The new federal government of SPD, Greens and FDP concluded contracts worth at least 271 million euros for external advice and support in its first six months. This emerges from a response from the Ministry of Finance to a request from the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, which is available to the German Press Agency.
According to this, from the time the traffic light government took office on December 8, 2021 to May 31, 305 contracts were signed, 80 of them worth 237.5 million euros by the Interior Ministry, which is led by SPD politician Nancy Faeser.
In second place is the Ministry of Transport with 23 contracts over 6.8 million euros, which mainly affect Deutsche Bahn. The house of FDP politician Volker Wissing points out, however, that the information is not complete due to the short deadline for the answer.
This is followed by Christian Lindner’s (FDP) Ministry of Finance with 17 contracts worth 5.6 million euros and Robert Habeck’s (Greens) Ministry for Economics and Climate Protection with 16 contracts worth 4.8 million euros.
The involvement of management consultants and other outside experts by the federal government is controversial. Critics believe that purchasing expertise is too expensive and, given the thousands of employees in the ministries, not necessary.
They also fear too much influence on government work. Proponents, on the other hand, hope for new impetus through an outside view or use experts for special tasks for which no permanent employees are required. This can apply, for example, to tasks in the IT area.
Left faction leader Dietmar Bartsch criticized the consultant expenses and spoke of an “irresponsible use” of tax money. “The traffic light ministers obviously have to distrust their officials, otherwise the many new consultant contracts cannot be explained,” he said. “While citizens’ money is running through their hands due to out-of-control inflation, the traffic-light parties are spending it lavishly.”
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