France, the title of a high official
The prefects of the department were created by a
See also:law of the 28th Pluviose in the
See also:year VIII . (Feb . 17, 1800) . They were intended to be the chief
See also:organs of
See also:internal administration, and have, in fact, discharged this
See also:function, especially under the First and Second
See also:Empire, surviving, though with diminished importance, under the other forms of
See also:government which
See also:modern France has seen . In comparison with other French officials, they are well paid (the
See also:salary nowadays ranges from 39,000 to 18,000 francs according to the class) . In the administration of the ancien regime the
See also:term "
See also:prefect " was not employed; practically the only case in which it occurs was in the organization of the
See also:establishment of institutions opened by the religious orders, in which there was generally a " prefect of the studies " (prefet
See also:des etudes) . In the year VIII., in the discussion of the law of the 28th Pluviose, no reason was stated for the choice of this term . But like the " Tribunes " and " Consuls " of the constitution of the year VIII., it was taken from the
See also:Roman institutions which were then so fashion-able (see
See also:PRAEFECT) ; it may also be recalled that Voltaire had used the term " prefecture " in speaking of the authority of
See also:Louis XIV. over the
See also:free towns of
See also:Alsace . The prefect has to a certain extent a
See also:double character and two series of functions . Firstly he is the general representative of the government, whose
See also:duty it is to ensure execution of the government's decisions, the exercise of the law, and the
See also:regular working of all branches of the public service in the department . In so far the role of the prefect is essentially
See also:political; he guarantees the
See also:direct and legal
See also:action of the government in his department .
He has the supervision of all thestate services in his department, which
See also:cures the necessary uniformity in the working of the services, each of which is specialized within a narrow sphere . He serves as a
See also:local source of information to the government, and transmits to it complaints or representations from those under his administration . In the name of the state he exercises a certain administrative
See also:control over the local authorities, such as the conseil general, the mayors and the municipal
See also:councils . This control, though considerably restricted by the law of the loth of
See also:August 1871, on the conseils generaux, and that of the 5th of
See also:April 1884, on municipal organization, still holds
See also:good in some important respects . The prefect can still annul certain decisions of the conseil general . He can suspend for a
See also:month a municipal council, mayor or
See also:deputy-mayor; certain decisions of the municipal councils require his approval; and he may annul such of their regulations as are extra vires . He can annul or suspend the maire's decrees and he has also considerable control over public institutions, charitable and otherwise . He may make regulations (reglements) both on
See also:special points, in virtue of various
See also:laws, and for the general administration of the
See also:police . - When the prefects were created in the year VIII. the intendants of provinces of the ancien regime were taken as a
See also:model, and there is a
See also:great resemblance between their respective functions . The prefect, however, is no more than an
See also:intendant in
See also:miniature, being only at the
See also:head of a department, whereas the intendant was over a genera/lie, which was a much larger
See also:district . In the same way the sous-prefets correspond to the subdelegues of the intendants, with the difference that they are actual officials sub-
See also:ordinate to the prefects, while the subdelegues were merely the representatives with whom the intendants provided themselves, and to whom they gave
See also:powers . Secondly, the prefect is not only the general representative of the government, but the representative of the department in the management of its local interests .
But his unfettered powers inthis respect have been reduced under the thirdRepublic . This has chiefly been the effect of the law of the loth of August 1871, which has led to decentralization, by increasing the powers of the conseils generaux . The law created a departmental
See also:committee (commission departementale), elected by the conseil general which, in the
See also:interval of the sessions of the latter, takes
See also:part in matters concerning the administration of the departmental interests, either in virtue of the law, or by a delegation of powers from the conseil general . The sous-prefets, having very limited powers of deciding questions, serve above all as intermediaries between the prefect and the persons under his administration . This function was most useful in the year VIII., when communications were difficult, even within a department, but nowadays it only leads to complications . As a
See also:matter of fact their chief service to the administration lies in keeping up good relations with the maires of the communes in their arrondissement, and thus acquiring a certain amount of influence over them . The
See also:Assembly, which passed the law of the loth of August 1871, had also decided to suppress the sous-prefets, but M .
See also:Thiers, who was then
See also:president of the Republic, persuaded them to reconsider this decision . Since then the Chamber of Deputies has on several occasions taken
See also:advantage of the
See also:budget to attempt the suppression of the sous-prefets by refusing to
See also:vote the amount necessary for the payment of their salaries . But the government has always opposed this unconstitutional measure, holding that the suppression could only be effected by an organic law, and that it would necessarily involve a remodelling of the administrative organization . So far their view has prevailed in the
See also:Chambers . (J .
PREFACE (Med. Lat. prefatia, for classical praefati...
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.