Analyse
14 juillet 2020

Le rapport du cinquième cycle d’évaluation du GRECO sur la France (En anglais)

Bastille Day Newsletter 2020 - Legislative, Regulatory & Policy Updates

 

The Group of States against Corruption (“GRECO”) was set up in 1999 by the Council of Europe to review and improve Members’ capacity to fight corruption. Anti-corruption policies are evaluated through the lens of the Council of Europe anti-corruption standards and the Group provides recommendations on potential legislative, institutional, and practical reforms.

France has recently taken a stronger stance on the fight against corruption. Whilst the adoption of the Sapin II anticorruption law in 2016 brought forth more stringent obligations on corporations [1] , the GRECO evaluation report published on January 9, 2020 focuses specifically on corruption amongst persons with top executive functions (“PTEFs”) and members of law enforcement agencies. It provided a fair assessment of recent progress that has been made in that regard but also identified vulnerable areas.

 

I. Preventing corruption amongst persons with top executive functions

Positive legislative developments were welcomed by the GRECO evaluation team (“GET”) but the report pointed out that there was still room for improvement in terms of transparency in public life.

It specifically underlined the lack of codes of conduct addressing integrity issues (conflicts of interest, obligations in terms of declarations, incompatibilities, gifts, post-employment obligations, contacts with lobbyists etc.) for PTEFs working in government.

While the Ethics Charter of the Presidency is seen as a step in the right direction, the adoption of codes of conduct was recommended along with the introduction of effective monitoring mechanisms and proportionate disciplinary sanctions in case of violation. The GET underlined that at present, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs was the only ministry that adopted a comprehensive code of conduct and argued that this practice could be extended to all ministries and PTEFs [2].

Closer cooperation between the High Authority on Transparency of Public Life (“HATVP”) and the French Anti-Corruption Agency (“AFA”) was suggested in order to better assess and prevent the risks affecting PTEFs. The GET indeed noted that both these institutions already assist and advise ministries in drawing up risk assessments concerning PTEFs. Therefore, grouping this information together would likely result in a more accurate analysis [3]. It has to be noted however that just few days before the GRECO’s report was released, a new cooperation agreement was signed on November 26, 2019 between the HATVP and the AFA, aiming at strengthening the prevention and detection of collusion in public institutions [4].

Transparency in exchanges between PTEFs and lobbyists was also identified as an area that can be improved. The Sapin II law introduced a digital register of lobbyists to inform the public on relations between lobbyists and the authorities [5]. However, only lobbyists who have initiated the contacts with PTEFs are required to register. This means that lobbyists who are contacted directly by the Government to engage on a specific topic are not required to register under the current system. An extension of that requirement to all lobbyists who have been in contact with PTEFs is seen as be desirable.

With regard to the criminal liability of PTEFs, the GET concluded that the establishment of the National Financial Prosecution Office (“PNF”) could facilitate the handling of corruption cases. It noted however that members of the governments are tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic (“CJR”) for acts performed in the course of their duties. The GET found that situation unsatisfactory as half of the members of the CJR are members of the Parliament, which may create suspicion on the independence and impartiality of the Court. Therefore, it was recommended that government members who are prosecuted for acts of corruption relating to the performance of their duties be brought before a court that ensures total independence and impartiality [6].

 

II. Preventing corruption in law enforcement agencies

The GET examined measures aimed at preventing corruption in the main components of French law enforcement agencies: the Police Nationale and the Gendarmerie Nationale.

It recommended the adoption of a global strategy focusing on the prevention of corruption within law enforcement agencies on the basis of risk assessments.

Whilst it acknowledged the existence of a code of conduct incorporated into the Internal Security Code that applies to both institutions and which bears regulatory power, the GET took the view that concrete examples and situations should be included to illustrate situations that may present a risk with respect to integrity. A code with a commentary for the 32 articles has been prepared and the GET recommended that the commentary be revised to expand on integrity issues (conflicts of interests, gifts, handling of confidential information, contacts with third parties etc.) and provide concrete examples [7].

Finally, the GET stated that the current reporting mechanisms set up for whistleblowers and the multi-layered procedure should be reviewed periodically and simplified. The entry into force of the European Directive on the protection of whistleblowers [8], which deals with the simplification of the reporting channels [9], should encourage France to improve its legislation on this point. In addition, it concluded that the training of law enforcement personnel should be strengthened to reflect those changes and provide for a more effective protection of whistleblowers [10].

The report concludes on a series of recommendations and invites France to submit a report on the measures taken to implement those recommendations before June 30, 2021.

Contenu similaire

Publication
Livre blanc - L'enquête interne en matière sociale
15 juillet 2022
Livre blanc Enquête interne en matière sociale
L’appréhension par la matière sociale de l’enquête interne. Dans le contexte du développement de la pratique de l’enquête interne ces dernières années en Fra...
Analyse
Lobbying les obligations déclaratives des représentants d’intérêts en France
14 juillet 2022
Lobbying : Les obligations déclaratives des représentants d’intérêts en France
Mise en lumière des obligations déclaratives imposées aux représentants d’intérêts en France, prévues par la loi n° 2013-907 du 11 octobre 2013 modifiée par la...
Revue de presse
Week of 28 November 2022
2 décembre 2022
Revue de presse – Semaine du 28 novembre 2022
Cette semaine vous découvrirez plusieurs évènements judiciaires importants : la Cour de cassation a apporté des précisions sur la qualité de victime d’un acte de ...
Revue de presse
Revue de presse - Semaine du 21 novembre 2022
25 novembre 2022
Revue de presse – Semaine du 21 novembre 2022
Cette semaine vous découvrirez l’ouverture d’une enquête préliminaire du parquet national financier pour détournement de fonds publics. Par ailleurs, vous trouver...
Événement
Ifaci demain en main - vignette
24 novembre 2022
Table ronde – Allégations & Enquêtes
Stéphane de Navacelle participera à la conférence annuelle de l'IFACI " Demain en mains " sur le thème Allégations - Enquêtes, lundi 28 novembre 2022.
Analyse
23 novembre 2022
La CJUE limite la conservation généralisée des données en matière de surveillance
Le 20 septembre 2022, la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne a rendu deux arrêts concernant les conditions dans lesquelles les Etats membres sont autorisés à cons...
Analyse
21 novembre 2022
CJIP Crédit Suisse pour blanchiment aggravé de fraude fiscale et démarchage illicite
Le Crédit Suisse échappe aux poursuites judiciaires et accepte le paiement d’une amende d’intérêt public de 123 000 000 d’euros dans le cadre de la 13ème CJIP ...
Revue de presse
Revue de presse - Semaine du 14 novembre 2022
18 novembre 2022
Revue de presse – Semaine du 14 novembre 2022
Cette semaine vous découvrirez trois évènements marquants : la première condamnation en France d’un ancien chef rebelle libérien par la cour d’assises de Paris, ...
Analyse
Autorité de la concurrence - Google
18 novembre 2022
Les récentes sanctions de Google par l’Autorité de la concurrence : serveurs publicitaires et droits voisins
En 2021, l’Autorité de la concurrence a infligé plusieurs amendes à Google pour s’être livré à des pratiques anticoncurrentielles liées d’une part à la rém...
Événement
17 novembre 2022
Identification des acteurs contractuels de la Compliance
Julie Zorrilla est intervenu à la Colloque "Contrat et compliance : les acteurs et leurs stratégies" à l'Université de Nîmes.
Événement
17 novembre 2022
Cambridge Forum : L’assistance juridique mutuelle s’est dévoyée !
Pourquoi se préoccuper des traités d'entraide judiciaire quand le droit local est mondial et que les procureurs échangent des informations sur WhatsApp ?
Revue de presse
Revue de presse - Semaine du 7 novembre 2022
14 novembre 2022
Revue de presse – Semaine du 7 novembre 2022
Cette semaine, vous trouverez des précisions apportées par la Cour de cassation sur la légalité d’une extradition d’un ressortissant de l’Union européenne vers...
Événement
9 novembre 2022
Webinaire : Une approche comparative du secret professionnel dans les procédures pénales
Stéphane de Navacelle est intervenu lors du webinaire Mondaq /Monfrini Bitton Klein sur le "secret professionnel et le "attorney-client privilege" dans les procédures p...
Analyse
7 novembre 2022
La mise en œuvre du cumul de sanctions pénales et fiscales
Si le principe du cumul de sanctions pénales et fiscales est désormais admis, sa mise en œuvre est encadrée par des conditions qui doivent faire l’objet d’une mot...