Newly instated Federal Minister of Defense visits BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr for the first time

Newly instated Federal Minister of Defense visits BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr for the first time

  • Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support
  • Procurement
Date:
Place:
Koblenz
Reading time:
3 MIN

On 18 January 2022, Federal Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht visited the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) for the first time.

The Federal Minister of Defense and the Director-General of BAAINBw in front of a black sedan

Director-General of BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr Gabriele Korb and Federal Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht in front of the “Bundesbehördenhaus” in Koblenz

Bundeswehr/Dirk Bannert

After her arrival in Koblenz, she acknowledged the service of the civilian and military personnel that in the course of the last year processed and concluded more than 30,000 contracts on procurement and maintenance of defense materiel.

Together with her executive personnel, Director-General of BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr Gabriele Korb welcomed the Minister at the headquarters of the federal office near the “Deutsches Eck” in Koblenz, the place where the river Moselle meets the river Rhine.

Only a few days after the debate in the German parliament (Bundestag) on the topic of the future defense and security policy, during which the Minister announced a fundamental reform of the procurement system, she started a dialogue with several BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr representatives. “Me visiting only five weeks after my start of duty is supposed to cause only positive excitement,” she declared at the beginning of her tight schedule in Koblenz.

„Today I want to focus on one question: In which areas can we improve together?“

Therefore, the emphasis of the visit was on challenges and potential for improvements of the procurement and in-service process of the Bundeswehr.

The Federal Minister of Defense sitting at a desk talking into a microphone

In intense conversation: Federal Minister of Defense Lambrecht

Bundeswehr/Dirk Bannert

After a brief introductory chat with the Director-General, Gabriele Korb, the talks continued in a larger circle and turned to possibilities for streamlining procurement activities for the Bundeswehr.

Director-General presents several procedures for process optimization

Director-General Korb outlined the planning and procurement process as a whole and proposed a number of possible optimization procedures within this process. Suggestions ranged from increasing the limit for direct awards from now 1,000 euros to 5,000 euros all the way to a more efficient interlacing of planning and armaments during large-scale projects. The Minister gave an encouraging response to the multitude of ideas, some of which she was already familiar with from previous conversations.

The subsequent presentation given by the Deputy Director-General of BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, Annette Lehnigk-Emden, concerning the need for improvements of contract award law from BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr’s perspective was equally met by positive feedback from Lambrecht, herself former Minister of Justice and a lawyer.

The Federal Minister of Defense and other participants conversing in a large conference room while practicing social distancing

During several meetings, the Minister and other attendants discussed possibilities of optimizing the procurement system.

Bundeswehr/Dirk Bannert

Project directors likewise make specific propositions

In another meeting, several project directors from different BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr directorates gave an account of the obstacles and challenges concerning their respective procurement projects and simultaneously offered their perspective on possible enhancements of the procurement process using the aforementioned projects as an example.

Despite the differences in the methods and procurement processes concerning, for example, camp modules, Bundeswehr vehicle fleet management or the Eurofighter, common concerns of the responsible project directors were the improvement of reliable planning foundations and the secure and sustainable financing of the projects in question.

Another suggestion on behalf of the responsible project directors involved the calling into question of the value limit for parliamentary submissions (projects requiring approval by parliament) of at present 25 million euros as a possibility to fast-track procurement procedures.

The Federal Minister of Defense and the Director-General of BAAINBw; the Minister is holding a coin.

A little farewell souvenir upon departure: The Minister of Defense took the coin she received from the Director-General back to Berlin.

Bundeswehr/Dirk Bannert

The Minister’s visit came to an end with a discussion with BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr’s representative bodies.

Overall, the Minister’s visit was a promising first step on the way to a modernized procurement system.

by PIZ AIN