The Court of Auditors criticizes the unions for the financial management of a research institute


The Court of Auditors administers a vigorous remonstrance to the unions. In a report made public Thursday, May 25, she accuses them of having “hijacked” of his ” object “ public aid whose initial purpose was to pay for studies they had commissioned. This money allowed “to finance own activities” employee organizations singled out. Such “drifts (…) could have called for jurisdictional qualifications” : in other words, referral to a court. This hypothesis is not ruled out, but the magistrates of the rue Cambon in Paris refrain from saying whether the “contentious procedure” contemplated is criminal.

The report released on Thursday scrutinizes the functioning of the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IRES), an ociation created in 1982, whose ” founders “ are CFDT, CFTC, CFE-CGC, CGT, FO and UNSA-Education. Her ” ambition “ is of them “endow” an analysis structure independent of the research services under the supervision of the State. This structure “enjoys a certain notoriety”as recognized by the Court, in particular among those who are interested in the world of work, business life, relations between bosses and their staff, etc.

Place ” in the service “ unions, the IRES is “managed” by them, “what has an impact”in particular on the ” governance “. Its resources come mainly from a grant from Matignon, which has fallen over the past decade, from 3.3 million euros in 2012 to 2.7 million in 2021. As for its missions, they are exercised in two ways: on the one hand, a research center with a “internal team” (whose numbers have decreased in recent years); the other, a “goal agency”which finances surveys carried out at the request and under the ” control “ of each union.

“Such a situation cannot continue”

It is about this second entity – the “agency of objectives”, therefore – that the Court of Auditors is very harsh. First grievance: “The deadlines for submitting studies are often long, even excessive”thirty-one of them, out of seventy-five, not having been completed “three years or more after their approval” (with a few unfinished projects after ten or even fourteen years). Such delays “question about piloting” research and on the“real interest” manifested by their sponsors. These delays are all the more open to criticism, for the magistrates of Rue Cambon, as the work is “largely funded” as soon as the decision to launch them has been taken: a practice which amounts to granting “a cash benefit (…)to the detriment of the Institute and in the absence of service rendered”.

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