After criticizing the count of unemployed, the job centers now check their information regularly. A corresponding directive came into force, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Employment Agency (BA) of the German Press Agency in Berlin.
If necessary, the information should be corrected. At the end of February, the Federal Audit Office had drawn attention to extensive possible registration errors among Hartz IV recipients. In a previously unpublished report, the auditors wrote back then that the job centers had last reported about 290 000 people with a wrong status to the BA statistics – 8.6 percent of beneficiaries. Accordingly, around 115,000 unemployed people would not have been covered as such. According to the dpa report, the auditors have already withdrawn those who were falsely and thus too much registered as unemployed. The Court of Auditors relied on a sample of 770 cases in 219 job centers.
The new directive obliges job centers to regularly use automated test systems, the BA spokeswoman explained. Cases were to be found in which the status or data of those affected appeared to be implausible or inconsistent in the BA's IT system. The directive was coordinated with the Federal Ministry of Labor, the municipal associations and the federal states. In March, the “Bild” newspaper reported on the criticism of the auditors. At that time, the BA had announced improvements.