20 Aug 2022 12:55 p.m
In addition to the follow-up costs of 50 million euros for the Corona warning app, which were already confirmed in February, the ministry is now informing that the update for the autumn will require a further 20 million euros. One reason: the integration of “additional functionalities”.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced at a press conference on August 12 in Berlin that his ministry, in cooperation with the RKI, is planning modifications to the Corona warning app from October this year. At the press conference, the minister declined to comment on questions from journalists about the costs and required contracts with executing IT companies. Lauterbach argued that the federal government was still in negotiations and therefore did not “want to jump ahead” with regard to more precise details.
To a new one inquiry der Tageszeitung Welt at the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), the BMG confirmed that the estimated costs will be 20 million euros higher than originally planned. It can therefore be assumed that by the end of the year taxpayers will have to face costs of up to 70 million euros for the Corona warning app. In February, BMG circles announced the sum of up to 50 million euros for 2022. The BMG’s response to the reasons for the renewed increase in price is as follows:
“The costs are mainly incurred for the plan to further expand the app as a ‘component of digital contact tracing and to integrate additional functionalities’.”
Furthermore, it was confirmed that the software company SAP and the Telekom subsidiary T-Systems were again commissioned to develop and operate the application. To this service provider duo is it[called in one Welt-Article from February 2022:
“What is also remarkable about the high expenses in this country is that the two companies that received most of the money for development and operation – T-Systems and SAP – did not have to develop the actual core function of the app themselves. Because this technology, which The mobile phone’s operating system already offers recognition of the contacts of other smartphones nearby using Bluetooth radio – Google’s Android system and Apple’s iOS. T-Systems and SAP only had to access predefined interfaces in the operating systems and evaluate the contacts.”
Since its launch in June 2020, the app has already cost taxpayers more than 130 million euros. To Weltinformation, Finland has determined costs of only 4.6 million euros for an equivalent functional app called “Koronavilkku”. According to information from the BMG, the announced costs were incurred, among other things, for the “connection of further test centers” and for the “improved display” of the current status certificate, which now “enables test management for family members”. In addition, “the extension of technically expired certificates was taken care of and further “small improvements and adjustments” were made”, according to the Welt.
With regard to the continuous cost explosions, the Federal Court of Auditors had already expressed audible criticism in spring 2022 and initiated an initial test procedure for the economic efficiency of the Corona warning app. That’s what it said on the site in June Steuerzahler.de:
“These are unrivaled high numbers, especially in a European comparison with similar applications… It would be all the more important, for example, to break down the costs for further development and operation of the CWA and thus break them down in a way that is comprehensible for the taxpayer.”
Das BMG answered at the request of the Association of Taxpayers Germany e. V. succinctly, “such a breakdown is ‘not possible'”. On August 12, Minister Lauterbach announced that the app would be modified to show who was recently vaccinated, tested or recovered. From October, the app will show status information “automatically and without delay in green (freshly vaccinated) instead of blue (last vaccination was more than three months ago)” on the display. By February 2022, the Corona warning app had been downloaded 43.2 million times in Germany downloaded.
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