ANSES's governance model seeks to reconcile the essential principles of independence and transparency of the scientific expert appraisal process, and openness to society. In particular, it is based on a Board of Administrators with stakeholder participation and a multidisciplinary, international Scientific Board. The organisational procedures for these bodies are specified in Decree No. 2010 of 28 June 2010.
The Board of Administrators
Through its deliberations, the Board of Administrators sets ANSES's general policy orientations. It discusses its multi-year strategy, its budget and investment programme, its annual work programme and its goals and performance contract with the State. It also approves the Agency’s general organisation and the creation of expert committees, and is involved in setting ethical standards. It may establish ad hoc work groups to examine a particular issue or one of general interest, which may also involve external experts.
Find out more about the Board of Administrators' areas of competence
In addition to its Chair and staff representatives, ANSES's Board of Administrators consists of representatives of five colleges: the State, various associations, professional bodies, inter-branch employers' organisations & employee trade unions, and elected officials together with one qualified individual. Voting rights are split, with half going to members of the college of State representatives, and the other half to all other members. The members are appointed by order of the Agency's supervisory ministries, for a term of three years.
The five colleges of the Board of Administration:
- state Representatives (Ministries of Health, the Environment, Labour, the Budget, Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Research, and Industry);
- representatives of approved environmental protection associations, of approved associations active in the field of health quality and patient care, of approved consumer protection associations, and of national associations of victims of occupational accidents and diseases;
- representatives of professional bodies whose activities fall within the Agency’s sphere of competence;
- representatives of inter-branch employers' organisations and trade unions representing employees at the national level;
- elected officials appointed by the Association of Mayors of France and the Assembly of the Départements of France, and one qualified person selected for their expertise in the areas relating to the Agency’s missions.
The board members' public declarations of interests are available on the Ministry of Health's PDI website.
Find out more: Composition of the Board of Administrators (PDF)
The thematic steering committees
In line with its principle of openness to society, ANSES has set up five thematic steering committees (COTs) covering its main areas of activity: environmental health, food safety & nutrition, occupational health, animal health, nutrition & welfare, and plant health & protection.
These advisory bodies provide a forum for dialogue and exchange with the Agency's stakeholders and are intended to support the Board of Administrators in:
- determining needs in risk assessment and research;
- defining the Agency’s strategic policy orientations by making it aware of the main concerns of civil society in ANSES's area of expertise.
They also contribute to the promotion and dissemination of the Agency's work.
Besides the colleges represented on the Board of Administrators, the thematic steering committees are open to civil society organisations involved in ANSES's fields of competence – associations, professionals, manufacturers, employee unions, agricultural unions, etc. The composition of the COTs may change according to any interest in participating expressed by new players, new missions entrusted to the Agency or the emergence of new topics of concern.
The committees meet as often as necessary on the initiative of their chairperson or half of their members, and at least once a year.
The Scientific Board
The Scientific Board guarantees the high standards and independence of the scientific expert appraisal process. It also oversees the evaluation of the Agency's research activities. It is independent of ANSES's operational bodies and is made up exclusively of scientists, giving a considerable number of seats to foreign researchers. Its composition also meets the need for diverse scientific expertise to cover the Agency's various areas of intervention.
The Scientific Board has 29 members:
- two ex-officio members: the Chair of the Scientific Board of the French Health Products Safety Agency (ANSM) and the Chair of the Scientific Board of Santé Publique France;
- 24 scientists with expertise in the Agency's sphere of competence, appointed by ministerial order for a period of three years;
- three members in an advisory capacity appointed from among the Agency's scientific staff by their peers for a renewable three-year period.
The Scientific Board meets four times a year.
The Scientific Board members' public declarations of interests are available on the Ministry of Health's website.