Local Government Ministerial Statistical Department

INSEE and official statistics
Dernière mise à jour le : 26/06/2015

The Local Government Ministerial Statistical Department is the Department of Studies and Local Statistics (Département des Études et des Statistiques Locales: DESL) at the Ministry of the Interior.

In France, there are three levels of local government endowed with full executive authority—the municipality (commune), the département, and the region—plus inter-municipal cooperation bodies. DESL monitors the resources and activities of all these institutions.

Main missions

DESL is in charge of statistical production, analysis, and studies in the areas of local finance, local taxation, local territorial units, and local civil service.

Statistical production

Statistical production concerns municipalities, local public institutions, départements and regions, and in particular the enumeration of local government entities. The data processed and published cover local finance, local taxation, local-government debt, and central-government financial support to local-government units, employment and wages of agents of local governement entities staff.


DESL conducts studies at the request of local players, central-government departments, and other users—generally firms providing services to local government.


DESL disseminates financial and statistical data on local-government units and data of use to local decision-makers. It publishes and disseminates annual statistical and financial guides as well as a bulletin of statistical information (BIS). DESL produces the annual report by the Local-Finance Observatory (Observatoire des Finances Locales).

It disseminates the results of these studies through a series of publications and on-line statistics.

Status in institution

DESL is a part of the Directorate-General for Local-Government Units (DGCL), under the joint authority of the Ministry of the Interior and of the Ministry for Decentralisation and the civil service.

DGCL defines the operating and organisational rules of local-government entities and their groupings, i.e., their institutional functioning, the status of local civil servants, regulations governing local elected officials' terms of office, and fiscal and tax arrangements.

It prepares and processes draft legislation concerning local government. It ensures that responsibility is properly distributed between the French State and local-government bodies. DGCL is the interlocutor for local-government bodies on matters concerning implementation of European Union law. It distributes the main financial appropriations by the French State to local-government bodies.

DGCL acts as secretariat for many organisations including the Committee on Local-Government Finances (CFL), the National Council on Training of Local Elected Officials (CNFEL), and the Ethics Commission.