The High Council of Public Finance is an independent fiscal institution of the Government and Parliament. It is composed of experts in economics and public finance who give opinions according to the principle of collegiality. These opinions are made public.
An Independent Fiscal Institution
The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (TSCG), ratified by France on 22 October 2012, provides for independent budgetary institutions to verify, at national level, compliance with the European budgetary rules on the public balance expressed in structural balance.
The creation of these institutions must meet four requirements:
- a statutory regime anchored in national law;
- total independence from the executive branch;
- appointment procedures based on experience and competence;
- the adequacy of resources for missions and appropriate access to government information.
The tasks of the High Council of Public Finance (HCFP) are defined by Organic Law No. 2012-1403 of 17 December 2012 on the programming and governance of public finances. Organic Law no. 2021-1836 of December 28, 2021 on the modernisation of public finance management extended the mandate of the High Council and specified its new powers. It also incorporated the organic provisions relating to the HCFP into the Organic Law on Finance Laws of August 1, 2001, as amended. The Law of 6 December 2021 completes these provisions. The operating rules and organisation of the HCFP are set out in its internal regulations.
The operational principles of the High Council: independence, collegiality, transparency
The HCFP is an independent body with respect to the Government and the Parliament. Its members, appointed for a period of five years, cannot be dismissed. They may not hold elected public office or seek or receive instructions from the Government or any other public or private person.
The HCFP is a pluralistic collegial organization composed of experts in economics and public finance. It includes magistrates of the Court of Auditors, qualified personalities and the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee). All opinions are deliberated collectively by the HCFP, which is solely responsible for them.
All HCFP opinions are published on its website www.hcfp.fr.
Upon their appointment, the members and the general rapporteur of the HCFP shall submit to the First President of the Court of Auditors a declaration of interests which shall be made public to ensure transparency on the functions they otherwise perform and which could potentially place them in a position of conflict of interest.