IGF in brief
THE IGF THEN AND NOW
The Inspection générale des finances (IGF), was created in 1797 with an initial staff of 12 general inspectors.
In 1831 the IGF became the sole government body in charge of auditing all the departments within the French Ministry of Finance.
A decree issued in 2006 has provided the current status of the IGF regarding its missions. These missions are detailed hereafter.
The IGF carries out mainly three types of missions :
- verifying and auditing public or private entities which manage public funds ;
- assessing and counselling the Government ;
- assisting various administrations, commissions, members of Parliament, working groups and experts as well as international organizations (IMF, World Bank etc.).
► Verifying and auditing
Although only representing 13 % of its total workload in 2017, verifying and auditing are among the core missions of the IGF. A large number of teams made up of finance inspectors perform unexpected verifications and audits on a regular basis. These assignments can sometimes rely on the help of various officers from other economy and finance departments within the French administration.
Public accounts, high risk accounting transactions as well as revenue and expenditure management are among the key fields concerned by these types of missions.
► Assessing and counselling
Performed at the request of the Prime minister as well as of the ministers of Finance and Economy, but also of any other minister, assessing and counselling missions aim to provide appraisals and evaluations of the way public bodies operate and to assess the efficiency of public policies. They represented approximately 70 % of all the assignments initiated in 2017.
The bulk of these assignments concern economic, financial and social issues (more than two thirds of the missions carried out in 2017), the rest deal with issues related to the fields of digital economy, defence, health, transport, energy, public housing and industry.
► Assisting various administrations, members of Parliament, commissions, work groups and experts as well as international organizations
These assignments represented 19 % of the missions performed in 2017. They consist in the IGF taking part in various tasks performed by an administration or a commission. They can also aim at providing support to a member of Parliament or taking part in international cooperation in the field of auditing, fiscal governance and assessment of public policies. International organizations include the IMF and the World Bank.
METHODS AND QUALITY PROCEDURES
The IGF sets high value on the strength and quality of the methods used in the field of verification and audit as well as on the means used in the context of assessment and counsel. As far as the missions of the IGF are concerned, carrying out a diagnosis as detailed and unbiaised as possible is essential in providing accurate and appropriate propositions that will prove operational.
To this end the IGF relies on the combined synergies of the auditing techniques acquired during the verification assignments (on-the-spot enquiries, data analysis, etc.) and the counselling methods (mixing economic and financial expertise, management control, human ressources and international benchmarking, process improvment, among others).
As such, an assignment carried out by the IGF typically lasts between three and six months and is subjected to a stringent internal control in order to meet the requirements set out by the sponsor. Following a given assignment, propositions are often made in the form of blueprints or opinion ranges and the outcome subsequently transmitted to the concerned ministerial sponsor.
FACTS AND FIGURES FOR 2017
- A total of 96 assignments performed ;
- 203 active members in the IGF corps of whom 78 working at the service ;
- 38 general inspectors ;
- 21 people employed in the financial and administrative department.