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A2LL shutdown in August 2017
Case history in SGB II administration program A2LL
Horizontal overview in the SGB II administration program A2LL
Input mask for income in SGB II administration program A2LL
Input mask for the cost of accommodation in SGB II administration program A2LL

A2LL (Abbreviation for " Unemployment Benefit II - Benefits for Living") was a web application that was developed to implement the so-called Hartz IV legislation for the recording and administration of financial benefits for recipients of unemployment benefit II and was used until June 30, 2015 . Since July 1, 2015, ongoing cases have been processed in the successor program ALLEGRO . Until June 2017, old cases could still be processed in A2LL. Since August 2017, the data has been transferred to an electronic file and since then can only be viewed in the read status. Editing is no longer possible.


A2LL was used in the job centers that are responsible for looking after unemployment benefit II recipients on site. The optional municipalities work with other, decentralized software solutions. A2LL was and is one of the largest web-based e-government solutions in Europe .


A2LL was initially created and further developed by T-Systems and PROSOZ Herten , Herten . The PROSOZ Herten company left the joint project at the beginning of May 2005. Since then, T-Systems has been solely responsible for the product. The programmers of the project were initially taken over by T-Systems.


The software could be accessed via a web browser . Access to use was secured via the Internet; access to administration, on the other hand, is exclusively via the intranet of the Federal Employment Agency (BA), managed by the BA's IT system house in Nuremberg.

The basis was 16 servers with four processors each , which form a web server under the Linux operating system . These form the GUI system with Tomcat as a servlet container. A server farm of 48 Windows 2003 servers at the time , on which the application server developed by Prosoz Herten runs, was accessed via the web service framework from Systinet. The application server used Microsoft's (D) COM technology. Informix  10 was used as the database on a Solaris machine with 80 CPUs and around 300 GB of cache RAM.

Project progress

Since October 18, 2004, the software was first available in major German cities (Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, etc.), and from October 21, 2004 in a test run for all other cities and municipalities. The number of certifications was initially limited to approx. 20 percent of the number applied for in order not to overload the system with excessive access numbers. By the end of October 2004, all 16,000 users were activated. In order to prevent the software from being overloaded and to ensure the timely payment of unemployment benefit II, the applications received in several large cities were processed by the employees of the employment agencies in different shifts . As of December 23, 2004, 2.6 million benefit communities were recorded in A2LL and around 1.3 billion euros in aid payments for January 2005 were booked in the Federal Agency's FINAS booking system.

From the beginning, A2LL showed numerous errors that could only be processed or circumvented with considerable additional effort on the part of the job center. At the start it was noticed that account numbers were filled in from the wrong side (numbers like 1234567 became 1234567000 instead of 0001234567). Payments to such account numbers remained in so-called broken accounts at the banks and savings banks because they could not be assigned to customers . Due to the number of incorrect transfers, banks had to form crisis teams. This error was not caused by A2LL, but by a downstream system. However, it is assessed as an indication of the susceptibility to errors in the central system architecture consisting of numerous coupled IT systems at the BA.

In some cases, the Federal Agency switched to sending cash checks . It then turned out that the software shortened excessively long street names - which meant that some checks could not be delivered.

At the end of April 2005, the Herten software house PROSOZ Herten (owned by the city of Herten ) got into trouble and was on the verge of bankruptcy . PROSOZ Herten was entrusted with the development of A2LL modules as a subcontractor by T-Systems. Due to the delays in the completion of A2LL, PROSOZ Herten was completely overloaded financially and personally. T-Systems financed the subcontractor. After PROSOZ Herten left the project, T-Systems temporarily took over the participating experts from PROSOZ Herten.

After more than six months of real operation in the SGB II working groups, which are responsible for the approval of benefits under SGB II, essential functions of the software were not yet available in June 2005. At that time, for example, overpaid services could not be offset directly in the program and the individual clerks were forced to use complex "workarounds" to correctly process a claim. The creation of documents is also very rigid and cannot be adequately adapted to individual needs.

At the end of July 2005 it became known that the A2LL software had problems with one-off payments. A few days later it became known that the software had canceled registrations, cancellations and notifications of changes to health insurance for unknown reasons. At the beginning of September 2005 it was also announced through press reports that the software had transferred 25 million euros per month too much to the health insurance funds since it was launched, because the A2LL software did not take into account the meanwhile lower average contribution rate in health insurance. The latter two problems resulted in considerable additional administrative expenses for the health insurance companies. Voices in the Federal Agency were loud, according to which the software was classified as "no longer serviceable and developable". In February 2006 a report was published which, with reference to a Bundestag printed matter, makes it clear that short-term legal changes cannot be made in A2LL. Various manufacturers of standard solutions that are comparable to A2LL and are used decentrally ( e.g. Lämmerzahl GmbH with the city of Munich as a reference customer) took this as an opportunity and declared that with their products (which are in use in the optional municipalities ), legal changes within could be implemented in weeks. According to press reports, representatives of the CDU / CSU are no longer ready to make spontaneous changes to the law dependent on the functioning of A2LL. The federal government also stated that the use of alternative software solutions should be considered. However, the federal government admitted that there would still be weak points in these areas. The federal government later admitted further calculation errors in the unemployment benefit II software A2LL. For example, the calculation of the surcharge that recipients of basic income support could receive under certain conditions until 2010 who had received unemployment benefit I within the previous two years was disrupted.

The most serious errors at that time were planned to be corrected by January 2008, all further errors by June 2008. Until all errors in the A2LL IT process had been corrected, users in the working groups of the employment agency and municipalities had access to "error-free workarounds in the form of a calculation aid". It is a calculation aid in the form of a Microsoft Excel table.

In March 2008 it was announced that A2LL would be replaced by an in-house development called " ALLEGRO ". Completion was originally expected in 2012, with use in "real operation" in 2013. The conversion took place on August 18, 2014 and was completed on June 30, 2015. Until June 2017, the program was still able to work on case periods that had already been recorded, but from July 2017 the recorded data will still be available as archive material.


Individual evidence

  1. Peter-Michael Ziegler: Hartz IV: GAU in the unemployment benefit II payment. In: heise online. December 30, 2004, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  2. Detlef Borchers: Hartz IV software: More breakdowns. In: heise online. January 5, 2005, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  3. Detlef Borchers: Hartz IV software manufacturer ProSoz threatened with extinction. In: heise online. April 29, 2005, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  4. Detlef Borchers: Hartz IV software: Problems with one-off payments. In: heise online. July 20, 2005, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  5. Andreas Wilkens: Incorrect cancellation reports to health insurers due to errors in Hartz IV software. In: heise online. August 8, 2005, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  6. Detlef Borchers: Hartz IV software: The next version is pending. In: heise online. September 4, 2005, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  7. Committee printed matter . (PDF) 16 (11) 103. GERMAN BUNDESTAG, February 10, 2006, archived from the original on October 24, 2007 ; Retrieved July 11, 2013 .
  8. Detlef Borchers: Hartz IV software: New rules, old problems. In: heise online. February 17, 2006, accessed September 27, 2015 .
  9. Printed matter 16/6306 of the Bundestag
  10. Allegro employment agency. Retrieved March 26, 2019 .