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Ministries outsourced laws 60 times since 2000

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Former Economy Minister Guttenberg. Photo: DPA
08:55 CET+01:00
Germany's federal ministries have consulted external companies for drafting laws some 60 times since 2000, daily Saarbrücker Zeitung reported on Wednesday.

Among the outsourcing were 38 cases from the last legislature period, 16 of which occurred in 2009, the paper said, citing a parliamentary inquiry to the Interior Ministry filed by the socialist Left party.

“This development borders self-abandonment in politics and invites economic lobbying,” Left party parliamentarian Sabine Zimmermann, who made the inquiry, told the paper.

In the last three years the outsourcing has cost taxpayers €4.1 million, the inquiry showed.

Leading the ministries with the most outsourcing was the Environment Ministry, last lead by Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel. With the use of external advisers in 36 different cases, the ministry made up more than half of the total sum.

Following the Environment Ministry was the Transportation Ministry, also led by a centre-left Social Democrat, with 10 cases of outsourcing.

In third place with five cases was the Interior Ministry, led by a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, the paper reported.

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Outsourcing among government ministries made national headlines in early 2009 when news broke that the Economy Ministry, led by CDU member Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, had outsourced an entire draft law to a law firm. But Guttenberg's ministry only had one other such case, which occurred while one of his predecessors, SPD member Wolfgang Clement was in charge, the inquiry revealed.

The practise apparently began during the so-called red-green coalition between the SPD and the environmentalist Green party, which led the country between 1998 and 2005.

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