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Failed transport project: toll debacle is even more expensive


New setback for Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer: According to SPIEGEL information, his ministry must admit that the failed car toll is even more expensive.

The pressure on the Federal Ministry of Transport for the failed car toll rises. Every detail that becomes known from the procurement process holds new fuel. Now it's about trickery that should obscure the real expenses of the project.

According to information of the SPIEGEL, the authority of Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) has accumulated more costs for the failed CSU prestige project car toll than previously known. At the request of the FDP traffic expert Oliver Luksic Scheuers Ressort conceded that the state truck toll operator Toll Collect since January 1, 2019 services rendered for the proposed infrastructure fee of 727,000 euros.

Toll Collect was to provide the car toll operator Autoticket, among other things, its toll booth terminals and control bridges. Until the ECJ judgment of 18 June, which stopped the project, preparations were under way. Other, as yet unnumbered costs apparently incurred at subcontractors of Toll Collect, as internal documents suggest. The additional costs for the car toll are also problematic because the truck toll operator Toll Collect was not allowed to participate in its introduction: the business purpose did not allow this activity. It was not until May 17, 2019, when Toll Collect had long been involved in the project, that the ministry changed the articles of association.

Bundesrechnungshof complains about procurement problems

In the view of the FDP traffic expert Luksic, the entire approach of the ministry had the goal of concealing the true costs of the project. Actually, according to Luksic, the Bundestag would have had to agree that Toll Collect is taking part in the car toll. This did not happen. "The ministry wanted to lead the parliament behind the spruce," criticizes the Saarland liberals.

The Bundesrechnungshof also criticizes procurement problems: other previously retired bidders were disadvantaged. For example, the operator could have reduced his offer by 360 million euros simply by using the toll terminals of Toll Collect. The "changes made by the Ministry of Transport were inadmissible", write the examiners in their report on the toll, which is the SPIEGEL.

This topic comes from the new SPIEGEL magazine - available at the kiosk from Saturday morning and every Friday at SPIEGEL + and in the digital magazine edition.

What is in the new SPIEGEL and what stories you find at SPIEGEL +, you will also learn in our free policy newsletter DIE LAGE, which appears six times a week - compact, analytical, opinionated, written by the political minds of the editorial staff.

Source: spiegel

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