New Public Governance Code: No more BER?

Public Governance Kodex

There is no question that there is a lot going on in public companies. Problems such as the BER airport and Deutsche Bahn are no coincidence, but the result of notoriously lax governance in the state sector. Incompetent supervisory boards, nepotism and patchy compliance structures ensure that targets are constantly being missed and call into question the current renaissance of industrial policy. We were therefore hoping for the new Public Governance Code, which was published on Tuesday. But reading the 30-page rulebook shows The group of experts led by former Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries has repeated mistakes that the Government Commission on the Corporate Governance Code has already made.

One against all? Commission legitimises Politburoes

The main problem from our point of view: the recommendations are quite detailed. This should lead to those responsible leaving the reading to their lawyers. It would have been better if there had been concise guidelines that left room for individual implementation – and thus stimulated discussions and reflections. In addition, the experts did not come up with a clear recommendation at the crucial point of all things. Point 4.2 states that ‘At least one external and independent member with proven professional and/or industry expertise should be appointed to the Board of Supervisors

We fear: As a rule, an individual has no chance of turning the tide against politicians, officials and functionaries. With the recommendation in the Public Governance Code, the group of experts legitimises the status quo instead of initiating a turnaround.