Audit body slams top French public servant over PR bills and use of luxury hotels


In 2015 the head of France's National Audiovisual Institute (INA), Agnès Saal, had to quit after piling up thousands of euros in taxi fares in under a year. Now, Mediapart can reveal, the country's spending watchdog, the Cour des Comptes, has pointed the finger at her predecessor Mathieu Gallet over his predilection for expensive hotels and restaurants. Gallet, who ran the INA for seven years before taking over as head of Radio France in 2014, is also criticised over the way the INA awarded lucrative communications and image consultancy contracts during his time in charge. Mathilde Mathieu reports.

Ailing French nuclear builder Areva admits to reactor part 'irregularities'

International — Link

An audit ordered by safety watchdog revealed anomalies in 400 reactor parts, some still in service, raising suspicion of falsified documents.

French auditor 'slams Areva management'

France — Link

Auditor's report is said to criticise lack of oversight by state-controlled nuclear group of multi-billion euro projects, plus high pay awards.

Tempers fray in France as drastic cuts loom

France — Link

Budget watchdog calls for new round of drastic cuts and an immediate freeze in public sector pay, warning public finances are badly off track.

French MPs reject expenses scrutiny

France — Link

As the French government prepares austerity measures for the economy, members of parliament throw out a proposal to audit their allowances.

Elysée Palace audit demands 'transparency' on communications gurus

France — Report

The French national audit office report into spending by the French presidential offices during 2010 was largely complimentary over the achieved reduction in the administration's costs. However, it raised more than an eyebrow over the lack of accountability of spending on President Sarkozy's ‘communications' advisors. Mathilde Mathieu and Michaël Hadjenberg report.

Exclusive: the secret report that could scupper Lagarde's bid to lead IMF

France — Investigation

French finance minister Christine Lagarde is hotly tipped to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, arrested in New York last weekend on sex assault charges, as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mediapart has exclusively obtained a copy of a confidential report (pictured) by the French national audit office, the Court of Accounts, which we publish here and which could potentially scupper her candidacy to become IMF chief. It throws deep suspicion on Lagarde's role, already the object of legal moves for suspected "abuse of authority", in a massive out-of-court settlement of 403 million euros of public funds awarded to controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008. Laurent Mauduit reports.