For the exploding costs in the case of the Navy sailing school ship “Gorch Fock” power of the Federal court of auditors, a media report revealed severe shortcomings in the Bundeswehr and defence Ministry responsible.

In a confidential report from the beginning of January, the authority alleges that the repair of the ship had not been planned right from the start, because the damage to the hull were never investigated properly and extensively, and a rating of how the “mirror” reported. So over the years, to low estimates of the costs of repair were incurred. A spokesman for the defense Ministry confirmed the existence of the court of auditors report.

The examiners criticized in the 39-page document, which would not have considered competent Bodies “from the information available, the necessary consequences,” such as the “mirror” writes. In addition, the German armed forces had carried out “before the start of the Maintenance intervention, no cost-effectiveness study”. It has never been seriously explored, whether the construction of a new ship it would have been cheaper than the repair. The Navy had wanted to save the ship, apparently, in spite of the severe damage. The contributions to the discussion of the “Marine” in internal discussions pointed to “either a complete ignorance of the situation or the company’s commitment to the continued operation of the Gorch Fock,” according to the “mirror” in the test report.

The 1958-built three-master with home port of Kiel will be overhauled for 2016. The order for the repair had to get the Elsflether Werft shipyard in lower Saxony, but also takes advantage of a Dock in Bremerhaven. Originally with tens of millions of euros, puts the cost now on 135 million euros. The Federal court of auditors had initiated in June of last year a test procedure.

The defense Ministry is working according to a speaker at an opinion, for the court of auditors time to April. Similarly, a speaker of the Leyens had also commented at the request of the “mirror”. The investigation, the examiner considered according to the dpa for a longer period of time, the repair work on the ship in the last 20 years. It provides comprehensive, at what level in the period decisions were taken.

The report, according to defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen about the true extent of the damage and the cost had been in the dark. Two-line templates, with which the CDU politician had at the beginning of 2017 and March 2018, the continuation of the Work approved, would “wrong Numbers, and optimistic risk assessments”, writes the “mirror”.

The defense policy spokesperson of the FDP parliamentary group, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, criticized von der Leyen sharp and called for a Reform of large parts of the Ministry. “The harsh criticism of the court of auditors to the escalating costs can clarity left nothing to be desired,” she said. That the end of the world “by their own employees in the dark was released, reinforced the impression that they didn’t apparently your Ministry,” she added, with a view to further allegations against the Minister, the affair of contracts for external consultants.

Given the explosion in Costs and a corruption suspicion, the Ministry of defence had instructed in December, a provisional payment stop. Notes that corruption and cost increases in a context, not first. A decision on the future of the ship is to be taken, according to the Ministry in December, after further testing.


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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.


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