German state renames Justice Ministry to Ministry of Justice – at cost of €26,000

After the newly-elected state leader of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, renamed all 12 ministries under his administration, he publicly responded on Monday to inquires as to why.

German state renames Justice Ministry to Ministry of Justice - at cost of €26,000
Armin Laschet. Photo: DPA.

Laschet, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, released an official written response to requests made by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) state parliamentary group.

Laschet decided to alter the names of the ministries, for example turning the “Justizministerium” (Justice Ministry) and “Finanzministerium” (Finance Ministry) into “Ministerium der Justiz” (Ministry of Justice) and “Ministerium der Finanzen” (Ministry of Finance), respectively.

Nothing else about the ministries has changed, but the renaming will cost taxpayers a total of €26,000.

Changing envelopes and invitations will cost €7,600 and changing general documentation will cost €7,400. 

The name change will also affect telephone information services and signs which will cost €4,500. Changing stamps and seals will cost €3,950 and changing press materials will cost €2,150. 

When SPD politician Stefan Zimkeit from the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia inquired what the point was in renaming these ministries, Laschet explained in his response: “The naming of the ministries is based on name designation on the federal level.”

On the question of efficiency improvements in the state administration posed by Ziemkeit, Laschet replied: “We are not dealing with questions of efficiency.”

“This measure is not an element of the efforts of the state government to profoundly reduce bureaucracy.”