Higher consultant's fee: Scourge concedes cost explosion

              Friday, October 11, 2019

Transport Minister Scheuer must answer for the cost explosion.
(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              The Federal Ministry of Transport has apparently miscalculated. In the reform of the highway administration, the consultancy costs are three times as high as originally planned. According to Transport Minister Scheuer, the contracts "got out of hand".
              The highway project of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the costs explode: CSU Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer admitted that the consultant costs for the reform of the trunk road administration and the construction of the Federal Motorway GmbH make up more than three times the original plans. By 2021, the costs would amount to 86 million euros, said Scheuer of the "Passauer Neue Presse". Originally, the ministry had assumed 24 million euros. In the meantime, three of the four framework agreements for consultation have ended amicably, according to the ministry. A better controlling had already been introduced. The Federal Minister of Transport said: "The magnitude and significance of this reform was underestimated in 2017. At that time, before my time in office, you still counted on 24 million consultants' fees, which was far too low an estimate." But there are also more benefits, said the CSU politician. "The four framework contracts with external consultants have gotten out of hand so there is nothing to gloss over." More money and more power were needed to implement the reform. By 2021, the federal government will assume responsibility for the motorways. The Länder are responsible for many years. In this way, investments should be accelerated and supraregional priorities should be better enforced. The reorganization of the Federal Highway Administration was already decided in the past legislative period, it was controversial within the grand coalition. FDP traffic expert Christian Jung stated: "The question arises more and more, why in most financial problems of the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Transport is directly or indirectly involved. If counseling costs skyrocket, a red controlling light in the Ministry must come on and have a budget freeze for the respective escalating post and be investigated. " That was the job of the minister, his secretaries of state and executives, Jung said. "In addition, in the concrete case, the question arises whether there is not even the expertise among the top government officials within the federal government in order to set up new structures, with or without consultants, as in the case of the motorway company."

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