The federal government has received 470 suggestions from associations on how to reduce bureaucratic obstacles. As a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Justice said on request, 70 associations were originally invited to take part in a survey, including the environmental protection organization Greenpeace, the Central Association of German Crafts and the Federation of German Industries.
After another 33 associations had expressed their interest, the deadline was extended by two weeks to March 3rd and they were also asked to participate. According to the information, a total of 56 associations finally made suggestions for improvement. The Federal Statistical Office is currently in the process of structuring and categorizing the proposals, said the spokesman. A committee with representatives from all departments of the federal government is to deal with the results on May 3rd.
"Name unnecessary bureaucracy"
The work of the State Secretary Committee "Better legislation and reducing bureaucracy" is coordinated by the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Benjamin Strasser (FDP). The invitation sent out in mid-January said: "The survey should not only enable you to name unnecessary bureaucracy, but also aims to develop concrete suggestions as to how the purpose of existing regulations can be achieved more easily - without lowering protection standards. "
In their coalition agreement, the SPD, Greens and FDP announced a "Bureaucracy Relief Act" that is intended to relieve business, citizens and administration of the previous bureaucracy, but "without sacrificing the necessary protection standards".
The laws and regulations that have caused a lot of bureaucracy and thus a lot of resentment among citizens in recent years include parts of the Corona aid packages, the property tax return and most recently the time-consuming application for the energy price flat rate for students.
Strasser asked for understanding, even though some of the decisions were made during the reign of Chancellor Angela Merkel's (CDU) last cabinet. He told the German Press Agency: "In the early days of the corona pandemic, measures of enormous importance had to be implemented very quickly. There were hardly any historical models for this." Nevertheless, it must be the aim of the new government to "learn from the mistakes and do better in the future".
Digitization as a solution?
Strasser said he could also understand some of the anger in the new property tax assessment, which was also decided by Black and Red, because here the state is asking for data that it already has elsewhere. It is good, however, that the possibility of digitally submitting the information has been created for this. "For me, it is important to leverage the potential of digitization," added the FDP politician. When traveling to Estonia, Portugal and Austria, he was repeatedly advised: "Start, get started and accept that not everything is perfect yet."
When asked about the lump sum for students who need to create a BundID user account to apply for it, he said: "I am aware that many administrative procedures are not yet running as smoothly as the citizens would like." The federal government, under the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior, is working flat out to make services available online more quickly. However, the creation of digital administrative structures is the task of the federal states, "this poses additional challenges for us as a federal state".