By Markus Wacket
BERLIN (Reuters) – Deutsche Bahn is reviewing consultancy contracts granted to former managers without the knowledge of the state-owned railway operator’s supervisory board, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The German company is auditing more than 20 contracts awarded to the former managers, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter was still under internal investigation.
In some cases, former managers were granted consultancy contracts after leaving the firm but did not do any work for Deutsche Bahn, the people said.
They said the value of the contracts ran into millions of euros but gave no specific figure.
Deutsche Bahn’s supervisory board would hold a conference call to discuss the matter, they added.
Germany’s Federal Audit Office confirmed it was aware of the case. “We are in the process of conducting an audit related to the issue,” a spokesman for the office said, declining to give more details.
Deutsche Bahn declined to comment when asked by Reuters.
The issue may add to pressure on Deutsche Bahn, which is facing public complaints about poor service and delays.
The company is also dealing with a debt mountain of 20 billion euros, while its financing deficit is expected to hit 5 billion euros by 2023.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Edmund Blair)