The technology giant IBM was the number one consulting firm for the federal government in the first half of the year.
The contracts with the german subsidiary of the u.S. Group for consulting and support services totaled 115.2 million euros from january to june. This is followed by the medium-sized IT consulting firm conet from hennef in north rhine-westphalia with 79.5 million euros and the auditors from pricewaterhousecoopers with 55.9 million euros.
That’s according to a response from the federal ministry of finance to a question from left-wing member of parliament matthias hohn, which was obtained by the deutsche presse-agentur. However, parliamentary state secretary bettina hagedorn points out that the ministries do not have a uniform definition of consulting and support services and that there are therefore "uncertainties or differences" between the ministries. Fuzziness" could arise.
According to an earlier response from the finance ministry, the 14 federal ministries and their subordinate agencies spent a total of 333 million euros on external consultants in the first half of the year. Almost half of this, 155 million euros, was spent by the defense ministry, whose use of consultants is currently being examined by a parliamentary committee of inquiry.
Two firms whose work for the ministry is scrutinized by the committee were among the top ten government consultants in the first half of the year: mckinsey subsidiary orphoz, which specializes in digital transformation, in sixth place with 31 million euros, and irish consultancy accenture in tenth place with 18.7 million euros. The committee is taking a particularly close look at the defense ministry’s collaboration with mckinsey because in 2014, the recently retired minister ursula von der leyen appointed katrin suder, a manager at the consultancy, as secretary of state.
Hohn said that continuing to work with these firms "leaves a bitter taste, to say the least". It could only advise the federal government to be more transparent. "She must explain to the burghers why millions and millions of taxpayers’ money end up in the accounts of these external consultants."The committee of inquiry began its work at the beginning of the year. The panel examines allegations ranging from improper awarding of contracts to nepotism.
In the first half of the year, the top ten external consultants and supporters of the federal government also included the management consultancies capgemini (47.1 million euros in order volume), ernst und young (46.7 million) and roland berger (20.6), as well as the IT systems house bechtle (23.6 million) and the technology consultancy sopra steria (20.8 million).
The federal government’s use of business consultants and other experts from auben is highly controversial. Critics say that buying in expertise is too expensive and, given the more than 20,000 employees in the ministries, also not absolutely necessary. In addition, it is feared that auben has exerted too much influence on the government’s work. In the ministries, on the other hand, the use of consultants is considered unavoidable, especially in the IT sector, because the tasks are often temporary and require highly specialized knowledge.
In response to a request from hohn, the ministry of finance had already determined the expenditures of the individual ministries for expert advice from auben in july. In addition to the defense ministry, the interior ministry spent an above-average 78.7 million euros and the transport ministry 47.7 million euros on consultants. The ministry of education, on the other hand, needed the least additional expertise. In the first six months of the year, only a few titles were
293,000 euros spent on consultants.