Clientelism, illegal spending and opaque subsidies … The damning report of the French anti-corruption agency

The examples are overwhelming, especially for the former majority led by Jean-Claude Gaudin, and at the head of the city for a quarter of a century. In a report on the functioning of the town hall of Marseille, the result of several months of investigation started with the election of Michèle Rubirola in 2020 and that 20 minutes has obtained, the French anti-corruption agency (Afa) points, supporting evidence, “an insufficient culture of probity within the services” of the city of Marseille, affected in particular by “the current practice of family recruitments” and “the large number of officials who have been the subject of criminal complaints for breaches of probity. ” 20 minutes takes stock of the main revelations of this report.

Opaque grants and social housing allocations

According to this report, “the process of issuing urban planning authorizations presents serious areas of risk of undermining integrity that are not controlled in the absence of any written procedure governing the activity of the service. “For example, the control team detected untreated conflicts of interest among certain managers or former managers of the service,” writes the agency.

The report thus underlines the procedures for the allocation of social housing until 2015, when this competence was transferred to the metropolis. “There is, neither in the central town hall nor in the sector town hall, a rating scale prescribed by the Elan law taking into account, for example, the composition of the applicant’s household or the age of the request”, deplores the report. On the other hand, the order of priority of the requests was determined at the end of meetings in the presence of elected officials or collaborators of the mayor.

As for the subsidies, the report points out the absence of “internal procedure allowing to supervise the process, instruction, attribution and control of [leurs] executions ”. And even, particularly with regard to subsidies issued by the sports department, “the award criteria are not formalized. “

Abusive or even illegal spending

On many occasions, AFA points to abusive or even illegal spending by officials and elected municipal officials. The report is moved by questionable practices of the mayor of the 13 and 14th arrondissements at the time, the frontist Stéphane Ravier and his cabinet, under “a possible embezzlement of public funds”.

“The sector town hall provided the mayor and seven town hall officers between 2015 and 2018 with Total cards allowing the supply of fuel, tolls, parking in certain car parks and vehicle washes,” writes the report. The card assigned to the mayor allowed purchases in Total stores. The cards were used for personal vehicles while the sector town hall has a fleet of service vehicles. It also appears that refueling was done outside the municipal territory, and during vacation periods. “

At the town hall of the 4th and 5th arrondissement, owned at the time by Benoît Gilles, a close friend of Jean-Claude Gaudin, the expenses for “miscellaneous gifts” represented 171,000 euros in 2019, of which 11,888.92 euros for wine and 9,245.98 euros of chocolate, on the grounds, according to the justification of the town hall at the time, that “the distribution of gifts to the actors of its sector is one of the competences of the town hall”.

In this town hall, 23 people were attached to the mayor’s office, while the municipal council had limited the number of cabinet staff to one per district town hall. “It emerges from the examination of the job descriptions transmitted that the missions are very succinctly described or that their description does not correspond to their title,” continues the report. The fact that some of these jobs involve political missions leads to the number of cabinet collaborators authorized by law being exceeded. “

At the central town hall, the remuneration of Jean-Claude Gaudin’s chief of staff, as well as his deputy chief of staff “amounted, in 2019, to 115,433.04 and 99,931.56 euros respectively, well above the ceiling defined by law, equal to 64,783.91 ”, writes the Afa. Moreover, while the law provides for the allocation of a company vehicle to a single cabinet employee, “four members of the former mayor’s cabinet had a company vehicle, including the director of cabinet and his deputy. . “

No code of ethics for elected officials and agents

AFA finally notes that “the town does not have a code of ethics for either elected officials or agents”. Thus, this Friday, during the municipal council, a report will be put to the vote in order to respond to this recommendation of the agency. “We are committed to setting up in this report training for elected officials on the subject of ethics”, promises Olivia Fortin, deputy mayor of Marseille in charge of the modernization, operation, transparency and quality of municipal services.

“Of course we noted dysfunctions, admits the deputy mayor. We are not trying to deny them. We are trying to find the tools to change things. And it’s hard to ask people to obey rules they don’t know. “

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