Raffle for funding and endless buoy research - Court of Auditors reprimands government

In the "Remarks" 20 individual cases are presented as examples, which the Federal Court of Auditors has dealt with in detail.

Raffle for funding and endless buoy research - Court of Auditors reprimands government

In the "Remarks" 20 individual cases are presented as examples, which the Federal Court of Auditors has dealt with in detail. In the coming months, the Bundestag should deal with it.

Among other things, the Federal Ministry of Economics was criticized: In a program worth 500 million euros called "Digital Now", subsidies for the digitization of companies would be raffled "instead of aligning them on the basis of sensible criteria," complained the Court of Auditors. The subsidized companies are chosen "at random", "economic performance" and the "profitability of the investment" play practically no role. "The Federal Court of Auditors assumes high free-rider effects."

The Federal Ministry of Labor is also criticized because of the basic pension. "Even during the legislative process, experts warned of excessive bureaucracy and high administrative costs," explains the Federal Court of Auditors - "an approximate inventory confirms this picture." In the first year of the benefit introduced in 2021, 1.3 billion euros in basic pensions were paid out, with almost 0.4 billion euros in administrative costs.

According to the Federal Court of Auditors, the state loses more than one billion euros a year due to outdated vehicle tax benefits. A report commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) had already identified major deficits in 2017. "Despite the unequivocal results of the report, the BMF has not yet taken any initiative to reduce tax breaks," the auditors complain. This also contradicts the federal government's immediate climate protection program.

The report also accuses many federal agencies of compromising the security of sensitive data. They would not have adequately secured their internal authority networks in order to process sensitive data requiring secrecy - so-called classified information. "The Federal Ministry of the Interior should urgently urge all federal authorities to finally secure their official networks and release them for the processing of classified information," demands the Court of Auditors.

Some points in the "Remarks" seem downright strange: For example, the Bundeswehr "despite insufficient development progress in the industry" stuck to the "project of a communication buoy for submarines" for 19 years - and that "although an early exit was contractually possible would". The buoy should therefore "enable deep-dived submarines to hide their presence and still transmit radio". In the meantime, however, the concept is outdated, since submarines can also be easily detected in buoy operations using new location methods. "The late termination of the project is now associated with unnecessary additional expenditure."

The Federal Court of Auditors is also concerned about the budget management of the federal government as a whole. Three crises in quick succession - namely the corona pandemic, the Russian attack on Ukraine and the energy crisis - are "a stress test for the federal budget". Together with other financial challenges such as demographic change, the fight against climate change and the modernization of infrastructure, they endanger "the long-term sustainability of public finances".

"Before the pandemic, the federal government had accumulated a debt of around 1.3 trillion euros in 70 years. As a result of the emergencies of the last three years, the debt level will increase significantly by around 800 billion euros," the auditors explain. "In the foreseeable future, a value of two trillion euros will be exceeded," the interest payments would increase accordingly.

"The federal government's financial scope for action is shrinking more and more. In the future, it will be more important than ever that the federal government manages its money properly," explained the President of the Federal Audit Office, Kay Scheller.

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