Erfurt (dpa/th) – Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow has rejected criticism of the hiring practice of state secretaries. “Political, established actors in a coalition government are not part of a civil servant’s career,” said Ramelow on Saturday in Erfurt. The “Spiegel” had previously reported on an audit report by the state audit office, which came to the conclusion that the hiring practice for state secretaries was “illegal”, “incorrect” or “incomprehensible”.

According to the Thuringian State Chancellery, the State Audit Office accuses the state government of not selecting the best when it comes to hiring state secretaries. In addition, documentation requirements were not sufficiently observed. The State Chancellery rejected this criticism and justified this with exceptions for political officials.

Ramelow emphasized that it was an incomplete audit process by the State Audit Office, “a consultation process” that the former State Audit Office President Sebastian Dette “put into his hand” in the spring. Sebastian Dette is now retired. He had always disagreed with Dette about the selection of the best officials for state secretaries.

Ramelow cited the Secretary of State for Culture, Tina Beer, as an example. Although it is certified that she has all the qualifications for the post of state secretary, she is too young according to the criteria used by the state audit office. The core of the conflict is whether in the future only professional civil servants will be able to apply for the post of state secretary and also whether a university degree is required for this. “I don’t have one,” Ramelow said. If one were to apply Mr Dette’s logic, “I shouldn’t be prime minister,” said Ramelow.

On the other hand, he shares the criticism of the poorly documented personnel files, says Ramelow. “But that’s all fixed, it all happened after the consultation,” said Ramelow.

According to the State Chancellery, the Thuringian state government took the draft of the test report as an opportunity to change the career law. The previous requirements for a political appointment of state secretaries should be changed and adapted to today’s reality. These proposals are to be “submitted to the state parliament for consultation promptly,” according to written answers from the State Chancellery to questions from “Spiegel”.

Ramelow’s coalition of Left, SPD and Greens lacks a majority in Parliament. After the “Spiegel” report, the state chancellery published a statement to the state audit office as well as the questions from “Spiegel” and the answers to them, but not the draft of the audit report itself.