The Ministry is comprised of several directorates-general (DG). The names of some of the DGs are abbreviated using roman numerals, others using letters taken from their German titles. Their tasks are as follows:
DG L: Senior political staff
The Finance Ministry’s senior political staff lay the direct groundwork for the multifaceted work performed by the Minister and State Secretaries. Senior staff units work within a dedicated Directorate-General, where they perform strategy development and policy planning to advance decision-making processes, manage the Ministry’s relations with the parliament and federal cabinet, and prepare the Minister’s meetings and speeches. This is also where the policy coordination is conducted for Finance Minister Scholz’s tasks as Germany’s Vice-Chancellor. These units are also in charge of Ministry communications: their main activities here include media relations, responding to enquiries from the general public, organising Ministry events, issuing postage stamps, and performing public outreach via multilingual digital media and a wide variety of publications.
DG Z: Central administration and services
Directorate-General Z provides internal services for the Ministry. Its remit includes key tasks such as organisational management, human resources and education and training. It also oversees the Ministry’s budget, broad areas of the federal revenue administration, and the Federal Academy of Finance. It is also taking on an increasingly prominent role in IT strategy development and portfolio management for the entire federal revenue administration. In terms of staff, the largest sections of DG Z are dedicated to traditional service areas such as language services, office services and in-house services.
DG I: Economic and fiscal policy strategy; international economy and finance
Directorate-General I analyses national and international economic trends and advises the Minister and his deputies on issues of fiscal and economic policy. In addition, DG I policy specialists work together with experts from national and international research institutes, organisations, advisory bodies and associations to develop concepts and strategies for effective policy responses to current and future challenges.
DG II: Federal budget
Directorate-General II has lead responsibility within the government in drawing up the federal budget and financial plan. It monitors budget implementation throughout the year and steps in to keep the budget on course where necessary – for example by freezing expenditure or drawing up supplementary budgets. Once the fiscal year has ended, DG II also puts together the budget account and the account of assets and liabilities.
DG III: Customs, VAT, excise duties
Directorate-General III manages the Federal Customs Administration, which levies customs duties, excise duties and motor vehicle tax. The customs administration also monitors the cross-border movement of goods and works to combat organised crime, undeclared work and illegal employment. In addition, DG III focuses on national and international matters of VAT policy and excise duty policy.
DG IV: Taxation – direct taxes
Directorate-General IV focuses on issues of national and international tax policy and is responsible for national tax legislation. In addition, it is responsible for negotiating international agreements to avoid double taxation. It also coordinates all tax-related matters with the highest revenue authorities of the Länder, as required by Germany’s constitution.
DG V: Federal financial relations, public law and legal matters
Directorate-General V is in charge of financial relations between the Federation, Länder and local authorities. Its remit also covers public and constitutional law, general legal affairs, and freedom of information law. Further areas of responsibility include financial compensation for injustices committed under the Nazi regime and unresolved property issues in eastern Germany.
DG VII: Financial market policy
Directorate-General VII develops the German government’s main positions on issues of German, European and international financial market regulation. It also drafts legislation dealing with financial markets. In this way, it helps lay the groundwork for the appropriate supervision of the banking, insurance and securities sectors and for the stability of financial markets as a whole. DG VII oversees key government-owned institutions including the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (Germany’s development bank) and the Federal Agency for Financial Market Stabilisation. It also supervises the German Finance Agency, which means that its remit also covers Germany’s debt management system.
DG VIII: Privatisation, industrial holdings and federal real estate
Directorate-General VIII is responsible for government policy on privatisation and state shareholdings in companies such as Deutsche Telekom AG and Deutsche Post AG. It is also in charge of the legal and operational supervision of the Institute for Federal Real Estate, and it oversees the remaining tasks being carried out by successor organisations to the Treuhandanstalt, the agency set up to privatise former East German state property after reunification.
DG E: European policy
Directorate-General E develops positions on EU budgetary and financial issues for the German government. It is also involved in the coordination of European economic and monetary policy, as well as EU financial control.