Reviews Bundestag resolves: Grand coalition must reduce the army of advisors

22:40  29 november  2020
22:40  29 november  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

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The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the Federal level.

The vote in the Bundestag is set for Friday, with approval seen as likely, as Chancellor Angela Merkel's " grand coalition " government enjoys a wide majority in the Like any deployment of Germany's Bundeswehr armed forces , the mandate must be extended by the Bundestag each year, but there

The federal government spends around half a billion euros annually on business advisors. Now the ministries are to be forced to hire significantly less expensive external experts.

  Bundestag beschließt: Große Koalition muss Berater-Armee reduzieren © papp / imago images / STPP

In the future, the federal government will no longer be able to employ as many external consultants as it has before. According to SPIEGEL information, the budget committee passed a far-reaching resolution in one of the nightly meetings last week, which should put an end to the rampant use of management consultants in all ministries.

The decision of the controllers on the budgets of all ministries is short, but it is a tough one. There it is clearly stated that the federal government must take measures in the coming months "to substantially reduce the use of external consultants and external support staff".

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An advisor is a person with deep knowledge in a specific area that offers advice to a country's leader. Tasks such as conducting warfare, promoting scientific advancement and managing an economy are three examples of areas an advisor can offer aid.

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In addition, the housekeepers have set a deadline for the individual ministries. The federal government has to present a report by June 20, 2021, "in which each department presents a catalog of measures and a path to dismantling for its area." The committee is influential because it has to approve the federal government's budget.

With the decision, the housekeepers want the unrestrained use of management consultants, who meanwhile control projects for high daily rates in all ministries, analyze processes and in some cases even write legal texts. The federal government spent more than half a billion euros on this in 2019.

The criticism of the army of advisors in the ministries is not new. For years, critics have warned that external consultants may be useful for individual projects, but that they are now taking on tasks in many departments for which the houses already employ many well-paid civil servants.

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US Army forces operating as part of a multinational military command (alliance or coalition ) should follow multinational doctrine and procedures previously The commander must be visible to members of the coalition . Personal visits to allied units provide the opportunity to assess capabilities, readiness

Last year, the clarification of the consultant affair in the defense department also gave deep insights into how dependent the company has become on external experts. Without the advisors, the top management reported during interrogations before an investigative committee of the Bundestag, none of the major armaments projects could be controlled.

The committee also revealed that the use of the advisors under Minister Ursula von der Leyen was hardly controlled. In retrospect, it turned out that contracts worth millions had been concluded illegally. In addition, the impression remained that the consultants, thanks to their intimate knowledge of the company, were able to win orders for themselves.

Federal government spent at least 186 million euros on external consultants in the first half of 2020

The trend of bringing consultants into the house rather than using one's own machine continued in 2020 despite the affair. According to quite fresh figures, the federal government spent at least 186 million euros on external consultants in the first six months. The front runners were the Ministry of the Interior with 79.8 million euros and the Ministry of Finance with 48.2 million euros.

The Ministry of Defense stopped using consultants in 2020. However, in the armaments sector in particular, the company continues to rely on external support services, which are mostly of a more technical nature. According to insiders, these budgets should also amount to a three-digit million amount.

For Tobias Lindner, who sat on the committee of inquiry for the Greens for a year, the decision of the housekeeping is only a first step. "Even if it was very late, the grand coalition is finally drawing conclusions from the consultant affair," says Lindner. In any case, he would take a close look at the budget committee "whether and how much the use of consultants in the federal government will actually decrease".

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