minors. Asylum policy also
impacts emergency accommodation.
Very large numbers of unsuccessful
asylum seekers are accommodated
under the general scheme.
Housing for the homeless:
improvement; strategy required
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Finally, not enough very low-cost hou-
sing is being built. People on very low
incomes are therefore remaining too
long in emergency accommodation,
facilities and growing the need for
new places.
Housing for the homeless:
improvement; strategy required
over emergency accommodation
when housing the homeless;
speed up the recovery by prefects
of their social housing quotas;
quickly set up one SIAO (integrated
reception and orientation service) per
develop a tool for the anonymised,
statistical monitoring of the profiles
ensure the initial Budget Act
includes sufficient funds to meet
forecast financing needs, both for
asylum seekers and also for general
create a national co-ordination
system to manage accommodation
for people evicted from the illegal
camps regularly set up in Paris since
prioritise the building of very
low-cost housing, preferring PLAIs
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Rail motorways, which combine rail with
road transport, use the modal method
to carry entire lorries or unaccompanied
semi-trailers on specially designed trains
that run to regular timetables. The aim
is to encourage hauliers who are not
multi-modal specialists to abandon the
roads in favour of transit journeys.
France has two rail motorways. Since
2003 Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine has
run through the mountains connec-
ting Aiton in France with Orbassano in
Italy. Since 2007 a long-distance transit
motorway has connected Le Boulou
near Perpignan with Bettembourg in
Luxembourg. The Cour des Comptes’
initial audit of both rail motorways
in its 2012 annual public report was
repeated in 2016 but this time also
included the projects to extend the
network along the Atlantic coast and
between Calais and Perpignan that had
come on line since the 2012 report.
Major French ambition
The development of rail motorways
is one of the objectives to come out
of the 2009 Grenelle Environment
Forum, along with the national com-
mitment to rail freight. By helping
modal transfer to rail, the creation of a
high-frequency rail motorway network
was intended to carry 500 000 lorries
by 2020 and reduce CO2 emissions by
450 000 tonnes a year.
Autoroute Ferroviaire Alpine:
a highly subsidised, loss-making
business - stagnant traffic levels
Created under a Franco-Italian agree-
ment in 2003, Autoroute Ferroviaire
Alpine was initially an experiment
agreed to subsidise on a tempora-
ry basis. Following the 2009 failure
of the plan to turn the rail motorway
into a concession, in 2015 the Euro-
pean Commission agreed to allow the
scheme to continue until 2018. The
motorway, which is 53% subsidised,
has been unable to gain momentum.
Traffic has peaked at under 30 000
vehicles a year, or 2% of the HGVs
crossing the northern Alps. Questions
remain about the future of this heavily
subsidised experiment that both coun-
tries are managing without any great
display of enthusiasm.
Managed since start-up in 2007 by
Lorry Rail, a Luxembourg company
whose majority shareholder is SNCF,
AFPL has long been handicapped by
the track work needed for its wagons.
Rail motorways: an ambition
struggling to survive
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The works are coming to an end but
train frequency is still blighted by par-
ticularly complex traffic procedures
and restrictions caused by works
on the network. The rail motorway,
which is not subsidised, has recently
achieved rather fragile breakeven by
gradually lengthening its trains to
cut costs per unit. Carrying 40  000
accounts for only about 6% of all HGV
traffic on this north-south route.
French rail motorway networks (in service and planned)
Source: General Directorate of Infrastructure, Transport and the Sea (DGITM)
Rail motorways: an ambition struggling
to survive
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Rail motorways: an ambition struggling
to survive
The projected Atlantic rail
motorway - a costly failure
As the Grenelle flagship project, the
Atlantic rail motorway was intended
2013 to
connect the
country to the north of France 1000
ment commitment, from the time
of its launch in 2007 the project was
faced with the not entirely favourable
or totally unfavourable opinions of
many of the technical committees
consulted and with strong opposition
from the Municipality of Tarnos where
the terminal was to be built. It was
therefore abandoned in this form in
2015. Of the around 70 million euro in
public funds committed, the Cour des
Comptes has calculated that around
forty million have been spent, consti-
tuting a total loss on the project even
if it is to be revived as planned with
a terminal located in Vitoria in Spain.
The Calais-Le Boulou rail
motorway: a promising project
but a slow starter
A new rail motorway linking the port
of Calais to a terminal in Boulou was
inaugurated at the end of March
2016 to exploit potential cross-Chan-
nel lorry traffic and the investment
already made in infrastructure for the
AFPL line, which is largely common
track. By using new generation wa-
gons that can run on all European rail
track without alteration to rail gauge,
the new rail motorway is already
looking to extending as far as northern
Italy. However, the security situation in
Calais put an indefinite end to the
service three months after its start.
Results far from declared ambi-
tions and significant cost
In 2015 rail motorways carried around
70 000 lorries, or just 4% of total rail
freight. Even though this figure was
lifted to 110 000 lorries with the ad-
dition of the Calais-Le Boulou line, it
remains far from the 500 000 target
set at Grenelle. Rail motorway expan-
sion is weak when compared to the
dynamic competition it faces from
the road. The French rail network is
unsuited to this form of traffic and
there is no equivalent of the strong
incentives offered to hauliers in Swit-
zerland. The Cour des Comptes has
estimated that €213 million in public
funds have been spent on developing
rail motorways since 2010 and regrets
that the environmental benefit to the
community, which is the justification
for that development, has not been
calculated by Government.
by 2018 put Autoroute Ferroviaire
Alpine under concession and continue
reducing its subsidies;
assess the socio-economic and
environmental benefits to the com-
munity of the Perpignan-Luxembourg
rail motorway.
Chapter IV
Cour des Comptes warns
1. ONEMA: the success of its integration in the French
Biodiversity Agency is at stake
2. Support for tobacconists: stop income support, review
relations between Government and tobacconists
3. CIPAV (Interprofessional Welfare and Pension Fund for
the Liberal Professions): service quality remains mediocre,
urgent reform required
4. Social policy at the Directorate General for Civil Aviation:
high-cost stagnation
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals: finances compromised by pay
rises unrelated to performance
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
ONEMA in 2016, four years after its
previous audit and a few months
before ONEMA merged with AFB
(the French Biodiversity Agency). We
discovered that implementation of
the recommendations we made four
years previously had been extremely
sketchy. Caution is therefore required.
AFB must implement immediately all
reforms not made before 2017.
AFB must improve human
resources management
In order to overcome its recruitment
problems, between 2012 and 2016
ONEMA made massive use of excep-
tional forms of recruitment, such as
short-term contracts and secondment
under contract, but did not abide by
the changes made in regulations in
September 2015. The forms of recruit-
ment common within ONEMA must
therefore change in AFB.
The Cour des Comptes also discovered
that pay rose sharply within ONEMA
2012-2016. The Court therefore calls
for vigilance on the matter of pay
within the new Agency, since pay
commitments were given before the
working hours must be revised. The
Cour des Comptes does not believe
that allowing personnel from the new
Agency to opt for the four-day week
inherited from ONEMA will allow the
Agency to fulfil its duties correctly.
The geographic organisation
of the new Agency must be
The number of offices inherited from the
merged institutions must be reduced. At
the end of 2016 ONEMA alone had
113 offices, too few of which were
shared with other bodies. Pooling AFB
local services with those of ONCFS
(National Hunting and Wild Fauna
Agency) could solve this problem.
The Cour des Comptes also regrets
that the public authorities have not
made a priority cutting the number
of offices a priority and that the three
head office locations inherited from the
merged institutions have been retained.
Within the network resources must be
re-allocated to match duty requirements,
especially water police enforcement.
Even by 2016 ONEMA had been
unable to allocate local personnel on
the basis of the delicacy or complexity
of actual duties. AFB must therefore
allocate its human resources among
ONEMA: the success of its
integration in the French
Biodiversity Agency is at stake
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
its local departments in a way that will
reduce geographic inequality.
These problems (e.g. cutting the
number of personnel on the ground
and assigning them to head office)
have had a detrimental effect on water
police enforcement, that has provoked a
stagnation in the number of inspections
between 2012 and 2016. The Cour des
Comptes also recommends a review
of the water policing indicators since
at present they do not do not permit
correct measurement of «inspection
Number of annual inspections
Source: Cour des Comptes based on ONEMA data
ONEMA: the success of its
integration in the French
Biodiversity Agency is at stake
6 692
5 618
8 600
8 573
7 131
13 144
16 106
17 314
16 596
16 918
15 871
22 144
22 798
22 932
25 196
25 491
23 002
5 000
10 000
15 000
20 000
25 000
30 000
Giving rise to an official report
No action
put an end to the four-day
week when setting up AFB (repeat
select one single AFB head office;
reset water policing indicators
to define and measure «inspection
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Since 2004 the Government has been
giving tobacconists special support to
offset the impact of falling tobacco
consumption (a health policy aim) on
their income. The support has taken
the form of a number of measures that
still form part of three «future contracts»
covering the period 2004-2016 and one
protocol agreement for the modernisa-
tion of the tobacconist network covering
the period 2017-2021 and signed on
15 November 2016.
The Cour des Comptes estimated in its
2013 public report that the cost was
disproportionate to the impact felt by
the tobacconists worst hit by falling
sales. The new protocol agreement
takes very little account of the 2013
Schemes are still numerous and
The measures funded through the
State budget include direct income
support and other aid, such as the
contribution to RAGVT (the tobacco-
nist life annuity regime), tobacconist
security support, support for retail
diversification and retirement ormo-
bility support. The cost to the public
purse has fallen during the three
“future contracts” from €  1  419.2
million on the first future contract
2004-2007, to € 908.8 million on the
third 2012-2015, but the total cost
(€ 3 493.5 million over twelve years)
is not insignificant for the 25 492
tobacconists existing at the end of
Government also supports tobacconists
by fixing the proportion of tobacco sale
price that they keep. The third future
contract introduced a gradual increase
of this proportion (the «net rate of
return»), which increased by 0.4% for
cigarettes between 2011 and 2016. As
a result, despite falling French tobacco
sales and rising cigarette prices,tobac-
conists’ income from tobacco sales
continue to rise : the income between
2012 and 2015 was one-third higher
(€ 1 233.2 million) than between 2004
and 2007 (€ 908.5 million).
The protocol covering the period 2017-
2021 provides for an unprecedented
increase in the net rate of return from
6.9% of the sale price at the end of 2016
to 8% in 2021.
A dubious support policy
The support policy, which was legiti-
mate in 2000 when the Government
began to take vigorous action against
smoking and tobacconists needed to be
supported as they turned to other
sources of income, is now dubious for
several reasons.
Support for tobacconists:
stop income support, review
relations between Government
and tobacconists
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Support for tobacconists:
stop income support, review relations between
Government and tobacconists
The apparent commitment of the
profession in the “future contracts”
and protocol agreements is not what
it seems. The only commitment given
by the profession is to fight against
illicit trafficking as part of a scheme
that does not work. The “contracts”,
which have attracted much media
attention, account for only half the
State aid to tobacconists since 2004.
The additional return (which accounts
for 30% of the financial support given
in the three future contracts) and the
Government’s contribution to RAVGT
(€900 million since 2004) are not
Secondly, the drop in Government
support is misleading. The reduction
in subsidies over the course of the
three future contracts has been more
than offset by the rise in net return.
2012-2015 the net rate of return was
in total almost three times higher than
the drop in income support. This will
be increased by the 2017-2021 proto-
col agreement, which will lift the net
rate of return from 2017 by + 0.6%
on cigarettes and + 0.5% on cigars
and cigarillos. Furthermore, in 2016
State support for RAVGT in the form
of budget appropriations stopped but
has been replaced by a deduction in
the same amount from consumption
tax revenue.
The support policy is further being
implemented blind without enough
control or targeting by the autho-
rities. Fraud has been discovered in
retirement bonuses have been used
opportunistically by some tobacco-
nists. The authorities do not have the
resources to monitor tobacconists’
total income, even though business
diversification and support for failing
tobacconists are mentioned in the
three future contracts and the recent
protocol agreement as the main aims
of Government support.
Finally, the continued primary focus
of the policy on supporting income
from tobacco sales the policy makes
no financial sense. At constant tobac-
co consumption rates, in 2017 the rise
in the net rate of return will mean that
the average income of tobacconists will
go up € 4 550 (over 8%) through tobac-
co sales alone. This gives tobacconists
no incentive to diversify. By massively
increasing the net rate of return, the
policy is firstly benefitting tobacconists
with the most dynamic tobacco sales
and not those most hit by falling sales,
who it is supposed to be helping.
At a more general level, the conti-
nuation of a policy for supporting
tobacconists 12 years after it was
first introduced is inconsistent with
the Government’s policy of fighting
against the use of tobacco.
A support policy requiring tho-
rough review
Overall and despite a few advances,
such as using 2012 as the date for
setting the compensatory rate of
believes that improvements in the in-
come of tobacconists and the tobacco
retail network should have halted the
three income support schemes (under
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
the 2017-2021 protocol agreement
just one was halted, the other two
were amended) and put a complete
end to the rise in the net rate of re-
turn. The measures decided at end
2016, which will apply until 2021,
take no account of the actual needs
of those tobacconists who are facing
real hardship, and are unsuited to the
main aim of moving tobacconists to
other work.
The special status of tobacconists as
Customs officers creates a special
relationship between the State and
the profession that does not help
promote this inevitable change.
The Cour des Comptes therefore invites
the public authorities to review the
organisation of tobacco retailing,
including Customs officer status, in
order to improve efficiency and bring
it better into line with public policy. It
also invites them to reconsider imme-
diately and without waiting for 2021
the provisions of the 15 November
2016 protocol agreement with the aim
of introducing a policy with totally new
objectives, managers and tools.
Average income from tobacco sales without Government support
Source: Cour des Comptes based on Customs data
Support for tobacconists:
stop income support, review relations between
Government and tobacconists
average remuneration (exc. support)
average remuneration (inc. support)
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
CIPAV (Interprofessional Welfare
and Pension Fund for
the Liberal Professions): service
quality remains mediocre, urgent
reform required
CIPAV is the biggest of the six divisions
of CNAVPL (National Pension Fund
for the Liberal Professions). In 2015
it had 540 000 contributing members
and 84 000 receiving pensions. It co-
vers a number of regulated professions
(architects and surveyors), consultants
and over 300 very wide-ranging liberal
professions. It also covers over 320 000
In its 2014 public report the Cour des
Comptes noted serious failings in the
quality of the service provided to insured.
It also noted major shortcomings in the
management of Groupe Berri, which
provides joint support to CIPAV and
three other funds. We recommended
immediate and full restructuring.
The latest Cour des Comptes audit
shows that there has not been full
implementation of this recommen-
dation. Despite patchy progress, the
quality of the service given to insured
remains unsatisfactory. The transfer
of certain professions from CIPAV to
RSI (the social security regime for the
self-employed) consequently seems
precipitate and risky and its timetable
is uncertain since the 22 December
2016 decision of the Constitutional
Court on the 2017 Social Security
Budget Act.
Late and incomplete remedial
Reaction by CIPAV and its supervising
authority to the serious findings of the
Cour des Comptes was slow. Instead of
taking immediate action, a new audit was
commissioned. No recovery plan was pro-
duced until January 2015. While this did
make some necessary improvements
- in areas where they were easiest
to achieve and that would produce
quick wins (e.g. the financial mana-
gement of €4.2bn in reserves, the
monitoring of property assets and
rules) - remedial action was incomplete
and not insufficiently prioritised. In ad-
dition, implementation was hindered
by the chaotic breakdown of Groupe
Berri when its members broke free even
though some did not have the critical
mass needed to survive on their own.
Continuing problems with
services to users
Despite some improvements, service
quality still does not meet requirements.
Telephone reception is getting better
but still requires work. Mail processing
times have generally fallen but there is
still a large backlog awaiting attention.
Results fall short of those achieved by
other CNAVPL funds and of user expec-
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
CIPAV (Interprofessional Welfare and Pension
Fund for the Liberal Professions): service qua-
lity remains mediocre, urgent reform required
tations. Waiting times for the start of
pension payments have fallen but re-
main extremely high for survivor’s pen-
sion. Recovery action, which had been
generally abandoned, has resumed but
CIPAV is struggling to cope with the
rise in the number of resulting disputes.
The self-employed, who until 2015 were
subject to strictly interpreted contribu-
tion rules, have not had their full rights
restored, as the Cour des Comptes also
pointed out in 2014.
CIPAV’s long-term recovery is hindered
by the weakness of its tools, especially its
IT system, the upgrade of which remains
far in the future. The fund also has many
problems caused by the unreliability of
the data on its insured and this compro-
mises its work in general. Almost 20 000
people who liberal profession income to
the URSSAF and who should be CIPAV
members, are not.
A precipitate and risky reform:
demanding success criteria
The 2017 Social Security Budget Act
will by 2018 or 2019, depending on the
profession, move new members of
most liberal professions that are
not regulated by CIPAV to RSI. The
Act also gives people in those same
professions who are already insured
through CIPAV the right to transfer
to RSI on certain conditions.
The reform was decided without
consultation or previous study only
three months after the signing of
a multi-year target-based contract
between the Government and CNVAPL.
The contract makes no mention of the
reform. The end result is that insured
will be moved from a problem-ridden
fund to a body still suffering from the
‘industrial catastrophe’ caused by the
creation of a single social contact for
freelance workers, and could further
destabilise both institutions. Success
will be possible only if the two institu-
tions each step up work on their own
rehabilitation and quickly decide the
professions each will cover; and if
the supervisory authorities provide
constant support, especially toen-
sure the reliability of the data held
on insured. In addition, this must not
prevent identification of the impro-
vements each institution must make
to its management and to the qua-
lity of its service. The 22 December
2016 judgment of the Constitutional
Court, which requires changes in the
law and regulations on the criteria
for membership by the professions
of these organisations, will however
slow down the reform and casts
doubt on the options selected for
the rehabilitation of CIPAV.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
CIPAV (Interprofessional Welfare and Pension
Fund for the Liberal Professions): service qua-
lity remains mediocre, urgent reform required
make the reliability of the data on
CIPAV members a joint priority of the
supervisory authority, CIPAV and the
other bodies concerned (ACOSS, RSI);
each body covers;
take all necessary resulting ac-
amending the
target-based contract between the
Government and CNAVPL and by de-
tailing in the new-scope management
contract between CNAVPL and CIPAV
the aims, timetable and service quality
results expected from the updated
rehabilitation policy;
self-employed for the period 2009
to 2015 (repeat recommendation).
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Social policy at the Directorate
General for Civil Aviation:
high-cost stagnation
High cost and lax management
The DGAC (Directorate General for Civil
Aviation) social policy covered 10 601
officers (FTE) in 2015. While voted
appropriations totalled €9.14 million,
total spending on social policy was
€12.81 million, a 40% overshoot. There
has been no calculation of operating
expense since the last audit by the Cour
des Comptes.
In 2015 the average cost of social policy
was € 1 208 per DGAC officer, among
the highest in the public service. The
social policy is also expensive to run
when compared with pay-outs as
management fees total €4.7 million
and services €8.13 million (57.8%).
Estimate of the full cost
of the social policy
Source: Cour des Comptes based on DGAC
A system of local payment management
pushes up costs because funds delegated
to regional offices must be spent during
the current year. Local social policy com-
mittees therefore operate an open-door
policy so long as they have money
available. In addition, Météo-France
service refunds are fixed (€915 000
in 2015) regardless of actual cost.
Finally, social policy operates through
permits (ATAS) for voluntary work that
has no legal basis. Moreover, since
ATAS accounts are badly kept, DGAC has
no understanding of how many working
hours officers spend on social policy or
therefore of the additional indirect costs
arising from this practice.
A reform that is missing the
The three declared aims of DGAC’s
cohesion and support for change. In
response to the recommendations
made by Cour des Comptes, the 2013-
2015 protocol included consideration
of the need for a new policy «at a
time of increasingly tight budgets».
However, the change this produced
was minimal since the protocol made
no change to spending on social policy.
Since there has been no real harmoni-
sation of the responsibilities of CCAS
or CLAS (Local Social Policy Com-
mittees), governance has not been
En M€
Funds voted in the Budget Act
Budget Review Act
Cost of officers allocated
to the social policy
Cost of officers made available
to the associations
Book rents of national associations
Quantification of ATAS
Total social policy spending
Total spending per officer
1 270 €
1 268 €
1 295 €
1 208 €
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Social policy at the Directorate General
for Civil Aviation: high-cost stagnation
simplified. Indeed, voluntary associa-
tions are now involved in the projects
of the CLASs, which no longer act as
operator. While some have refused to
take on the job, others have agreed,
raising legal problems and one major
drawback, which is that social policy
is essentially dependent on the good
graces of the voluntary sector.
There has been change in spending on
social policy - «solidarity» costs falling
from just over 30% in 2012 to under
27% in 2015 - but three-quarter of cur-
rent spending is on contract catering
and grants to national and local asso-
ciations to support the voluntary sec-
tor, culture and sport.
Tools for monitoring service take-up
by category and beneficiary are still
A voluntary network that
needs rationalisation and
better supervision
Previous Cour des Comptes observa-
tions on the voluntary associations
providing group benefits that are
regulated by the Law of 1 July 1901
have not been implemented in full.
For example, ARAMIS (Association for
the Implementation of Social Actions
and Duties) continues to enjoy the
free provision of staff and material
resources. It is not sufficiently inde-
pendent of DGAC. DGAC has told the
Cour des Comptes that it will no longer
attend management committees and
that in return an assessment of results
achieved will be made.
Although DGAC is committed to cutting
the number of voluntary associations it
subsidises, their number remains un-
changed (101 local and three national
associations) and the agreement with
the Aéroports de Paris works council
is extremely expensive given the small
number of beneficiaries involved within
Relations with associations do not,
moreover, all comply with legal requi-
rements, particularly provision of staff
that should be quantified and repaid,
work release for volunteers that is ille-
gal, and multi-year agreements that
do not follow the specified model.
There should finally be tighter control
of the associations. There must be
greater emphasis on national associa-
tions in terms of reporting their use of
grants and assessment of their work.
little since our last audit. Organisation
is still complex and expensive, is not
based on any proper understanding
of beneficiaries’ needs and uses no
suitable management tool.
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Social policy at the Directorate General
for Civil Aviation: high-cost stagnation
in the budget identify all social
immediately the cost of refunding
spending on Météo-France based
on actual DGAC spending figures
(repeat recommendation);
refocus social policy on solidarity,
in accordance with the priority stated
in the three-year social protocol
(repeat recommendation);
resume the work on cutting the
number of voluntary associations
(repeat recommendation);
end the free provision of personnel
and quantify the material resources
provided to the associations;
end the authorisation of tem-
porary absence for social reasons
(ATAS) for officers who are repre-
sentatives of voluntary associa-
tions, or alternatively put this on a
legal footing;
terminate the agreement with the
works council of Aéroports de Paris
manage social policy and especial-
ly to help monitor service take-up
by category and type of beneficiary
(repeat recommendation).
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Worsening financial positions
despite multiple rehabilitation
Despite the repeated recommendations
of the Corsican regional chamber of
accounts, the deficits of Ajaccio and
Bastia Hospitals continue to grow.
rose from €5.5 million in 2010 to
€17.6 million in 2015. Over that period
it received €69.2 million in operating
subsidies. Without this extraordinary
funding the deficit would have been
€10.5 million in 2010 and €29.6 million
in 2015. The situation at Bastia Hospital
is similar, with a deficit that has grown
from €2.8 million in 2010 to €7.6 million
in 2015 despite €25.3 million in ope-
rating subsidies, without which the
deficit would have been €15.3 million
in 2015.
Ajaccio Hospital accounts (€M)
Source: Cour des Comptes
2005-2015 saw three rehabilitation
plans, under which Ajaccio Hospital
obtained €119.3 million in operating
subsidies and extraordinary grants.
2009-2015 Bastia Hospital signed a
contract to balance its books, followed
by a modernisation and progress plan,
which gave it €34.4 million in extraor-
dinary grants. The Government has not
only allocated subsidies far in excess
of those provided for in the various
rehabilitation plans, but when making
new grants has ignored the failure by
the hospitals to honour their previous
commitments, particularly control of
Bastia Hospital accounts (€M)
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals:
finances compromised by pay
rises unrelated to performance
Accounts including operating subsidies
Accounts excluding operating subsidies
Accounts including operation subsidies
Accounts excluding operating subsidies
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
The heart of the problem - rising
staffing costs
In addition to the (never implemented)
measures intended to improve billing
and payment for medical procedures,
each different plan has included, in
return for aid, a requirement to cut
(particularly staffing) costs. 2010-2015
however, staff pay rose €23.2 million at
Ajaccio Hospital and €17.8 million at
Bastia Hospital without any corresponding
improvement in performance.
Staffing costs at Bastia and Ajaccio Hospitals (€M)
Source: Cour des Comptes
The massive recruitment of non-me-
dical staff is the result of high levels of
of non-medical contracts and working
hours for non-medical staff that are
subject to many extremely expensive
exemptions. This includes five additional
days’ leave for staff at Ajaccio Hospital
and six for those at Bastia Hospital. An
error in the programming of Ajaccio
Hospital’s timetable management
software also allocated an unearned
working hours between 2009 and
2014. The cost to the hospital was
€10 million.
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals: finances
compromised by pay rises unrelated
to performance
Summaries of the Cour des comptes 2017 Annual Public Report
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals: finances
compromised by pay rises unrelated
to performance
Ajaccio and Bastia Hospitals
end additional leave that has no
basis in regulations;
quickly introduce a tool for
automatically monitoring working
make extraordinary aid condi-
tional on hospital compliance with
tions, the abandoning of the unlaw-
ful grant of unearned benefits and
a cut in non-medical staff.