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Modernization of the Federal IT: Crisis billion project will be a case for Olaf Scholz


The IT in authorities and ministries is to be renewed, but the project is completely out of control. Now the Ministry of Finance is to take over large parts of the mammoth project.

The billionaire project to modernize the computer systems of federal agencies and ministries, threatens to fail. Now, a plan to save the project takes concrete shape: essential parts will in future the Ministry of Finance of Olaf Scholz (SPD) take over, which sets up SPIEGEL information for a new department for IT, with a leader at grade B9.

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So far, the overall project management was in the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Horst Seehofer (CSU), from there should also be relocated in the course of the reorganization some of the units dealing with the project in the Finance Department.

The four-year emergency operation is needed because the 2015 Cabinet-led project was completely out of line: after the projected total cost of the original ten-year update skyrocketed from around $ 1 billion to $ 3.47 billion, the Committee on Budgets blocked much of the projected budget Budget funds and called for a fundamental reorganization.

Part of the projects should remain in the Ministry of the Interior

The participating ministries under the auspices of the Federal Chancellery have now agreed on a "rough planning". It provides for power, jobs and responsibilities to be transferred to the Ministry of Finance. The house should therefore take over the proving to be particularly difficult modernization and merging of the data centers of the federal government ("enterprise consolidation"). Historically, a sprawl of nationwide around one hundred of these data centers and around 1245 server rooms has developed.

The concurrent project of developing uniform and modern computer work environments for all employees of ministries and federal agencies, as well as standardized services such as e-dossiers and e-invoices, will remain in the Ministry of the Interior.

The background of the reorganization is that the Ministry of Finance, with the ITZ Bund, has its own IT service provider to which it has direct access. According to the current plans, the ITZ Bund is now to become a "central service provider" and "general contractor".

The previous balance sheet is not encouraging

Whether these repair attempts in the current procedure will solve the problems is uncertain, however. The ITZ Bund was in the initial phase of the project once before in the role of the leading and then sole service provider. Because it quickly became apparent that the tasks would be unstoppable, in 2016 another federal IT service provider, BWI GmbH, was commissioned. Their role should be restricted to that of a "subcontractor" according to the new plans.

Also, the previous balance sheet of the work already done is not necessarily encouraging. The Federal Court of Auditors certified the Ministry of Finance and its ITZ Bund in a report from the end of May in a confidential paper, even the IT authority of the Ministry was "not sufficiently trained" for the mega-project and only "conditionally efficient" - it was "far behind the set Aiming back ". The service provider defended itself among other things with the reference to lack of staff - which is likely to aggravate now by the rise to the "central service provider".

The current restructuring plan has very ambitious goals for the IT department, which has hitherto been at the Ministry: it should be "swiftly transformed into a public law institution" and "technologically in a leading position in comparison with major IT service providers in the economy" ,

The cabinet still has to agree to the new plans. Digital State Minister Dorothee Bär (CSU) assessed the project so far this fall as "a disaster" at an event in Berlin this week. As one reason she named the rivalry among the ministries and the principle of the principle enshrined in the Basic Law that guarantees individual houses far-reaching autonomy. "Which house wants to be consolidated? None, of course," she said. "Everyone thinks they can do it their best, but of course they can not."

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.

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Source: spiegel

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