EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Germany

Country score (European Average*)
  • 58(66) Political Financing
  • 23(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 54(40) Conflict of Interest
  • 44(56) Freedom of Information
  • 47(63) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)45126.50
Population, total82667685.00
Urban population (% of total)75.51
Internet users (per 100 people)89.65
Life expectancy at birth (years)81.09
Mean years of schooling (years)13.2
Global Competitiveness Index5.7
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Act on Political Parties (1994, amended 2015) is the main law regulating the financing of political parties in Germany.

There are few limits on the private income of political parties. Donations from foreign entities to political parties are not banned but limited and there are no bans on donations from foreign entities to candidates. There are bans on corporate donations to political parties but not on donations from trade unions. Donations from anonymous donors are only prohibited when over a certain amount. Beyond these groups there are bans on various income sources such as professional organisations and political foundations. There are no limits on the amount of donation that can be received.

There is public funding available for political parties. This is allocated according to the number of votes received in the previous election. There are no specific uses for the allocated public prescribed by the law. Subsidized media access is available and is allocated according to the share of seats. Other sources of indirect public funding include premises for campaign meetings and tax relief.

For regulations on spending there is a ban on vote buying and a ban on some state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate. There are no limits on what a party can spend.

Parties are required to report annually on their finances. The reports must provide information on finances in relation to election campaigns, must be made public and is some cases should reveal the identity of donors. Reports are audited by an auditing firm and are overseen by the President of the German Bundestag and the Administration Department of the German Bundestag. There are sanctions for those breaching the provisions of the law in the form of fines, the loss of public funding, forfeiture and imprisonment. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Bans and limits on private income28333333
Public funding62505050
Regulations on spending50505050
Reporting, oversight and sanctions92100100100

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? No. There is however a limit on how much foreigners may contribute which is EUR 1,000. (Section 25(2)(3) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? Yes. (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 2. donations from political foundations, corporate entities (Section 25(2) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? Yes. (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 1. donations from public corporations, parliamentary parties and groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils (local assemblies); 5. donations from enterprises that are fully or partly in public ownership or are managed or operated by public agencies if the state’s direct participation amounts to more than 25 per cent (Section 25(2)(1) & (2)(5) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 5. donations from enterprises that are fully or partly in public ownership or are managed or operated by public agencies if the state’s direct participation amounts to more than 25 per cent (Section 25(2)(5) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 6. any donations exceeding 500 euros each, which are made by an unidentified donor or which evidently are passed on as a donation by unnamed third parties; (Section 25(6) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? No. Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them on to an Executive Committee member who, under the party statutes, is responsible for the party’s financial matters (Section 25(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. Perhaps indirectly: (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 1. donations from public corporations, parliamentary parties and groups and from parliamentary groups of municipal councils (local assemblies); 5. donations from enterprises that are fully or partly in public ownership or are managed or operated by public agencies if the state’s direct participation amounts to more than 25 per cent; (Section 25(2)(1) & (2)(5) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. 2. donations from political foundations, corporate entities, associations of persons and from estates which under the statutes, the foundation charter or other dispositions governing the constitution of such entities, and by the actual business conducted by such entities, are exclusively and directly intended for non-profit, charitable or church purposes (Sections 51 to 68 of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung, AO); 4. donations from professional organizations, which were made to the latter subject to the proviso that such funds be passed on to a political party; 7. donations evidently made in the expectation of, or in return for, some specific financial or political advantage; 8. donations solicited by a third party against a fee to be paid by the political party and amounting to more than 25 per cent of the value of the solicited donation. (Section 25 Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. Section 18 The criteria for the allocation of public funds shall be the proportion of votes won by a political party in European, Bundestag and Landtag [State parliament] elections (Section 18(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) )
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. The criteria for the allocation of public funds shall be the proportion of votes won by a political party in European, Bundestag and Landtag [State parliament] elections; the total amount of its membership dues and contributions from holders of elected public office, and the amount of donations received. (Section 18(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) )

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. (4) Political parties which, according to the final result of the most recent elections to the European Parliament or to the Bundestag, received at least 0.5 per cent or, in an election to a Landtag, received 1 per cent of the valid votes cast for party lists shall be entitled to public funds pursuant to para. 3, nos. 1 and 3; in order to qualify for payments under para. 3, 1 st sentence, no. 1, and 2 nd sentence, a party must meet these requirements in the election concerned. Parties which, according to the final election result, obtained 10 per cent of the valid votes cast in a constituency or polling district shall be entitled to public funds pursuant to para. 3, no. 2. The 1 st and 2 nd sentences shall not apply to political parties of national minorities (Section 18(4) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received Yes. (3) The parties receive annually in the framework of the state part-financing 1. 0,83 Euro for each valid vote given for their respective list or 2. 0,83 euro for each valid vote cast for them in an electoral or constituency, if a list for this party was not authorized in a country, and 3. 0,45 Euro for each euro which they received as a contribution (paid membership or mandate contribution or legally obtained donation); only grants of up to EUR 3 300 per natural person are taken into account. The parties shall receive 1 euro per vote for each of the up to four million valid votes which they have received, in derogation from paragraphs 1 and 2. The amounts specified in sentence 1, numbers 1 and 2, as well as in sentence 2, increase as from 2017 in accordance with paragraph 2 sentences 2 to 5. (Section 18 (3) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) )
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. (2) The annual total volume of state resources, which may be paid to all parties at most, amounts to EUR 141.9 million for 2011 and EUR 150.8 million (absolute ceiling) for 2012. The absolute ceiling is increased annually, but for the first time for 2013, by the percentage, rounded down to one tenth of a percentage by which the price index of the type of expenditure typical for one party has increased in the year preceding the year. The price index is based on a weighing percentage of 70 percent of the general consumer price index and 30 percent of the index of the monthly salary of workers and employees of local authorities. The President of the Federal Statistical Office shall submit to the German Bundestag no later than 30 June. A report on the development of the price index in relation to the previous year. The President of the Bundestag publishes the sum of the absolute ceiling resulting from the increase by 31 May of each year, rounded off to full euro amounts, as a federal day pressure. (5) The amount of the state part-financing may not exceed, for one party, the sum of the receipts pursuant to Section 24 (4) Nos. 1 to 7 (relative upper limit). The sum of the financing of all parties may not exceed the absolute upper limit. (Section 18 (5) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) )

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal Yes. 42. Only private stations operate at the national level. Public stations are run at the state (Lander) level. At the national level, parties are allowed appropriate air time at private stations for their participation in elections if they are on at least one state list. Parties or other political associations are entitled to air time at private stations for the national and European elections if they have proposed at least one candidate. 5. Where a public authority makes facilities available to political parties or provides them with other public contributions and services, equal treatment shall be accorded to all political parties. (Article 42, Interstate Treaty for Broadcasting and Telemedia [Rundfunkstaatsvertrag - RStV] (1991, amended 2016) Section 5 (1), Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats Yes. "only a handful of campaign spots are allocated to the major parties, and proportionally less to smaller parties (…) the state supervisory agencies for the private broadcasters published guidelines indicating that a total allocation of twelve minutes per campaign period per broadcaster was appropriate for each of the two largest political parties, while smaller parties should get six or three minutes, depending on their size" (Legal Notice of the DLM to the election end times for Political Parties)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election Yes. Where a public authority makes facilities available to political parties or provides them with other public contributions and services, equal treatment shall be accorded to all political parties. The extent to which such facilities or services will be provided may be scaled back, in accordance with the respective importance of the various parties, to the minimum extent required for achieving the given party’s purpose. The importance of a political party will, in particular, be assessed on the basis of the results obtained in previous parliamentary elections. (Section 5 (1), Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015) )
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings Yes. Perhaps implicitly: (1) Where a public authority makes facilities available to political parties or provides them with other public contributions and services, equal treatment shall be accorded to all political parties. (Section 5(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. Tax Relief, exemptions from certain kind of taxes. "Another form of indirect state funding of parties exists by virtue of their exemption from inheritance and gift tax (section 13 (1) no.‌ 18 of the German Inheritance Tax Act and because natural persons can claim tax relief on contributions given to political parties (paid-‌up membership subscriptions, contributions by elected representatives, and lawful donations).‌" (Section 13 (1) no.‌ 18 of the Inheritance Tax Act, amended 2016; (GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II) p.10)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Whosoever undertakes to buy or sell a vote for an election or ballot in the European Parliament or in a parliament of the Federation, the member states, municipalities or municipal associations, shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine.‌ (Chapter 4, Section 108e, Criminal Code, 1998, amended 2013 )
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? Yes. (1) Where a public authority makes facilities available to political parties or provides them with other public contributions and services, equal treatment shall be accorded to all political parties. (Section 5(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. (1) The Management Board of the Party shall give a public account of the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the Party at the end of the calendar year (accounting year) in an accountability report to the best of its knowledge and belief. (Section 23 Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. (3) The statement of accounts of the party as a whole shall incorporate expenditure accounting on election campaigns (Section 24(5) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. (1) The Management Board of the Party shall give a public account of the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the Party at the end of the calendar year (accounting year) in an accountability report to the best of its knowledge and belief. (Section 23(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. (1) The Management Board of the Party shall give a public account of the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the Party at the end of the calendar year (accounting year) in an accountability report to the best of its knowledge and belief. (Section 23(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? yes. (3) If the total amount of donations made, and contributions paid by elected representatives/officials, to a political party or to one or more of its regional/local branches exceeds 10,000 euros in any one calendar year (accounting year), they shall be recorded, together with the names and addresses of the donors and the total amount, in the statement of accounts. Single donations in excess of 50,000 euros shall be reported immediately to the President of the German Bundestag. The latter shall in a timely manner publish the donation, together with the donor’s name, as a Bundestag printed paper. (Section 25(3) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. (2) The statement of accounts must be audited by a certified auditor or an auditing firm in accordance with the provisions of Sections 29 to 31. (Section 23(2) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other Yes. The President of the Bundestag. "The Constitution regulates party funding in the sense that Art.‌ 21 paragraph 1, 4th sentence, of the Basic Law explicitly stipulates the duty of political parties to account publicly for the sources and use of their funds and on the assets owned by them.‌ These constitutional requirements are specified in the provisions of Sections 23 et seqq.‌ of the PPA on a) the obligation to submit a public statement of accounts; b) an examination of the parties’ statements of accounts by the President of the German Bundestag to verify their due form and accuracy; c) the obligation to report incorrect data in a statement of accounts; d) the various items to be covered by the statement of accounts, including income/‌ expenditure accounting and a statement on the parties’ assets and liabilities; e) the right to accept donations; and f) financial sanctions and penalties provided under criminal law in case of inaccurate statements of accounts or unlawfully obtained or unpublished donations.‌" (Section 23(1) & (2) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency Yes. The Bunedestagspraesident (President of the Bundestag) is responsible for overseeing the annual reports of political parties. (Section 23(1) & (2) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other Yes. The Comptroller's Office/Audit Office is responsible for overseeing the finances of political parties as regards to their spending and income. (Section 23(1) & (2) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. Administration Department of the German Bundestag. "Organisational responsibility for party funding matters is assigned to the administration department of the German Bundestag.‌ It is under the authority of the President of the German Bundestag on behalf of whom it performs the supervisory work.‌ Substance-‌related responsibility lies with Directorate-‌General P (Parliament and MPs), its subordinate Directorate PM (mandate services) with the Directorate’s Division PM 3 (party funding, Land parliaments).‌ Division PM 3 has a total staff of 8 persons as follows: one head of division and two assistant heads of division (senior administrative service), one office manager (intermediate administrative service), two clerk officials in charge (clerical administrative service) and two typists.‌ All staff members of this Division serve as civil servants or employees with the administration department of the Bundestag.‌" ((p.‌ 16) (GRECO (2009) Evaluation Report on Germany on Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II)) )
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. If the President of the German Bundestag, in the course of the verification pursuant to Section 23a, detects inaccuracies in the statement of accounts, the political party shall be liable to pay twice the amount of the wrongly stated sum, except in the case of donations as provided under Section 31c. In case of inaccuracies in the balance sheet or the explanatory part of the house and basic assets or interests in companies, the claim is 10 per cent of the assets not listed or the incorrectly stated. (Section 31b Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding Yes. If a party does not submit its statement of accounts within the set time limit, it shall definitively forfeit its claim to public funding based on contributions (forfeiture of the contribution-based share). If a party has not submitted its statement of accounts by 31 December of the year following the year of entitlement, it shall forfeit its claim to public funding for the year of entitlement (forfeiture of the electoral vote share). (Section 19a(3) and (4) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal Yes. (1) Whosoever, with the intent of concealing the origin or the use of the party’s funds or assets or evading the obligation to render public account, shall be liable to imprisonment of up to three years or to a fine. (Section 31d(1) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture Yes. If a party does not submit its statement of accounts within the set time limit, it shall definitively forfeit its claim to public funding based on contributions (forfeiture of the contribution-based share). If a party has not submitted its statement of accounts by 31 December of the year following the year of entitlement, it shall forfeit its claim to public funding for the year of entitlement (forfeiture of the electoral vote share). (Section 19a(3) and (4) Political Parties Act (1994, amended 2015))
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Political Parties Act, 1994, amended 2015) (German)pdf
Interstate Treaty for Broadcasting and Telemedia [Rundfunkstaatsvertrag - RStV], 1991, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Legal Notice of the DLM to the election end times for Political Parties (German)pdf
Inheritance Tax Act, 1974, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Criminal Code, 1998, amended 2013 (English)pdf

Financial Disclosure

Germany’s financial disclosure legislation does not apply to its Head of State. Most of the rules applying to Ministers and Members of Parliament were established with the new Code of Conduct which is an annex to the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2015). It foresees that Ministers and Members of Parliament declare private interests in a decision before speaking or voting on the matter. Interest in a company, gifts, additional remunerated activities, and stocks that come with 25% of voting rights must be declared. Additional declarations on income from outside employment and membership in advisory bodies of companies or foundations are required from MPs. Fewer regulations apply to Civil Servants, as the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016) only requires an authorization of secondary activity before taking it up and a declaration of income from outside employment. In contrast to other public officials, Civil Servants must continue to declare secondary activities that are likely to cause a conflict of interests for three to five years after ending their service.

Neither depository and enforcement body, nor sanctions are specified for Ministers. MPs dispose their declarations with the President of the Bundestag and Civil Servants with their administrative superior. Both MPs and Civil Servants face sanctions for late-filling and non-filling, while no sanctions are specified for making false disclosure statements. Only the statements of MPs are made publicly available on the homepage of the Bundestag.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Disclosure items14161621
Filing frequency38383831
Sanctions42333333
Monitoring and Oversight19191919
Public access to declarations0121212

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State0000
Ministers6996
Members of Parliament46505049
Civil servants38363638

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The members of the Federal Government may not exercise any other salaried office, business or profession. (Section 5 (1) of the Act on Federal Ministers (1953, last amended 2015))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Federal Ministers have to declare all gifts they receive in relation to their office to the Federal Government. (Section 5 (3) of the Act on Federal Ministers (1953, last amended 2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Members of the Bundestag (including Ministers) must inform the President of any interestin in a company or renumerated activities upon election. Shareholdings must only be declared if the representative possesses more than 25% of voting rights. (Rule 1 2.6, Code of conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, last amended 2014) Article 7, Provisions Implementing the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, in Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, last amended 2014))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members of the Bundestag (including Ministers) must inform the President of any interestin in a company or renumerated activities upon election. Shareholdings must only be declared if the representative possesses more than 25% of voting rights. (Rule 1 2.6, Code of conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, last amended 2014) Article 7, Provisions Implementing the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, in Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, last amended 2014))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The members of the Federal Government may not exercise any other salaried office, business or profession. (Section 5 (1) of the Act on Federal Ministers (1953, last amended 2015))
Post-employment Yes. Federal Government members who intend to take up gainful employment or other employment outside the civil service within the first 18 months after leaving office shall notify the Federal Government in writing. The Federal Government may, in whole or in part, prohibit gainful employment or other employment for the period of the first 18 months after leaving office, to the extent that it is to be ensured that employment adversely affects public interests. (Section 6a and 6b of the Act on Federal Ministers (1953, last amended 2015))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Prior to deliberations on a matter in which a representative has a private interest, they must state so if it has not yet been part of public disclosure items, but there is no exclusion from decision-making. (Rule 6, Code of conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, last amended 2014))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The amount of income derived shall be declared if it exceeds the amount of EUR 1000 within one month or the amount of EUR 10,000 within one year. (Rule 1 (2.1) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Donations that exceed EUR 5000 in one calendar and donations the value of which individually or, in the case of several donations from the same donor, taken together, exceeds EUR 10,000 in one calendar year shall be published by the President. Gifts of pecuniary value which a Member of the Bundestag receives as a guest in connection with his mandate shall be notified and handed to the President; the Member may apply to keep the gift if he pays the Federal Cash Office a sum equivalent to its value. (Rule 4 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Interests held in a joint-stock company or partnership, if this results in considerable economic influence on the company. (Rule 1 (2.6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Interests held in a joint-stock company or partnership, if this results in considerable economic influence on the company. (Rule 1 (2.6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Activities as member of a board of management, supervisory board, administrative board, advisory board or other body of a company or of an enterprise operated in another legal form; activities as member of a board of management, supervisory board, administrative board, advisory board or other body of a corporation or institution under public law; activities as member of a board of management or other managerial or advisory body of a club, association or similar organisation, or of a foundation of not exclusively local importance (Rule 1 (2.2, 2.3, 2.4) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Post-employment Yes. MPs have to declare the existence of or making of agreements whereby the Member of the Bundestag is to be assigned certain activities or receive pecuniary benefits after membership in the Bundestag. (Rule 1 (2.5) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Every Member of the Bundestag in receipt of remuneration for his activities in connection with a subject to be debated in a committee of the Bundestag shall, prior to the deliberations, disclose as a member of that committee any link between these interests and the subject to be debated where this is not evident from the information published pursuant to Rule 3. (Rule 6 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declarations must be submitted to the President within three months of becoming a Member of the German Bundestag, or when changes or additions occur during the electoral term. (Rule 1 (6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Declarations must be submitted to the President within three months of becoming a Member of the German Bundestag, or when changes or additions occur during the electoral term. (Rule 1 (6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. An administrative procedure will be carried out if MPs fail to meet their obligation of making complete conflict of interest declarations. MPs are also subject to an admonishment by the President of Bundestag for late filing. (Rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014) Section 44(a)(4) of the Members of the German Bundestag Act (1977, amended 2014))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. MPs may be subject to administrative sanctions, including publication of their violation, prohibition to attend sessions, and non-payment of a half of salary for non-filing. (Rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014) Section 44(a)(4) of the Members of the German Bundestag Act (1977, amended 2014))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. MPs maybe subject to administrative sanctions, including publication of their violation, prohibition to attend sessions, and non-payment of a half of salary for providing false information. (Rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014) Section 44(a)(4) of the Members of the German Bundestag Act (1977, amended 2014))

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The President of the Bundestag is assigned to receive conflict of interest declarations. (Rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The enforcement body is the President of the Bundestag and the Presidium. (Rule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Information on MPs' conflict of interest declarations is made publicly available on the internet. (Rule 3 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, Annex 1 of the Bundestag Rules of Procedure (1980, last amended 2014))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified Yes. Website of the German Parliament
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Remuneration from secondary activity is under special regulation. A statement on all secondary income received (by all officials who have one) has to be filed after the end of each year, if the pre-tax income is higher than EUR 500. (Section 8 of the Federal Regulation on Secondary Activities (1964, last amended 2016))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Public servant shall not, even after termination of the emplyment relationship, receive rewards, gifts or other benefits for themselves or a third party. Exceptions require the approval of a higher authority. (Section 71.1 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The chief service authority or the authority designated by it may prohibit a civil servant from carrying out official business for compelling reasons of service. The prohibition shall expire if no disciplinary action or any other procedure for the revocation of the appointment or for the termination of the civil service relationship has been instituted against the official within three months. (Section 66 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The chief service authority or the authority designated by it may prohibit a civil servant from carrying out official business for compelling reasons of service. The prohibition shall expire if no disciplinary action or any other procedure for the revocation of the appointment or for the termination of the civil service relationship has been instituted against the official within three months. (Section 66 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Authorization is required for remunerated and for non-remunerated engagement of civil servants in management bodies of commercial organizations, including advisory activities unless they are performed in public entities without remuneration. (Section 99 and 100 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Post-employment Yes. Secondary activities likely to create conflict of interest must be declared upon leaving office for three years if the civil servant ends the public employment by reaching the normal retirement age, otherwise for five years. (Section 105 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Secondary activities must be declared upon leaving office for three years if the civil servant ends their public employment by reaching the normal retirement age, otherwise for five years. (Section 105 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Filing required annually Yes. A statement on all secondary income received (by all officials who have one) has to be filed after the end of each year. (Section 8 of the Federal Regulation on Secondary Activities (1964, last amended 2016))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Declarations of secondary activities must be made immediately upon a change in situation. (Section 99 (4) and (5) of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016) )

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. The non-performance of duties causes a disciplinary procedure. (Section 77 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. The non-performance of duties causes a disciplinary procedure. (Section 77 of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The depository body is the civil servant's employer. (Section 99 (5) of the Act on Federal Civil Servants (2009, last amended 2016) )
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Act on Federal Civil Servants 2009, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Act on Federal Ministers, 1953, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the German Bundestag, 2014 (English)pdf
Federal Regulation on Secondary Activities, 1964, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Act on Members of the Bundestag, 1977, amended 2016 (English)pdf
Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag, 1980, amended 2014 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

Most conflict of interests restrictions apply to the Head of State, who is not covered by financial disclosure law. The Basic Law (1949, last amended 2014) does not allow for the President to hold a managerial or advisory position, any salaried office or any outside profession. Regulations for other public officials differ depending on status. Members of Parliament are only subject to a general obligation to avoid conflicts of interests. The Act on Federal Ministers (1953, amended 2015) on the other hand bans Ministers from additional paid employment or membership in advisory bodies. All the while, the Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016) restricts Civil Servants from accepting gifts, taking up an additional position in government agencies or financed by government, and performing a legislative function.

The Constitutional Court is the enforcement body for the Head of State, who may face a trial resulting in administrative sanctions if Parliament authorizes it. The President functions as a monitoring and enforcement body or Ministers and MPs. In case of violations, both may face fines. Civil Servants may face trial before the disciplinary court, which can stipulate sanctions ranging from fines to the loss of public office.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Restrictions50252525
Sanctions17504250
Monitoring and Oversight12888888

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State20444444
Ministers23484848
Members of Parliament34564456
Civil servants28696969

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The President may not be part of the management of the form, but assets do not have to be disclosed. (Art. 55 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The President may not hold any salaried office or engage in a trade or profession. (Art. 55 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Holding government contracts Yes. The President may not hold any salaried office or engage in a trade or profession. (Art. 55 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The President may not hold any salaried office or engage in a trade or profession, being in the management or supervisory body is explictly forbidden. (Art. 55 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The President may not hold any salaried office or engage in a trade or profession. (Art. 55 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. If the Federal Constitutional Court finds the Federal President guilty of a wilful violation of this Basic Law or of any other federal law, it may declare that he has forfeited his office. After the Federal President has been impeached, the Court may issue an interim order preventing him from exercising his functions. (Art. 61 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Bundestag or the Bundesrat may impeach the Federal President before the Federal Constitutional Court for wilful violation of this Basic Law or of any other federal law. The Court conducts hearings and makes a judgement. (Art. 61 Basic Law of the Republic of Germany (1949, amended 2014))

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Ministers may not take another paid employment including board or advisory posititons (Art. 5 Act on Federal Ministers (1953, amended 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Prior to deliberations on a matter in which a representative has a private interest, they must state so if it has not yet been part of public disclosure items, but there is Noexclusion from decision-making. (Annex 1, Rule 6, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The Presidium may decide to impose a fine in case of failure to meet obligations. The amount of the fine depends on the gravity of the violation but may not exceed 50% of the annual renumeration for representatives. (Annex 1, Rule 8, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Ministers may not be charged with disciplinary procedures or administrative sanctions. (Art. 8 Act on Federal Ministers (1953, amended 2015))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Conflicts of interest are declared to the President, the President can be consulted in case of doubt about duties resulting from the code of conduct. (Annex 1, Rule 1, Rule 7, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The President informs the Presidium and chairpersons of parliamentary groups in case there is suspicion of an infringement. The Presidium is responsible for hearings and deciding upon sanctions. (Annex 1, Rule 8, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Prior to deliberations on a matter in which a representative has a private interest, they must state so if it has not yet been part of public disclosure items, but there is Noexclusion from decision-making. (Annex 1, Rule 6, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The Presidium may decide to impose a fine in case of failure to meet obligations. The amount of the fine depends on the gravity of the violation but may not exceed 50% of the annual renumeration for representatives. (Annex 1, Rule 8, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The President may impose an admonishment in cases of minor negligence, for example late-filling of asset declarations. (Annex 1, Rule 8, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Conflicts of interest are declared to the President, the President can be consulted in case of doubt about duties resulting from the code of conduct. (Annex 1, Rule 1, Rule 7, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The President informs the Presidium and chairpersons of parliamentary groups in case there is suspicion of an infringement. The Presidium is responsible for hearings and deciding upon sanctions. (Annex 1, Rule 8, Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag (1980, amended 2014))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. Accepting or being promised gifts is forbidden during and after employment in civil service. (Art. 71 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Work that is connected to government agencies, authorities or foundations is seen as a main employment and cannot be exercised by a public servant if they are connected to his work in the civil service. (Art. 3 Law on secondary employment by Civil Servants (1964, amended 2016))
Holding government contracts No. Civil servants must get permission from their agency before taking up additional employment. A reason for exclusion is a possible impact on impartiality of the civil servant. In general, holding government contracts is allowed. (Art. 99 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Civil servants must get permission from their agency before taking up additional employment. A reason for exclusion is a possible impact on impartiality of the civil servant. (Art. 99 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Post-employment Yes. Civil servants who have laid down their employmet to take up an elected mandate and are running for another elected position may not be promoted in between. (Art. 23 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Civil servants elected to a mandate must lay down their employment in civil service for the time of their tenure. (Art. 40 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Violations against the Civil Servant Law can be brought before the disciplinary court which decides upon the sanction. Sanctions range from temporary exclusion to losing civil servant status. (Art. 5, Art. 52 Disciplinary Law (2001, last amended 2016))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Violations against the Civil Servant Law can be brought before the disciplinary court which decides upon the sanction. Sanctions range from temporary exclusion to losing civil servant status. (Art. 5, Art. 52 Disciplinary Law (2001, last amended 2016))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Human Resources committee is responsible for offering guidance on meeting the requirements of the civil servant laws. (Art. 119 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Human Resources committee collects evidence and makes judgements on whether a regulation was violated. (Art. 124 Civil Servants Law (2009, amended 2016))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Act on Federal Ministers, 1953, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Basic Law of the Republic of Germany, 1949 amended 2014 (English)pdf
Civil Servants Law, 2009, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Disciplinary Law, 2001 amended 2016 (German)pdf
Law on secondary employment by Civil Servants, 1964, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Members of the Bundestag Act, 1977 amended 2011 (German)pdf
Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag, 1980, amended 2014 (English)pdf

Freedom of Information

The federal legal freedom of information framework in Germany is established by the Freedom of Information Act (2005, amended 2013). The law applies to federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks under public law and therefore only applies to administrative documents.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, Criminal Code, and the Federal Data Protection Act (2003, amended 2016). No public interest test exists whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals are accepted in the first instance at public bodies covered under the FOI law, and may also be filed with the courts as a last resort. Appeals can also be made to the Federal Commissioner for Freedom of Information; this role is performed by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and is subject to the processes set out in the Federal Data Protection Act.

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions. Other than the role played by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection in receiving appeals, there is no other external agency designated to oversee implementation.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope and Coverage71828282
Information access and release54545454
Exceptions and Overrides83838383
Sanctions for non-compliance0000
Monitoring and Oversight0000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. (1) Everyone is entitled to official information from the authorities of the Federal Government in accordance with the provisions of this Act. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. 1. official information shall be defined as every record serving official purposes, irrespective of the mode of storage. This shall not include drafts and notes which are not intended to form part of a file; (Section 2 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Proactive disclosure is specified No. Absent from legal framework

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The law applies to Federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks under public law and therefore only applies to administrative documents. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Legislative branch Yes. The law applies to Federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks under public law and therefore only applies to administrative documents. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Judicial branch Yes. The law applies to Federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks under public law and therefore only applies to administrative documents. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Other public bodies Yes. The law applies to Federal bodies and institutions insofar as they discharge administrative tasks under public law. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Private sector No. Absent from legal framework

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. As part of the administrative functions of government, draft legislation would be covered by the law for reactive disclosure, i.e., when requested through official mechanisms. There is no provision for draft laws originating from the Bundestag to be made publicly available. However, this practice may be employed on a de facto basis. Draft bills issued by federal ministries must be sent to the Länder, national associations of local authorities and representatives of the Länder to the Federation as early as possible, if their interests are affected. Decisions as to whether to put the bill on the Federal Government's intranet or on the Internet will be taken by the lead Federal Ministry in consultation with the Federal Chancellery and other Federal Ministries involved. (Sections 47 and 48 of the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (2009, last amended 2011))
Enacted legal instruments Yes. The publication of enacted legal instruments is an administrative task and therefore covered by this article. All enacted legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette which is accessible online. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Article 82 (1) of the Basic Law (1948) )
Annual budgets Yes. The federal annual budget is enacted in the form of a law and therefore promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette. This budget law includes an annual chart of accounts. Moreover, authorities are required to publish plans containing information on organizational matters and stored files. (Section 1 Federal Budget Code 1969 as amended 2015 Annual Finance Acts Articles 82(1) & 110 of the Basic Law (1948) Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. The production and publication of the annual chart of accounts by the federal governenment is an administrative task. The federal annual budget is enacted in the form of a law and therefore promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette. This budget law includes an annual chart of accounts. Moreover, authorities are required to publish plans containing information on organizational matters and stored files. (Section 1 Federal Budget Code 1969 as amended 2015 Annual Finance Acts Articles 82(1) & 110 of the Basic Law (1948) Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. Authorities are required to make plans and directories of their collected information public. Citizens have the right to request annual reports of public entities and programs. (Sections 1, 2 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. Section 1(1) gives "everyone" to right to obtain official information according to the provisions of the Act. This includes non-citizens and legal entities. (Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. Information may be furnished verbally, in writing or in electronic form. The authority is not obliged to verify that the contents of the information are correct. (Section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) No. Absent from legal framework
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. There is a fee schedule for FOIA requests issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Waivers of up to 50% are available. Fees and expenses shall be charged for official acts pursuant to the FOI Act. This shall not apply to the furnishing of basic items of information. With due regard to the administrative expenditure involved, the fees shall be calculated such as to ensure that access to information pursuant to be claimed effectively. (Regulation on the fees and expenses to the Freedom of Information Act [Information Fees Ordinance] (2006, last amended 2013) Section 10 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline No. The information must be provided to the applicant "forthwith" within a maximum timeframe of one month. When third parties are involved, a different procedure has to be applied to allow the third party to provide comment within one month. This extends the response deadline to accommodate for the protection of the third party’s interests. (Sections 7(5) and 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013))
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. The response time can be extended in exceptional cases. Explicit criteria for allowing extended response times are not specified in the law. (Sections 7(5) and 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Section 14 of the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (2009) )
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days No. The response time can be extended in exceptional cases. Explicit criteria for allowing extended response times are not specified in the law. (Section 7 (5) and Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Section 6 §42(1), Code of Administrative Court Procedure (1960, amended 2016) )

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law No. There is no specific law covering state secrets/secrecy. State secrets are defined in the Criminal Code. (Section 2, §93 of the Criminal Code (1871))
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The purpose of the Federal Data Protection Act is to protect the individual against his/her right to privacy being impaired through the handling of his/her personal data. (Federal Data Protection Act (1990, last amended 2016))
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Specific exemptions are defined and include information about: state, business and trade secrets; international relations; state security and its intelligence services; the military; judicial proceedings and fair trial rights; information that may endanger public safety; international negotiations or consultations; commercially sensitive information; and information that has been obtained in confidence. Personal data is also restricted in many cases. (Sections 3-6 of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Sections 4, 19, 34 of the Federal Data Protection Act (1990, last amended 2016) Sections 93-97, 203, 206 of the Criminal Code (1998, last amended 2016) )
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities Yes. Appeals can be made to administrative and judicial bodies. The decision whether or not to disclose information is an administrative act. Appeals can therefore be made by lodging an administrative appeal or by bringing an action to compel performance of the requested administrative act. (Section 9 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Sections 6 (§42-43) and Section 8 (§68-80b), Code of Administrative Court Procedure (1960, amended 2015) Section 1 §35 of the Administrative Procedure Act (1976, amended 2016) )
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. Appeals can be made to the Federal Commissioner for Freedom of Information; this role is performed by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and is subject to the processes set out in the Federal Data Protection Act. (Section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Sections 24, 25, 26 of the Federal Data Protection (1990, last amended 2016))
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. The right and procedure for appeal through the court system exists. However, an administrative appeal is a necessary precondition before bringing an action to compel performance of the requested administrative act in court. The decision whether or not to disclose information is an administrative act. (Section 9 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Sections 6 (§42-43) and Section 8 (§68-80b), Code of Administrative Court Procedure (1960, amended 2016) Section 1 §35 of the Administrative Procedure Act (1976, amended 2016) )

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. The decision whether or not to disclose information is an administrative act. The applicant can file a legal claim to compel the public agency to issue an administrative act or an action for failure to act. The preliminary proceeding is generally required and the applicant can get a refund of the costs of bringing the case as well as the costs of any lawyer or representative, if they win. The administrative court can oblige the public agency to to provide the requested information. There is an official complaint mechanism with administrative consequences for the public authority. When a public authority is the subject of a complaint, the Federal Commissioner for Information may request a statement from the party refusing access. This party must respond to the complaint, outlining the steps taken to address the issues raised. (Section 9 (4) of the Freedom of Information Act (2005, last amended 2013) Part 3, Section 1 §35 and Part 6 §80 of the Administrative Procedure Act (1976, amended 2016) Section 25 of the Federal Data Protection Act (1990, last amended 2016) Section 6 §42(1) and Section 10 §113(5), Code of Administrative Court Procedure (1960, amended 2016))
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Other than the role played by the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection in receiving appeals, there is no other external agency designated for RTI.
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Freedom of Information Act IFG, 2005, amended 2013 (English)pdf
Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries, 2009, last amended 2011 (English)pdf
Basic Law, 1948 (German)pdf
Federal Budget Code 1969, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Regulation on the fees and expenses to the Freedom of Information Act [Information Fees Ordinance], 2006, amended 2013 (English)pdf
Code of Administrative Court Procedure, 1960, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Criminal Code SGB, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Federal Data Protection Act BDSG, 1990, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Code of Administrative Court Procedure, 1960, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Administrative Procedure Act, 1976, amended 2016 (German)pdf

Public Procurement

The German public procurement system is regulated by the Regulation on Public Procurement and separate laws contain specific regulation on works, supplies and services. The public procurement body is the Procurement Agency which is an organization under the Ministry of the Interior.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

▪         EUR 135,000 for goods

▪         EUR 522,500 for works

▪         EUR 137,000 for services

The minimum number of bidders is 3 for open procedures, restricted procedures and negotiated procedures and there is no minimum in case of framework agreements. The minimum submission period is 35 days for open procedures, 30 days restricted procedures and 30 days negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is no explicit preferential treatment, but contracting authorities can choose the most environmentally sustainable offer according to award criteria and take SME into consideration. There are a few cases for bid exclusion: in case of possible inability to carry out the project with satisfactory quality, in a responsive, responsible and timely manner, the provider can reject bidders. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices. In the case of having MEAT (‘most economically advantageous tender’ criteria), only the best 3 or fewer bids are considered.

In the bid evaluation phase, there is a separate conflict of interest regulation on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, no form of independence of  the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure of EUR 2,500-50,000, depending on the size of the contract. Court decisions are publicly released online.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope585869
Information availability19197
Evaluation696269
Open competition787869
Institutional arrangements212121

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 500. EUR 135000 for highest or higher federal authorities For other public authorities EUR 209000. For Utilities and Defence sectors EUR 418000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. Below these thresholds: direct purchase is allowed for federal authorities if the contract value its below EUR 500; if this threshold is met the rules of the Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, Section 1 apply (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106; Below EU thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, Section 1, § 3 (6) )
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 10000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. Below these thresholds: Direct Awarding of the contract is allowed for federal authorities; if the contract value is below EUR 10.000 if this threshold is met the rules of the Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, Section 1 apply (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106; Below EU thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, Section 1, § 3a (4) (2) )
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 500. EUR 135000 for highest or higher federal authorities For other public authorities EUR 209000. For Utilities and Defence sectors EUR 418000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. Below these thresholds: direct purchase is allowed for federal authorities if the contract value ist below EUR 500; if this threshold is met the rules of the Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, Section 1 apply (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106; Below EU thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, Section 1, § 3 (6))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 135000. EUR 135000 for highest or higher federal authorities- otherwise EUR 209000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 418000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 418000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §106)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 135000. EUR 135000 for highest or higher federal authorities- otherwise EUR 209000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 106; )
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5225000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), , 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 106; )
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 137000. EUR 137000 for highest or higher federal authorities- otherwise EUR 209000. Federal-level legislation does not apply for contracts below EU thresholds. Instead the relevant laws of the federal states and local governments must be observed, based on the Budgetary Principles Act and the Federal Budget Law. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), , 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 106; )

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? No. Below EU-thresholds: In an open procedure tender documents can be made available free of charge electronically and in full but it is not mandatory. For other procedures tender documents are only sent to selected companies. Only above the EU thresholds there is a requirement that the documets must be made fully availabe (Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, §12 Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 VOL/A, EU-thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 41, Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 12 EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO),2016, §41 )
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? No. Below EU-thresholds: Services and goods: Documents must be published but the awarding authority can choose the medium (newspapers, national official Gazette, trade journals or internet); if the tender is published online the tender must be linked to www.bund.de Works: Documents must be published be published but the awarding authority can choose the medium (newspapers, national official Gazette, trade journals or internet);. Above EU thresholds: Tender announcements must be published on TED. After 48 h the announcement may also be published on national level. The rest of the documents must be made availabe online and in full, but not at a central place (Below EU -Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, §11 (3) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 VOL/A Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO),2016, §41 Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 40, 41)
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) No. Below the EU-thresholds (services, goods): only all relevant decisions must be documented; for works there is a list that states out the minimum content which does not contain all of the named records. Above EU-thresholds: Yes (Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 20 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 20 VOB/A Above EU-thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 8, Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 20 EU )
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? No. Below the thresholds: there only is an obligation for the tender procedure itself, contracts awarded within a framework agreement are not mentioned in this provision Above EU thresholds: The laws specifically exclude single contracts within a framework agreement from the obligation to publish. (Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 4a, 12 Above EU thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, 8 (3), 21, 39 (4) Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 4a EU, 18 EU (3) Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO),2016, 38 (4) Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, §35 (2) )

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors (ie names) in some cases? No. ( )
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. ( )

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. There is a ban unless justified by the type of contract or in exceptional circumstances if the subject matter of the contract cannot otherwise be described in a sufficiently precise and comprehensible manner. ( Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 7 VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 7 (4) VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §121 Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 31 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 7 EU VOB/A Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 28 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, § 15 (2))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? Yes. Below the thresholds: No, there only is a general ban on discriminationThe provisions are very general, requiring contracting authorities to take SMEs into consideration. ( Below EU thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 2 (2) Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A),§ 2 (1) Above EU Thresholds: German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 97 )
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. The law specifically states that all applicants should be treated the same . (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, VOL/A; § 2 (1) , 6 (1); Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016,§§ 2 (2) Above the EU Thresholds: German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 97 (2) )
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. Contractors may be expected to meet additional requirements involving environmental aspects if these have a direct relation to the subject matter of the contract. These include provisions on limiting emissions of gasses and other pollutants, keep energy use to minimum. (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 7a, 16d Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009.,, § 16 (8) VOL/A Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, §§ 28, 49, 52, 53, 58, 59 Procedures on award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, §§ 15, 28, 34)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. There is a closed list of restrictions which include, inter alia: if the tenderer in question is bankrupt, is being liquidated, has not paid taxes or other fees, or if there is any justifiable reason to doubt its expertise, capability or reliability (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 16 Abs. 1 VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 6 (5) VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 123, 124 Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 42 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 6e EU VOB/A )
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. Yes. For construction services, bids with an abnormally high or low price are automatically excluded. For the rest: if the price is abnormally low further information must be requested from the bidder. The bid only has to be excluded if there is an obvious imbalance between the price and performance.. ( Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 16 d(1) Nr. 1 Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, 16 (4) VOL/A Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 60 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 16d EU VOB/A Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 54)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. Scoring criteria can either be published in the tender announcement or it must be included in the tender documents (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 11 (2) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 (2) lit. n VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 41 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 12 EU, 12a EU VOB/A Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 35) Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, § 18 )
Are decisions always made by a committee? No. There must be at least 2 representatives of the contracting authority at the opening of the bids but there is nothing stated about the number of people that make the decision. (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 14 (1) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 14 Above EU-Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 55 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 14 EU )
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. There are conflict of interest provisions which exclude certain people from making decisions on tenders. Those involved in the tendering processes cannot have a connection with a bidder or applicant, either professional or personal (Below the EU thresholds: § 20 of the general administrative law code (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz,( VwVfG), 1976 amended 2017) applies Above EU-Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 6 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 6e EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 6 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, § 42 )
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. ( )
Are scoring results publicly available? Yes. Only for works: When the contract value is above EUR 25 000 in case of a restricted invitiation to tender without a call for competition and if the contractvalue ist above 15.000 EUR in case of a dairect award of the contrtact (Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 20 (3) Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 39 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 18 (3) EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 38 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2016, § 35)
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? Yes. The tender can be cancelled on any reason, but the cancellation of a tender concerning goods, services, works, defence and security only is lawful, if the reasons named in the legal provisions are met. For sectors the public authority is free to cancel the tender, no specific reasons must apply for the cancellation to be lawful. It can be suspended if there is a judicial review (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009 § 17 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 17 Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 63 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 17 EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, §57 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 37 )

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. OJEU, TED and www.bund.de, daily newspapers, national gazettes (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 12 (1) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 (1) VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 12 EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 37,40 Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 35 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 18 )
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. OJEU, TED and www.bund.de, daily newspapers, national gazettes (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 12 (1) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 (1) VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 12 EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 37,40 Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 35 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 18 )
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. OJEU, TED and www.bund.de, daily newspapers, national gazettes (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 12 (1) VOB/A Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 12 (1) VOL/A Above EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 12 EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 37,40 Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 35 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 18 )

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? 3. Below the EU thresholds 3 for works and services and goods (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 3 (1) VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 3b Above EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 3b EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 51 (2) )
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? 3. Below the thresholds: 3 for goods, services and construction (Below EU-Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 3 (1) VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 §3b Above EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 3b EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 51 (2) )
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? 3. For works 3 For goods and services: 3. (Above EU thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, § 3b EU (4) Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 51 (2))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? 35. Below EU-thresholds: minimum 10 days for works, for services and goods there have to be sufficient time limits for the whole tender process ( Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 10 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 10 (1) Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 15 (2) Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 10a EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 14 )
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? 30. Below EU-thresholds: minimum 10 days for works, for services and goods there have to be sufficient time limits for the whole tender process (Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 10 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 10 (1) Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 16 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 10b EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, §15 )
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? 30. Below EU-thresholds: minimum 10 days for works, for services and goods there have to be sufficient time limits for the whole tender process (Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 10 VOL/A Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016, 10 (1) Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2009, §17(2) Above EU Thresholds: Ordinance on the award of public contracts (VgV) 12.04.2016, § 17 Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 10c EU Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 15 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 20)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. General exceptions ecxeptions for PPP, tenders based on international regulation, special exceptions for special goods or services (f.expl. Special legal sevices, research …) and special exceptions for defence and security (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §§ 107, 108, 109, 116, 117, 137 - 1401, 145, 149, 150)
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. Public entities include all national, federal and local authorities (and their special funds) as well as other non-commercial institutions working in general interest and largely publicly funded, associations whose members are public entities, providers of utilities holders of a works concession contract. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §99)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. 1. open procedure ("Offene Verfahren") and public procedures ("Öffentliche Ausschreibungen") (not for defence) 2. restricted procedure ("nicht offene Verfahren"/"beschränkte Ausschreibung") 3. negotiated procedure ("Verhandlungsverfahren") 4. competitive dialogue ("wettbewerblicher Dialog") 5. Direct awarding ("Verhandlungsverfahren ohne Teilnahmewettbewerb"/"Freihändige Vergabe") 6. Innovative Partnership (Inovationsparternschaft) They can be processed through electronic auction. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, 119 Below EU Thresholds: Procedures on the award of construction contracts (VOB/A), 2016 § 3 Procedures on the award of contracts for public supplies and services (VOL/A), 2009, § 3 Ordinance on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016, § 13 Procedures on the award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV), 2015 § 11)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? No. Public procurement tribunal Below EU-thresholds: No (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, §§ 155 ff)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? No. Procurement falls under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie) http://www.bmwi.de/DE/Themen/Wirtschaft/oeffentliche-auftraege-und-vergabe.html
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. ( )
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. ( )

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. At least EUR 2,500; this amount may for reasons of equity be reduced to a minimum of one tenth of its amount. The fee should not exceed the amount of EUR 50,000, but may be increased up to an amount of EUR 100,000 in individual cases if the expense or the economic significance is unusually high. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, § 182)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. The awarding authority must not make the award prior to the decision of the public procurement tribunal and before the expiry of the period for a complaint pursuant to §135 which is 2 weeks. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, 135 GWB )
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? 14. Two weeks form delivery of the decision (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, 172 GWB)
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. They are released to the parties involved. The decisions are made public if they are of public interest. (German Act Against Restraints of Competition (GWB), 26.06.2013 amended 17.02.2016, 168, 61 GWB)

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

German Act Against Restrainst of Competition (GWB), 1998, amended 2014 (English)pdf
German Act Against Restrainst of Competition (GWB), 1998, amended 2015 (German)pdf
German Act Against Restrainst of Competition (GWB), 1998, amended 2016 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts (VgV), 2001 amended 2013 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts (VgV), amended 2015 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts (VgV), 2016 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2009 amended 2011 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2009 (German)pdf
Regulation on the award of public contracts by entities operating in the water, energy and transport sector (Sekt-VO), 2016 (German)pdf
Ordinance on award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV) 2012 amended 2014 (German)pdf
Ordinance on award of defence and security contracts (VSVgV) 2012 amended 2015 (German)pdf
Ordinance on award of defence and security contracts amended 2016 (VSVgV) (German)pdf
Procedures on award of contracts for public supplies and services VOL.A 2009 (German)pdf
Procedures on the award of Construction contracts VOB.A 2012 (German)pdf
Procedures on the award of Construction contracts VOB.A 2012 at 31Dec2015 (German)pdf
Procedures on the award of Construction contracts VOB.A 2016 (German)pdf