Deficiencies in transparency and climate protection

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Bundeswehr in Afghanistan

The Federal Court of Auditors criticizes that salaries for new soldiers have been miscalculated for years.


(Photo: AP)

Berlin The Federal Court of Auditors sees shortcomings in the budget and economic management of the federal government. Among other things, the German Armed Forces, the fight against climate change and the German Railways, the authority saw a need for improvement, as emerged from the annual report published on Tuesday.

The railway and the Federal Ministry of Transport are called on to be more transparent in the report. "DB AG denies us information about its business activities. The Department of Transportation takes this, "said Kay Scheller, President of the Federal Court of Audit. In the case under investigation, according to the report, it was about the sale of electricity by Deutsche Bahn to private customers. The Federal Court of Auditors had to interrupt its examination thereupon.

As a federal company, DB AG is obliged to provide information to the Federal Audit Office. This also applies indirectly to subsidiaries such as DB Energie, the report said. The Federal Government is now requested to ensure that DB AG complies with this obligation.

Furthermore, the Court of Auditors complained about climate protection in local public transport, which in some cases was too short. For example, subsidized buses depending on their fuel consumption: the more consumption, the higher the promotion. "This funding logic has fallen out of time," the authority judged.

In the Federal Armed Forces criticized the Federal Audit Office planning errors in combat training, which would have led to additional expenditure of 46 million euros. Planning errors, the report also for salaries for new soldiers and soldiers: For years is calculated incorrectly – often at the expense of the soldiers. Similar errors have been pointed out since 2013, it said.

German border authorities are called in the report to comply with safety regulations for the Schengen area more consistently. All Member States did not sufficiently validate visa applications and those arriving. This involved, for example, comparing data from third-country nationals with EU-wide databases: the documents were not completely filled out or the quality of the stored fingerprints was inadequate.

Ekin Deligöz, Green Party Leader in the Audit Committee, described the report as evidence of the "massively irresponsible treatment of the Federal Government with taxpayers' money". He was a testimony of a gross mismanagement. The behavior of the federal government leads to "that the trust in our tax and financial system is lost," said Deligöz.

The Federal Court of Auditors examines the income and expenditure as well as the sound financial management. In an annual report, he presents the results of this review. Subsequently, the Audit Committee of the Budget Committee of the Bundestag advises the comments.

More: The Federal Government again engaged more external consultants in 2018. In particular, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Transport used the expertise from outside.

The Handelsblatt expert call

Federal (t) Bundeswehr (t) German Federal Railways (t) Federal Ministry of Transport (t) Court of Auditors (t) Public Waste (t) Ministry of Transport (t) DB Energy (t) the Greens (t) Ekin Deligöz

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