Insofar as a subsidiary’s strategy is defined by its parent company, the independent accountant appointed by the subsidiary’s works council must be allowed access to information about the group’s strategy: that is the position adopted by the Lyon Court of Appeals, in a decision rendered on 8 January 2016.
In the case at hand, a company performing a public service delegation agreement asserted that it did not have any strategy other than that of performing the delegation.
The works council’s independent accountant declared that the strategy was defined at the group level and that he should have access to the group’s strategic guidelines.
The trial court confirmed the independent accountant’s right of access to the strategic guidelines. A novel position, but one that is nonetheless reminiscent of the Supreme Court’s position with respect to the right to consult the company’s annual accounts, for which the accountant is entitled to request documents relating to the parent company (Sup. Ct., Crim., 26 March 1991, no. 89-85.909) or to other companies of the group (Sup. Ct., Lab., 8 November 2011, no. 92-11.443).
It is therefore quite possible that this position could be upheld by the Supreme Court.