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2019 spring report – reporting item No. 09 "Chaotic structures at the Federal Armed Forces result in poor travel management and an undue burden on staff"

Apr 02, 2020

Since 2012, the Federal Ministry of Defence has restructured the travel management scheme of the Federal Armed Forces several times without doing adequate analyses. Flawed organisational management decisions impeded mission performance and placed an unnecessary burden on travel management staff. As a result of flawed management decisions, staff was temporarily not able to tackle the workload despite working overtime and a ban on statutory annual leave. This also led to situations where staff could not commence travel or hotels refused to accept bookings because prior invoices had not been paid.

In 2016, we noted with concern the Ministry’s approach to travel management. As a result, the Ministry pledged to conduct organisational management analyses before major restructuring exercises. Also, the Ministry stated its intent to assess staffing needs for travel management services. In 2018, the Ministry again restructured travel management without conducting an organisational management analysis. In this effort, the Ministry even reversed major modifications made before. In January 2019, the Ministry stated that it intended not to launch an organisational management analysis until 2023. In December 2019, the Ministry promised to embark on the organisational management analysis soon. However, the Ministry did not specify when it intends to conclude the analysis.

The Ministry should no longer rely on a trial-and-error system but take prompt action to systematically review the travel management scheme. The organisational management analysis should be complemented by a staffing assessment.

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