Proximity, pragmatism and trust: these are the “ingredients” suggested by the Council of State to make public services more efficient and closer to citizens, in its annual study presented to the Prime Minister on Wednesday Elisabeth Borne.
“We can all see that there is a feeling of distance between public action and users “, said Wednesday the vice-president of the Council of State Didier-Roland Tabuteau during a press conference. “Understanding who does what has become difficult,” he added a few hours later in front of Elisabeth Borne. “Today, the administration needs 17 pages in A3 format to explain the distribution of powers between local authorities. »
Faced with what it describes as a “gap” between the administration and the citizens – only 28% of French people trust the government, compared to an average of 41% in OECD countries – the institution makes twelve proposals. To respond to the “proximity imperative” of public services, the authors of the study ask to double digital approaches “not only physical access” to a counter, “but also and above all by telephone”, with “reasonable and transparently displayed waiting times”.
The highest administrative court also pleads to simplify administrative forms and language. “The tax field offers in this area a field of possible improvements”, slips the Council of State, whose decisions are often themselves written in technical terms. “A drawing is sometimes worth more than a long text”, recalled the president of the report and studies section Martine de Boisdeffre, citing the example of a 1990 decree on African horse sickness illustrated by a much more telling drawing. than the text of the decree.
Public services in stations?
The study also proposes bringing public services closer to where the French live, for example by installing them in stations, frequented every day by “ten million travelers”. Didier-Roland Tabuteau calls on the State to “bet on the solutions imagined on the ground” by ociations or communities directly in contact with users. He cites the example of “solidarity doctors” of Creusegeneral practitioners who have created two medical offices where they take turns to ensure access to care in this medical desert.
“If we seek to impose unique solutions, coming from above, without taking into account the particularities and local issues, we always risk not being there”, conceded Élisabeth Borne Wednesday evening in her speech before the Board of state. More broadly, the Prime Minister wanted “public speech” to be “followed by effects” because “for many of our fellow citizens, words and actions no longer coincide” and generate “mistrust”.
“Everywhere, decisions are taken, measures announced, resources committed, but too often, the French do not see it, do not feel it”, she lamented, proclaiming in contrast her “obsession” for the ” results “.
The next annual study by the Council of State, which will be published in September 2024, will focus on “sovereignty”, said Didier-Roland Tabuteau.