The Committee for ethical standards

In order to guarantee the quality of its expertise, ANSES has an audit mechanism and a specific body, the Committee for ethical standards and prevention of conflicts of interests, which is responsible for dealing with particularly complex situations and evaluating choices which have been brought into question or raised doubts.

The Committee for ethical standards can intervene in the areas covered by collective expert assessment as well as in scientific and technical support, research applied to its missions, reference activities, surveillance, vigilance, training and public information initiatives.

Based on specific requests, it examines the way in which the Agency implements all of the principles, rules and procedures that it has established for itself with regard to compliance with its ethical standards for ensuring independent expertise.

The Committee for ethical standards and prevention of conflicts of interest issues opinions:

  • on all issues concerning the breach of an ethical obligation it has been requested to handle; 
  • on all basic ethical topics. It issues general recommendations which may clarify certain practices or rules, and prevent non-compliance with independence requirements in expertise, by suggesting when necessary improvements to the applicable ethical standards; 
  • on the Agency’s basic rules with regard to the independence of its work, its partnership policy, and evolutions in ethical standards, etc.
  • on special cases, as when a situation is particularly complex (determining the level of risk of a conflict of interest for an expert or employee and its possible consequences for participation in an expertise mission with regard to the affair in question).

The Committee for ethical standards and prevention of conflicts of interests is a significant innovation in ANSES's governance structure, which is defined in the Agency's founding charter. It can intervene in all circumstances and all stages of collective expert assessment from a formal request to an ANSES opinion.

The Committee for ethical standards and prevention of conflicts of interests can be petitioned by a member of the Board of Administration, of the Scientific Board, of the Scientific Panels or by the Director General or an ANSES employee.

It is empowered to collect all the necessary documents for its investigation and to hear third parties which might inform its decision.

The Committee has access to all the information the Agency possesses and the means necessary to function. It sends its opinions and recommendations to the petitioning individual or organisation as well as to the Agency's Board of Administration and Director General. The latter informs the Agency's supervisory ministries of this and makes the decisions necessary for deploying its Opinions and recommendations.

The Committee for Ethical Standards and Prevention of Conflicts of Interest has eight members:

  • Mme Marie-Caroline BEER
  • Mme Gabrielle BOULEAU, Chair (elected 16 June 2021)
  • Mme Isabelle DOUSSAN, 
  • Mme Sophie GERBER,
  • M. le Professeur Didier HOUSSIN,
  • M. Jean-Claude PIFFARETTI,
  • M. le Docteur Bertrand XERRI.

Appointed by ministerial order, these individuals may not participate in any of the Agency's other bodies or activities.

The public declarations of members of ANSES’s Board of Administration are currently available through two websites:

ANSES website for declarations filed through July 2017: see the PDIs

The DPI-Santé website for declarations filed as of August 2017: see the PDIs