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The Court of Auditors calls on the National Sports Agency for “clarifications”

Lack of clarification, aid that is too diluted, lack of coordination… In a report entitled “L’Agence nationale du sport [ANS] and the new governance of sport: challenges that remain to be met”, that The world obtained, the Court of Auditors does not spare the action of this agency responsible for high-level sport and the development of the practice for all. The magistrates of rue Cambon thus invite “clarification” necessary and fast for greater “efficiency” policies implemented by the ANS, and formulate around ten recommendations.

Although the Court of Auditors recognizes that the first results of the ANS can only be assessed over time, it nevertheless wonders, in this non-public report submitted at the end of July to the Finance Committee of the National Assembly, on the choice of the status of the ANS, created in April 2019 in the form of a public interest group (GIP). This legal status makes it possible to associate the State, the sports movement, local communities and the economic world to “shared governance of sport with distributed responsibilities”, as the ambition of the “Agency” was defined at its birth.

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Problem: if the credits allocated are effectively shared between these various actors, only the State abounds in the budget of the ANS; private sector funding is still pending. “The creation of the Agency did not result in the pooling of resources or the coordination of public policies in favor of sport and the relationship between the public sector and the private sector remained at the level of the intention”underlines the Court of Auditors, which also underlines the absence of “hierarchy” and of “prioritization” objectives “multiple” of the ANS, which undermine the effectiveness of its action.

A ministry of sports bis

La Rue Cambon recommends reaffirming the supervision of the State over the Agency, which many in the sports movement consider as a ministry of sports bis. Federation presidents have made no secret, in recent months, of not knowing who does what at the top of the state. The Sports Department of the Ministry of Sports and the Olympic Games is thus invited to “rapid reorganization” for “an essential clarification of its sovereign missions and strategic management”. The ANS, its operator, is ultimately responsible for executing public policies, according to the magistrates.

The seminar organized in mid-July by the Minister of Sports with all the players in French sport seems to have responded to the recommendations of the Court of Auditors. “We need a strategic ministry and an operating agency”had notably declared Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, who had shared her vision of French sport in front of a conquered audience.

The magistrates also wonder about “the real effectiveness of financial aid” that the Agency grants to sports clubs and associations for the development of practice for all. Aid that is too low (5,000 euros on average), according to them, compared to that paid by local authorities, and which raises the question of whether or not to maintain it.

“Consolidating the ANS on the high level”

Another complaint of the Court of Auditors, the “regional sports conferences”, local variations of the National Sports Agency, do not in fact embody this ambition of “shared governance with shared responsibilities” due to“a refusal to clarify the competences of the various levels of communities”. “This territorial governance of sport must lead to coordination and complementarity of the policies conducted by the various actors”underlines the report of the Court of Auditors.

Only the policy implemented by the ANS on the high level seems to find favor in the eyes of the magistrates. The “Blue Ambition” plan – developed by the general manager of high performance, Claude Onesta, and his teams with a view to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games – is the responsibility of “clear choices” and “consistent”according to the report.

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But, here again, the Court of Auditors calls for “clarification and [à] a reinforced articulation of missions and responsibilities” of the Agency and the sports management. Within each federation there now coexists a national technical director appointed by the ministry’s sports directorate and a high performance director chosen by the Agency, which has sometimes contributed and still contributes to the confusion of roles.

Rue Cambon recommends “to reinforce the Agency in its high-level and high-performance missions”. To succeed in the Paris Games in two years, but also “Make France a great sporting nation”the primary ambition of this reform of the governance of sport.

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