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RG - General Information
Renseignement Generaux

On July 1, 2008, the Direction de la surveillance du territoire was merged into the new Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur. Two of France's intelligence organizations, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST, Directorate of Territorial Security) and the Renseignements Généraux (RG, Central Directorate of General Information), merged into one agency, the Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur (DCRI, Central Directorate for Domestic Intelligence), to better fight terrorism.

The aim of the reorganization was to strengthen the fight against terrorism by avoiding miscommunication and competition between the two services. The RG and DST were well known for their rivalry. The President of the Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, a former Minister of the Interior, requested the reorganization. The new agency will have four directorates: counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, industrial espionage, and monitoring social unrest such as, for example, the 2005 youth riots.

The Central Directorate of General Information was tasked with research and centralization of information intended to inform the government. It participates in the fundamental defense of the interest of the state and supports the internal security mission. The DCRG was charged with monitoring of backlashes and field establishments of races. The RG implements its missions throughout the national territory through police regions and through the dual authority of prefect and the Directorate of the national police.

By the late 1990s, the need for oversight of intelligence activities by parliamentary or judicial authorities has progressively been widely accepted, but not without difficulties. French intelligence services only recently agreed to an external procedure of control. The Renseignements Généraux have partly survived under the DCRI,17 but their missions have been re-oriented. These services always insisted that they either focused on very specific cases connected with spying or political violence, or that they were only undertaking better ‘opinion polls’ than the researchers and private companies providing similar ‘services’.

The DCRG employed 3,850 officials all ranks, assets and administrative, of whom 700 are assigned to the Prefecture of Police of Paris. Socialist interior minister Pierre Joxe "decentralized" the RG, though after consideration of whether the RG should be dissolved altogether, in November 1994 Interior Minister Charles Pasqua restored the "Central Service" of the RG as a "Central Direction."

At the central level, the DCRG was organized into four Sub-Directorates, which are in turn divided into sections:

  • Sub-Directorate of Research centralizes information concerning prevention and combatting terrorism and watches groups which pose hazards to the national territory;
  • Sub-Directorate of Analysis was responsible for analysis and synthesis of information collected in the social, financial or corporate domains. It devotes an equally large share of its activity to the life of the city and to its déviances, such as urban violences.
  • Sub-Directorate of Races and Backlashes was responsible, througout the national territory, for monitoring backlashes and racial organizations, and it has judicial competentence for all specific infringements in this domain.
  • Sub-Directorate of Resources and Methods manages human resources, logistics, documentation, and ascertains budgetary matters as well as the training of personnel.

The headquarters of the DCRG maintained operating links and coordination with the Directorate of the National Police, the Prefecture of Police and the other administrations or authorities and decentralized adminstrations of RG. Decentralized administrations are divided by regions, departments, down to districts at the level of some under-prefectures, perhaps in posts detached from larger units. Regional directorates can have specialized units competent in regional issues.




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