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The financing of political life, this old subject like the Republic, continues to nourish the judicial files. In the episode of the tumultuous relationship between elected officials and judges, the searches of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the orbit of his movement once again showed that the former can bring a widely biased view of justice, and that Seconds intend to use their prerogatives without barguigning.

In any case, after the financing of the parties by the use of assistants paid by the European Parliament , after the use of surcharges for a presidential campaign and many other strings, it is the use of the expenses of mandate of the parliamentarians which is now focusing attention. The High Authority for the Transparency of Public Life (HATVP), which monitors public probity – and thus elected officials – by examining their assets and interests, has inspected the declarations made a few weeks before the end of their mandate by the deputies and a portion of the senators, at the end of 2016 and in March 2017.

In the end, according to information from L’Express, fifteen files have recently been sent to the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, which quietly opened, in November, so many preliminary investigations. The 15 files were entrusted to the BRDE – a police service that has, or had in hand the business of the polls of the Elysee or Angolagate, the taxi expenses of the boss of the INA as the scandal of the Mnef in the 2000s.

Possible misuse of the allowances for expenses

It is on the possible misuse of the allowance of expenses of mandate by the parliamentarians that these procedures rest. This financial allocation, formerly known as the Representative Representative Fee (IRFM) , renamed “commission expenses” since January 1, 2018, is added – along with other benefits – to the monthly allowances of parliamentarians. These are sizeable sums, as can be seen on the website of each of the Assemblies, which includes the amount dedicated to these various expenses “related to the exercise of their mandate” and which are not “directly taken into account. charge or reimbursed “by their respective assembly: 5373 euros per month for the deputies (including 600 euros to spend without supporting documents), 5900 euros for the senators (of which 885 euros do not have to be justified). These funds are intended a priori to provide for the rental of a tenure, travel, all that is related in one way or another to the mandate of the elected concerned. The unspent funds had to be returned to the budget by the interested parties.

In any case, the patrimonies of the parliamentarians having varied in a non-negligible way between the beginning and the end of their mandate have undergone a more thorough control of the HATVP, a complex investigation carried out sometimes with the study of the bank accounts of the interested parties. Some, according to the High Authority, seem to have retained some of the costs or used them for a purpose other than the fulfillment of their parliamentary mandate.

“Substantial increase of the heritage”

In its last annual report , the HATVP had also noted that sometimes this allowance “contributed, in certain cases, to a substantial increase of the patrimony”. It noted that these expenses could have been used for the acquisition of private real estate, financial investments, acquisition of permanences … The envelope of expenses can not be used to campaign or to pay a contribution for a party policy.

The High Authority therefore advocated “effective transparency on the use of compensation (which) would reduce the risk of abuse and better control the use of public money dedicated to the expenses of parliamentarians.” “It just seems that citizens are informed of the use made by parliamentarians of this envelope allocated for their activity as a representative of the Nation, which is in no way a remuneration,” recalled the institution.

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