The taxpayers’ association denounces examples of waste, including the authorities’ overslept end of Windows 7 support and the reorganization of federal IT.
In its current “Black Book” also denounced the waste of tax money on IT issues: The association criticized that the Hamburg Senate “slept for eight years”; because, despite the well-known end of support, more than 9000 administration computers were still running Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system. Now the Hanseatic city has to buy the extended support at a high price. At the federal level, the association complains how the IT modernization of the federal administration “botched up”; and led to a cost explosion.
“Schildbürgerstreich” with Windows 7
The support contract for outdated Windows 7 computers costs Hamburg a total of 526,000 euros, according to the BdSt. The BdSt-Hamburg chairman Lorenz Palte described this to the dpa as a “felt little prankster”. This contract became necessary because with the discontinuation of Microsoft customer service for the old operating system in January 2020, more than 9123 computers with Windows 7 were still running in the public sector – 8028 of them at the police station.
To the taxpayers’ association The Senate summed it up like this: “minus the police end devices, around 98 percent of the end devices had already migrated to Windows 10 on January 14, 2020.” The paralyzing conversion is essentially due to “hardware or software not yet provided”. Planning for the conversion began in 2016. But Hamburg is by no means alone in this: In many public agencies, Windows 7, which is actually no longer supported, is still running on the computers. The federal government is paying around 800,000 euros this year alone for the necessary special support.
Unconsolidated IT consolidation
At the federal level, the BdSt castigates the mammoth project of the “IT Consolidation Federal Government” which has been running for five years. This was actually supposed to modernize and standardize the operating systems and computer workstations of all 180 ministries and agencies of the federal administration, but apparently it is anything but smooth. According to reports leaked to the press, time and cost plans seem no longer tenable, even after the redistribution of responsibility with sovereignty at the Federal Chancellery. In addition, the project as a whole is threatened. The Federal Audit Office had already criticized the project several times.
The BdSt complained that the sum originally estimated for the project in the three-digit million range was now spent on consultant fees alone. The government had already paid 257.6 million euros for the external expertise by the beginning of 2025; According to the association, by the end of the project, which is planned for 2025, the consulting costs should increase again to at least EUR 578.2 million. The total costs are currently estimated at 3.4 billion euros. The BdSt fears further additional costs for taxpayers.
All in all, in its new black book, the taxpayers’ association has denounced the waste of money by German authorities in 100 examples. Association President Reiner Holznagel said on Tuesday that the federal, state and local authorities throughout Germany were once again careless with their citizens’ money.