Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) sweeps through his house – at least in terms of personnel. The FDP chairman has now fired four department heads from the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF). He explained this in a circular to his employees.

Accordingly, Rolf Möhlenbrock from the tax department, Tanja Mildenberger from the customs department and Martina Stahl-Hoepner from the central department will resign their posts and go into “temporary” retirement, according to the circular. Furthermore, the contract of the head of the information technology department, Harald Joos, which expires at the end of the month, will not be extended.

The document does not reveal who will replace Joos in the future. The further successor is already decided. Oliver Lamprecht, who was previously sub-department head in the Federal Ministry of Economics, will take over the central department. His colleague Nils Weith, previously head of the tax department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, will head the tax department in the future. The previous Vice President of the General Customs Directorate in Bonn, Armin Rolfink, will be responsible for the customs department.

By exchanging department heads, Lindner intends to “focus the BMF’s positioning more strongly on our political projects and (to) give the organization a long-term strategic perspective”.

With the personnel decision, however, the Minister of Finance is also reacting to a series of mishaps for which some department heads were responsible. For years, there has been a major problem in the customs department when it comes to coordinating the anti-money laundering unit (FIU), which cannot keep up with the processing of thousands of suspicious activity reports. The tax department, on the other hand, made a blunder with the annual tax law when the allowances were not adjusted to the increased valuation criteria when inheriting real estate.

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In addition, according to the “Wirtschaftswoche”, the structural stubbornness of some department heads would have hampered the implementation of the liberal financial policy. Reason enough for Lindner to restructure his house after a year. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had also replaced officials in their office and ministry with their own people when they took office.