what are the powers of the coveted finance commission?

Margaux Fodéré, edited by Solène Leroux
modified to

1:34 p.m., June 28, 2022

This Thursday, the deputies will elect the new chairman of the finance committee, a position highly coveted by the Nupes and the National Rally. In addition to controlling the state budget, the Finance Committee can hear ministers. Its president can also object to amendments and obtain confidential tax information.

D-2 for the Finance Committee. We will know on Thursday the name of the president of this commission, which has been hotly contested by the Nupes and the RN for a few days. A particularly expected appointment, since the commission has significant powers over the control of public finances. Of the eight standing committees of the National Assembly, many consider it the most strategic. It exercises significant control over public finances, which ranges from a simple information report to the rejection of certain amendments.

Control the state budget

First power of the Finance Committee: it checks the finance law, also called the State budget, every year. This is the document presented by the government which defines public expenditure and revenue for the coming year.

It then supervises the application of this budget, and its control applies to all the ministries. If it has doubts about the use of public funds, it can ask to verify on the spot and on the spot how the public money has been spent. If it identifies a failure, it can then summon and hear the ministers. The Finance Committee cannot lodge a complaint directly or take legal action. However, it has sufficient resources to put media pressure on the ministries examined.

Reject amendments

Another important power of the chairman of the committee: he can reject the amendments made to bills, when he considers that the measure is poorly funded.

The rapporteurs of the commission investigate the financing of public expenditure, with tools such as the evaluation and control mission (MEC). But the president has the last word on all the modifications added to the initial text, such as the law on purchasing power, which the government will present on July 6.

Access tax returns

Third power of the chairman of the finance committee: that of demanding tax declarations from companies or individuals, to feed his budgetary investigations.

This major right gives him access to sensitive information and the law prohibits the disclosure of this data. However, some deputies fear that an ill-intentioned president will organize leaks, while the National Assembly is already going through a context of strong tensions.

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