|Name in English||Number of staff||Ministry responsible||Is there any political interference possible by the responsible Minister with the decision making in individual cases by the first instance authority?|
|Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)||8,141 (about 3,326 full-time positions in various asylum departments)||Federal Ministry of Interior||No|
Source: Federal Ministry of the Interior, ‘Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge’, available in German at https://bit.ly/3qTH0qt; and Federal Government, Response to parliamentary question by The Left, 19/32678, 14 October 2021, p. 51?
The BAMF is responsible for examining applications for international protection and competent to take decisions at first instance.
The BAMF has branch offices in all Federal States. The branch offices process the asylum procedures, but also carry out additional tasks (for instance, they function as contact points for authorities and organisations active in the area of integration of foreign nationals). In cooperation with the Federal States, the BAMF manages a distribution system for asylum seekers known as Initial Distribution of Asylum Seekers (Erstverteilung der Asylbegehrenden, EASY) system, which allocates places according to a quota system known as “Königsteiner Schlüssel” (see Section 45 Asylum Act). The quota is based on the size and the economic strength of the Federal States in which the centres are located. Furthermore, the system takes into account which branch office of the BAMF deals with an asylum seeker’s country of origin.
As of September 2021, the BAMF had 3,326 positions or “full-time job equivalents” working on various aspects of asylum (meaning that the actual number of staff is likely to be much higher, since many of these positions are shared by people working part-time). Since the office is responsible for several other tasks on top of the asylum procedure (e.g. research, integration, migration for reasons other than asylum and return policies), not all staff members are working in the area of asylum. The overall number of positions is 8,141 according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
The government provided the following numbers for positions in the relevant departments as of September 2021:
- asylum department (excluding revocation and Dublin procedures): 2,032.5 full-time equivalents
- revocation procedures: 400.1 full-time equivalents
- procedures (appeal procedures, representation of the BAMF in court): 362.2 full-time equivalents
- quality management: 176.3 full-time equivalents
- Dublin-procedures: 355.1 full-time equivalents
In total, this amounts to 3,326.2 full-time equivalents for jobs in the departments which deal with asylum procedures.
The quality of BAMF asylum decisions has been much debated in recent years given the high number of appeals filed at the courts, but also because of “scandals” which prompted extensive media coverage. This was related, in part, to the high increase in personnel accompanied by shortened training phases, with some decision-makers not having received relevant training. As a result, the BAMF has undertaken several changes to the training provided to decision-makers since 2017. Information provided by the BAMF in 2019 suggests that these measures have significantly improved the qualification of staff in comparison to the situation in 2016 and 2017 (for more detailed information see the 2019 Update to the AIDA Country Report for Germany).
 Federal Government, Response to information request by The Left, 19/18498, 2 April 2020, 66.