The official chain of command (chaîne de commandement) at the MoD is separate from the chain of payment (chaîne de paiement) for civil servants (fonctionnaires publics). There is evidence of exceptions to this rule in the aftermath of the soldier uprisings of January and May 2017. The Directorate General of the Treasury (Direction Générale du Trésor) is generally tasked with paying civil servants. This is known in French as the “masse salariale de la fonction publique”. The Treasury deposits the money in banking institutions. For example, in April 2018, a tranche of the wage arrears and salaries promised to military officers was disbursed via the Caisse générale de retraite des agents de l’Etat (CGRAE) (1). In addition to the Directorate General of the Treasury, the Directorate of the Office of the Armed Forces has a significant role in the calculation of the pays and allowances serviced to the members of the armed forces. This service although headed by a general directly falls under the authority and command of the chief of staff of the army. Hence, there is hardly any delineation between these two chains of action.
As per Law No. 2016-1109 (Portant Code de la Fonction Militaire) of 16 February 2016, Chapter 3 (Solde, avantages divers, garanties et protection), Articles 32-37, address the allowances provided to members of the military. For example, Article 33 refers to the different types of remuneration: basic salary, special compensation, residence allowances, family benefits and other bonus payments. Article 35 refers to per diem payments to cover transportation and lodging. Article 37 covers paid annual leave of 45 calendar days. But there is no provision specifying the payment channel (chain of payment) (2). Law No. 2016-1109 provides for a special remuneration regime for higher-ranking military officers such as marshals and generals. Title 3 (Dispositions particulières à certaines catégories de militaires), Chapter 1 (Maréchaux et officiers généraux), Articles 114-120 outline this special remuneration regime. There is no provision specifying the payment channel (2). In November 2012, there were instances in which certain soldiers were being paid their salaries in cash. The news aggregator Koaci.com reported that a source had revealed the different places where soldiers were secretly being paid to avoid long lines at banking institutions. According to the source, this alternative payment method was adopted by President Ouattara shortly after coming to power (3).
In January 2017, the opposition daily “Aujourd’hui” revealed the salary levels (grilles salariales) of members of the military according to their rank. The leaked information was not confirmed by the Army Chiefs of Staff. However, the source did not state what entity was tasked with paying the salaries. (4)
In May 2018, France’s La Tribune said the second phase of wage arrears payments had been completed as part of the government’s early retirement scheme for members of the armed forces (FACI). There was an official ceremony in Akouédo (Abidjan) to celebrate the measure, aimed at retiring 4,000 military officers by 2020. During the ceremony, Minister of Defence Hamed Bakayoko several officers were symbolically provided with checks valued at about USD 30,000 (15 million FCFA). No details were provided as to how the wage arrears had been disbursed (5). In November 2018, Koaci.com reported that Minister of Defence Hamed Bakayoko had addressed the NA Commission on Security and Defence (Commission de la Sécurité et de la Défense, CSD) regarding the draft legislation for Order No. 2018-515 (Ordonnance No. 2018-515 Portant Sanctions Administratives Applicables aux Militaires) of May 30, 2018. The draft, adopted unanimously by the CSD, confirmed the administrative penalties that apply to members of the armed forces. Minister Bakayoko stated that the State was responsible for paying salaries and allowances of the members of the armed forces and that all the outstanding arrears claimed by the soldiers had been paid by November 2018 (6).
Based on the examples above, it can be said that the chains of command are “generally” separated at the MoD.