In 2018, Heil appointed groomsmen as department heads
Bminister of labour Hubertus Heil (SPD) appointed his former best man Carsten Stender to head of department in the ministry in 2018. A ministry spokeswoman confirmed a corresponding report by “Spiegel” in Berlin on Friday. According to the ministry, the only decisive factor for the appointment was Stender’s “technical expertise”. “There is no conflict of interest in any respect,” it said in a statement.
According to the “Spiegel”, Stender’s appointment as head of department in the Federal Ministry of Labor for Europe and International Affairs was not preceded by an advertisement. This is also not required for department head positions. The lawyer Stender had previously worked in the Foreign Office, before that, among other things, as a legal advisor at the SPD headquarters.
The ministry pointed out that Stender had fully met the requirements for the position, in particular due to his “excellent professional qualifications” and his “political relationship of trust with the minister”. The fact that he was Heil’s best man around 20 years ago is an “expression of private friendship”. There is no connection to his later appointment as head of department.
Previously, there had been some fierce criticism of the appointment of Michael Schäfer, former best man of the then State Secretary for Economic Affairs Patrick Graichen, as CEO of the German Energy Agency (Dena). Graichen had been involved in the selection. Schäfer then resigned from this post. Graichen was later promoted to Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) released after another allegation against him became known.
In this context, Habeck spoke out in favor of tightening the so-called compliance rules for vacancies. Deputy government spokesman Wolfgang Büchner said in Berlin that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) think the current rules are good and see “no reason to revise them”.