Lawyers have so far cost traffic light federal ministries 30 million euros

Lawyers have so far cost traffic light federal ministries 30 million euros

The federal ministries themselves employ around 10,000 lawyers, plus there are enormous costs for external law firms. The traffic light coalition is more economical than the previous federal government.

Since the beginning of the legislative period, the ministries of the traffic light coalition have spent around 30 million euros on external law firms, for example to prepare reports, analyses, legal audits or advice. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry of the Interior to a query from the parliamentary manager of the AfD parliamentary group, Stephan Brandner, which was submitted to the German Press Agency. The numbers refer to the period between December 8, 2021 and April 8 of this year. The ministries of the previous government of then Chancellor Angela Merkel had spent more money on external legal advice in a comparable period.

At around 16.5 million euros, more than half of the traffic light ministries’ consulting costs have so far been accounted for by the economic department of Robert Habeck (Greens). This is followed by the Federal Ministry of Transport with around 5.4 million euros and the Federal Ministry of Health with around 3 million euros. The previous government made up of the Union and the SPD had spent around 35 million euros on external legal expertise around two and a half years after the start of the legislative period in spring 2020, as an FDP inquiry had shown. At that time, the top spender was the Federal Ministry of Transport under CSU Minister Andreas Scheuer with 16.9 million euros, ahead of the Federal Ministry of Defense (5.3) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (4).

Lawyers in ministries and authorities

According to the answer, the ministries and their subordinate authorities themselves employ more than 10,000 lawyers. Brandner said that given this number, it was “remarkable that many millions of euros of taxpayer money are needed to ensure legal advice to the federal government.” In its response, the Ministry of the Interior pointed out that “despite the existence of its own legal expertise, there may be applications in which obtaining external legal expertise is necessary for the appropriate fulfillment of tasks and is economical in accordance with budgetary requirements.” The review is the responsibility of the respective federal ministry itself.

Source: Stern

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