Baffled Germans get new bureaucracy helpline

Millions of Germans confused by their country’s often bewildering bureaucracy will soon have help from public authorities through a new hotline – 115 – broadcaster ARD reported on Thursday.

Baffled Germans get new bureaucracy helpline
Stamps. Striking fear into the heart of every German. Photo: DPA

The pilot project sponsored by the Interior Ministry, called “D115,” will be available beginning March 24 in Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse and parts of North Rhine-Westphalia. After a two-year trial service will be extended to the entire country.

Operators will help Germans get into contact with the right people to solve their bureaucratic needs. From social benefit questions to government paperwork confusion, the hotline will aim to be “quick and efficient,” ARD reported. “Quick” means within 24 hours, though most questions will likely be answered during the initial call.

“The most important support will be on the municipal level,” Interior Ministry official Hans Bernhard Beus said, adding that the programme will help stoke further innovation in the country’s notoriously stifling bureaucracy.