Master of Public Administration

What is the Public Administration or management?

Management and the role of senior management in state administrations are at the heart of the modernization goals of human resource management called Master of Public Administration.

However, there is no precise definition of senior management. For simplicity, even if this delimitation is neither complete nor satisfactory.

We can assume that this category includes all occupations and occupations whose final index goes beyond “out of scale A”, namely:

All the organs of the National School of Administration: civil administrators, sub-prefects, councils of state, administrative court councils, supervisory authorities .

all the organs of the École Polytechnique (“X”): mining engineers, bridge engineers, INSEE administrators, etc .

But also the medical inspectors of the public health system, the police commissioners, to cite just these two examples.

In addition to the civil service of the state, the directors of the hospitals, the regional administrators and the administrators of the city of Paris.

As some of these entities have their own information page – see below – the management presentation here focuses on ENA bodies, especially civil administrative officials and, to a lesser extent, Ecole Polytechnique entities.

Assignment of personnel to the various ENA bodies at 31 December 2012

(total workforce: 6998)

  • IGF: Inspectorate General of Finance
  • AVP: Administrators of the City of Paris
  • CRC: Members of the regional Chambers of Accounts
  • CC: Members of the Court of Auditors
  • Disadvantages TA CAA: Consultant in administrative courts and higher administrative courts
  • CE: Ecological advisers of the Council of State. : Economic consultant
  • CAE: Councilor for Foreign Affairs
  • SP: sub-prefects
  • AC: civil administrator
  • PTT used: Postal and telecommunications administrators
  • IGA: General Administrative Inspection
  • IGAS: General Inspectorate for Social Affairs

Focus on the body of civil administrations

The Civil Administration Body was established by Decree of 9 October 1945, which also established the General Directorate for Administration and Public Service and the National School of Administration.

Civil administration officials occupy leading positions of supervision, direction, competence or control in the administrations and public administrative institutions of the state.

As such, they carry out functions of planning, implementation and evaluation of public policies, in particular through monitoring, coordination and coordination services.

It is up to them to translate government decisions into administrative acts, but also to prepare them.

You are therefore mobile and versatile, a high-level design and management staff, competent in all administrative matters in the broadest sense of the term.

The body is now governed by decree no. 99-945 of November 16, 1999, and subsequent amendments, on the special statute of the civil administration body.

The main originality of this body is

its inter-ministerial nature, confirmed by article 2 of its special statute.

The inter-ministerial dimension of this body is reflected in particular in the existence of a joint inter-ministerial administrative commission (CAPI)

Which reports to the President of the Council of Ministers and whose organization and composition is determined by decree no. 2000-1222 of December 14, 2000

Duration of the mandate in the public employees body and after hearing the joint ministerial commission responsible for the official concerned

On the integration and rank of the employee body as well as on disciplinary sanctions against members of this body.

After the career choices made on 4 December 2014, which took place in the three sectors of the public service, the composition of the CAPI was renewed.

It is now established by the decree of 8 December 2014 on the appointment of personnel representatives to the Joint Interministerial Administrative Commission (CAPI) in charge of the civil administration body.

Civil administrators in numbers

At 31 December 2012, the public function committee had 2,570 members (excluding 208 secondments), of which 28% were women.

Civil administrators are represented in all ministries, the three most important employers being the ministries of economy and finance, the interior ministry and the ministries of social affairs.

ÉNA remains the main supplier of the plant with 59% of the approvals, while the share is held by the civil administrations

The results of the external round are 25% and those of the officers who followed the procedure known as “L4139-2” are 7%.

Statistical overview of the corps of civil administrators as of December 31, 2012 (PDF – 476 KB) enables a detailed inventory of the corps personnel according to ministries and the missions carried out by the civil administrators.

It is based on declarative information from the ministries.

The “executives”

In addition to the terms “executives” and “managerial positions”, it is appropriate to refer to positions at the discretion of the government.

Includes prefects, ambassadors and general secretaries and directors of the central ministerial administration; this perimeter brings together around 500 people.

These offices are provided for in Article 25 of the Law of January 11, 1984.

Decree 85-779 of 07/24/1985 established the list of works that fall into this category within the ministries.

Finally, the discretionary nature of the appointment of the prefectural organ is provided for in Article 1 of Decree 64-805 of 29 July 1964 on the special statute of the organ.

The elements that characterize these works are the following:

They are appointed to the Council of Ministers by decree of the President of the Republic.

Can be appointed as civil servants or non-civil servants. For the latter, access to one of these positions does not involve a stay in an administrative authority.

Appointments to these posts are revocable, regardless of whether they are civil servants or non-employees.

Therefore, in view of these characteristics, there are no specific conditions, seniority, body or grade of appointment to any of these posts.

However, they represent a natural sales channel for permanent civil servants who come from the exit positions of the ENA or the Polytechnic and who occupy the secondment positions.


The tasks and duties of senior management are obviously diverse.

While some specific bodies (for example the judicial and supervisory bodies, but also the sub-prefects) have clearly defined tasks that are understood on behalf of the body itself, others have a more general vocation.

Article 1 of Decree 99-945 of November 16, 1999 on the special statute for civil administration stipulates that “civil administrations exercise supervisory, management, expert or control functions (…)”.

Functionally, these bodies should fill positions of deputy directors, office managers, project managers, but also, subject to the conditions stipulated by the regulation, functional positions in the central administration:

With regard to the professions, all important sectors are represented: law, budget, human resources, public policy engineering, social affairs and others for ENA committees.

At the beginning of their careers, the organs of the cole Polytechnique predominantly pursue technical professions, but during their careers they tend to occupy generalist positions with a strong management component.

The characteristic of senior management is its mobility: this is an important lever for enriching professional careers.

In this context, the inter-ministerial public exchange of work is a preferred instrument for gaining access to knowledge about job vacancies.

What are the impression:

I have the impression that we are currently in a transition phase between these two visions.

I have already mentioned the distribution of power, balanced by internationalization and the need for equality.

It will now talk about the combination of open and closed systems that characterize our public administrations today.

45 The administrative tradition of secrecy has been undermined by the development of transparency. He was born in Sweden in the 18th century.

It has appeared more recently in the United States and Western Europe and now tends to take several forms: better access to documents and administrative records;

An obligation to justify actions so that their recipients can better understand and discuss them; Develop public surveys on building and urban planning projects; greater openness of public archives;

Organization of public debates on issues of national interest.

To maintain this last procedure, which is one of the most innovative, France has just organized a great public debate on the future of Europe which.

As part of the preparation of the Convention, has resulted in a public report that has just opened in Brussels; We can assume that this debate

Has allowed tens of thousands of people to express their views on this wide-ranging issue in regional forums, through written contributions, including on the Internet, and through various local meetings.

I’m sure there would be similar examples in many other countries. The European Union has taken the same path in drafting its Charter of Fundamental Rights and in the context of the new Convention which has just begun work.

What are the initiative

The idea behind these developments is participation in its dual meaning: internal, that of employees in the organization and implementation of their services.

Trough committees and trade unions; external, that of citizens, users and customers of public administrations who can intervene in their administration.

There is much talk today of “participatory democracy”, which integrates representative democracy inherited from the nineteenth century; I think we should get used to talking about “shared administration” now.

The conditions, limits and modalities

remain to be defined. Citizen participation and civil society intervention must, in particular, be linked to the professionalisation of civil servants;

They must not lead to a deterioration in the quality of the administration or a slowing down of its procedures, nor to make it a closed field of conflicts of interest or to replace legal

Relations with power relations; the primacy of the general interest must retain all its weight in determining the purposes and methods

management of public administrations.

Participation, consultation, negotiation, drafting of contracts, social dialogue have therefore become key words in modern administrations.

But they don’t have to lead to slowness, paralysis, the inability to make decisions or act. Furthermore, the right to participate must not become an obligation or exclude the right to shutdown.

48 The development of “new information and communication technologies”, to use the current expression, is also contributing to a change in administrative practice:

They facilitate the flow of information, contribute to the development of an “network” administration, make it possible

Building relationships between the different levels and sectors of administration can therefore lead to questioning one of its principles, the hierarchical principle.

The evolution of techniques, then, joins that of ideas to help gradually replace an open administrative model, of a university type, with a closed one, of a military type.

This development must be mastered: machines can never replace human contact.

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