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Cologne: Ministry of Health must issue documents for mask procurement


Whether contractual obligations were violated in mask deals is the subject of numerous civil lawsuits. Plaintiffs want to see expert opinions and correspondence from ex-minister Jens Spahn – and are now successful.

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CDU politician Jens Spahn: As an ex-minister in focus

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

The Cologne Administrative Court has ordered the Federal Ministry of Health to hand over documents in connection with the procurement of corona masks.

The court announced this and referred to two judgments that had been made the day before.

Among other things, it is about expert opinions and e-mail correspondence between the then Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) and an entrepreneur.

However, the judgments are not yet final.

The background is the "Open House" procedure that the Federal Ministry of Health carried out after the outbreak of the corona pandemic in March 2020.

Anyone who wanted could sell the federal government FFP2 masks for 4.50 euros net each.

Whether contractual obligations were violated in the mask deals is now the subject of numerous civil lawsuits at the Bonn Regional Court.

Appraisals and correspondence

According to the Cologne Administrative Court, one of the entrepreneurs suing in Bonn applied to the Ministry in December 2020 for access to expert opinions and other statements from an auditing company and a law firm.

According to the information, these had been turned on by the ministry to support the handling of the procurement process.

Referring to a media article, another person applied to receive all correspondence between Spahn and an entrepreneur in 2020 and 2021.

The ministry rejected both applications.

A lawsuit was filed against this.

The lawsuits have now been largely successful, as the Cologne Administrative Court explains.

Among other things, the reason given is that the claim that the provision of information would mean too much administrative effort is not valid - given the size of the ministry.

With regard to the release of the e-mails, however, the court restricted that this was not obligatory for those parts that contained trade secrets.

An application for admission of an appeal can be made against the judgments.

The Higher Administrative Court of Münster would then decide on this.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-01-20

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