New Caledonia's audit office has severely criticised the way the territory's public service is run, pointing to a raft of poor spending decisions.
It says large sums have been spent to re-organise the public sector but no tangible measure has come out of the effort.
Its report says this inability to reform may also have been due to instability seen in frequent changes to the leadership.
It points to misspending, with government assistants being hired and paid outside the regular process.
The office says there is a Paris-based official looking after European affairs while being on the indexed and higher pay scale in force in New Caledonia.
The public sector employs about 17,000 people.