The regional chamber of accounts publishes a damning report on the investments made by the previous director of the Change.
As she had done at the beginning of the year for Soréa (see Eco of February 18)the regional chamber of accounts (CRC) Aura detailed, during a press briefing, its report concerning the Annecy Genevois hospital center (Change) for the 2014 and following financial years… In the preamble, its president, Bernard Lejeune, underlined the positive points put forward by the control, such as the success of the merger with Saint-Julien-en-Genevois. On the other hand, the management of the extension-restructuring of buildings, created in 2015 by Nicholas Best When he arrives at the general management, he is sufficiently questioned.
“The need to enlarge the premises is not disputed, but the project turns out to be oversized and unsuitable. The most heartbreaking thing is that these mistakes could have been eliminated if it had been submitted as it should to the supervisory authorities.summarizes Bernard Lejeune. The financing plan for the project, oscillating between 101 and 143 million euros (M€) according to the documents presented, has been rejected on several occasions by the regional health agency.
It was based on a projected rate of gross margin, in some years, of 12%, whereas the actual rate reached, at best, only 5.8%. Le Change, which has taken out €158 million in new loans in seven years, has doubled its debt and recorded a structural deficit since 2016. And the CRC is very dubious about a return to equilibrium in 2026, the recovery plan in place being based on controlling the wage bill*.
Beyond this misuse of public money, the report highlights the irregularities that have been attached to large contracts, such as that of the design, in Seynod, of a building for follow-up care and rehabilitation (€32 million) for the benefit of a construction major. The latter also provided the sale, for €16 million, of a property complex (still in Seynod), even though other offers were more attractive.
The awarding of contracts for project management assistance, coaching and tax optimization is also called into question. The CRC checks were sufficient for the opening of an investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, which carried out searches at Le Change, at the home of Nicolas Best, as well as at the university hospital center in Nîmes, where he is currently in job.
* In 2019, Le Change employed 4,072 agents and had a total budget of €355 million.
Photo credit: Nicolas Richard – Change