The prefects are assisted by departmental councils.
It assigns its quota of taxes (contingent) to each arrondissement, authorizes the sale, purchase or exchange of departmental property, superintends the management thereof, authorizes the construction of new roads, railways or canals, and advises on matters of local interest.
The chief expenses of the departments are the care of pauper children and lunatics, the maintenance of high-roads and the service of the departmental debt.
The town has a military hospital and a departmental college.
Besides receiving taxes, they pay the creditors of the state in their departments, conduct all operations affecting departmental loans, buy and sell government stock (rentes) on behalf of individuals, and conduct certain banking operations.