Das Universitätsklinikum Charité Campus Mitte aufgenommen am 26.06.2022 in Berlin Mitte. © BY XAMAX

The Berlin public prosecutor’s office has investigated the Charité subsidiary CFM for possible economic crimes. However, the suspicion was apparently not confirmed. The Tagesspiegel learned this from legal circles, but the public prosecutor’s office did not confirm it on Friday. A spokesman for the state’s own university clinic admitted the process on request.

Accordingly, it was a question of insufficient contracts being awarded by CFM to external service providers. The 2800 CFM employees take care of security, cleaning and catering for the large hospital.

In the corona pandemic, in which the Charité treated the most severe Covid 19 cases in Berlin, the CFM had apparently awarded contracts to external companies in eight cases, some of which violated procurement law, although the violations were not serious. It was about work on “building management”, i.e. in a broader sense about transport and craftsman tasks.

Four CFM employees had informed the Charité board of directors in June 2021 about “suspected cases of possible misconduct”, as the spokesman for the clinic announced. “A special audit by an independent auditing company” was immediately arranged: “At the same time, the Charité contacted the public prosecutor’s office to inform them about the suspected cases and the commissioning of a special investigation.”

The auditors identified individual violations of public procurement law and internal compliance regulations. In all cases, the requested services were provided by the external service providers, and there was no financial loss, said the Charité spokesman. According to Charité, the public prosecutor’s office stopped the investigation in December 2021.

The clinic spokesman said that the “pressure to act and time” that arose in the corona crisis from March 2020 led to “individual process deficits”. “The Charité has instructed the CFM to take measures to improve the processes within the CFM in order to prevent errors in the future.”

CFM was partially privatized in 2006 under the red-red senate and for years was 49 percent owned by a consortium of Dussmann, Vamed and Hellmann. CFM has been fully state-owned since 2019. The Charité, including its subsidiaries, is the largest university hospital in Europe with almost 21,000 employees and 3,000 beds in Steglitz, Wedding and Mitte.