The members of the Federal Cabinet at a joint meeting in the Chancellery
Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka / DPA
How much does good advice cost?
In any case, the federal government has spent more than a billion euros on external expertise since 2017.
This emerges from a response from the Ministry of Finance to a request from left-wing MP Matthias Höhn, which is available to the German Press Agency.
Leading the way in investing in outside expertise
with at least 492.9 million euros,
Ministry of Transport
with 196.9 million euros
Ministry of Finance
with 121.7 million euros.
Savings were made in the Ministry of Labor
Höhn asked the government about the expenditure for external advisory and support services from the beginning of the election period on October 24, 2017 to July 31, 2021. In some cases, however, the information from the individual ministries includes the whole of 2017. This is the case with the Ministry of Transport, for example. The Ministry of Labor reported the lowest expenditure for external expertise with 2.5 million euros and the Chancellery with 3.3 million euros. The bottom line is that at least 1.073 billion euros have been spent on external support since 2017.
The involvement of business consultants and other external experts by the federal government is highly controversial. Critics say that buying expertise is too expensive and, given the thousands of employees in the ministries, not absolutely necessary. In addition, it is feared that it will have too great an impact on government work. Proponents, on the other hand, expect added value in a wide variety of areas through an outside perspective or use experts for special tasks that do not require permanent employees. This can apply to tasks in the IT area, for example.
Höhn attested that the government of the Union and the SPD had a “devastating balance sheet” in terms of consultant spending at the end of the legislative period.
"The next federal government must finally create complete transparency about the activities of these companies in the ministries and authorities and massively reduce their influence on political decision-making processes," he demanded.
The Federal Audit Office had already criticized wastage in the commissioning of consultants by the government on several occasions.
muk / dpa