The auditors of the Council of State were created by decree in 1803 and they were chosen by nomination and were interviewed for suitability in the position by three of the Councilors of State. The auditors worked with the committees in the Council of State and attended 'the full sessions of the Council as observers. Napoleon many times encouraged them to speak in the full Council and when they showed ability it pleased Napoleon and he encouraged their independence of mind.
In 1803 there were sixteen of them; by 1809 there were sixty which blossomed into 300 by 1811. Selection was based on merit and was 'free from favoritism.' One of the auditors was Henry Beyle, later known by the pen name Stendahl, the novelist. Forty-two of the auditors later became prefects and all of them no matter their assignment reported directly to Napoleon. The creation of the auditors was the forerunner of a civil service that was not part of the bureaucracy, and Napoleon said of them that 'having finished their education and reached the right age, the auditeurs would one fine day have filled all the posts of the Empire.'
See Felix Markham, Napoleon, 98-99.