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German government bureaucracy

Recently, some bureaucrats in Germany decided that business owners who employ contractors — even those, like me, who’ve been in business more than a decade — should provide certified proof that they (the owners) are not criminals.

So after spending 12€ in highway fees to travel to Málaga (the owner has to present himself personally) and paying 3.50€ in administrative fees (which must be hand-deposited at a bank, and paid no later than 10:30 am), and having lost three hours of my day this morning, I received a stamped certificate of clean record, from a disinterested and newspaper-reading Spanish bureaucrat, whose salary my taxes pay, which states that I’m not a criminal.

I will now spend 5.00€ to send the original document (a copy won’t do) via registered mail to another bureaucrat in Germany, who, after possibly glancing at it, will place it into a file, never to be looked at again.

Just ponder the waste of time and money, when this and similar, inefficiently facilitated — and, I would hazard to presume, generally unnecessary — bureaucratic procedures are multiplied by millions.

We are in the year 2010. Without leaving my desk, and within a period of about five minutes, I can login to AmazonGermany, place an order for a book to be delivered in Spain, and pay for it with an American credit card and billing address. You would think that if Germany needed to confirm that I’m not a criminal in Spain, they could (electronically) contact Spain and simply ask.

Published inRants

One Comment

  1. Jan Mueller Jan Mueller

    True.. But I’d say that they have no interest in trading in jobs for efficiency.

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