Since its foundation in 1960, the Federal Office of Administration (BVA) has been facing new challenges every decade. In the early years, the BVA was above all responsible for payments of compensations to former staff in Jewish communities, war grave maintenance, citizenship issues, and assistance for Germans in need abroad.
In 1965, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs charged the BVA with monitoring the civilian service at that time.
In 1968, the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) was founded that supports all German schools abroad in financial, pedagogical and personnel matters.
Since 1971, the BVA has been supporting the promotion of education and training. Since that time, it has also been offering vocational training in public administration. In the 1970s, the BVA further assumed the management of grants in sport funding.
A turbulent period followed in the late 1980s. In the weeks before the fall of the Berlin wall, thousands of resettlers from the GDR arrived in West Germany. Those people had to be supplied. At the same time, the flow of ethnic German resettlers from the former eastern block reached its peak. The reception procedure was a major task of the BVA's: up to 397,000 people were registered in the ten initial reception centres at the time and placed in the federal states.
From the mid-1990s, the integration of ethnic German resettlers had to be organized, including language courses and language tests before their arrival in Germany.
German reunification in 1990 had a significant impact on the state organization and administration. The BVA undertook many tasks, e.g. the liquidation of assets of the former GDR Ministry of State Security (MfS) and its National Security Agency, the transfer of pensions of former MfS officials, and the integration of two different sport systems.
In the 1990s, technological equipment changed radically. The BVA has always been using modern technology and has become one of the pioneers of the paperless office.
In 1994, the electronic case management was born with the document management system conceived at the BVA. Another pioneering step was the foundation of the Shared Service Centre (DLZ), where the BVA brought together cross-sectional services for institutions for the first time.
In 2000, the BVA was one of the first federal agencies to provide e-government transaction services with ‘BAföG-online’ which allows online filing of applications for educational loans.
In 2006, the Federal Office for Information Technology (BIT) was founded as a separate directorate-general at the BVA. In 2009, the CIO Council made the BIT one of the first IT service agencies of the Federal Government.
Applying the shared services principle, the BVA has been offering its products to other institutions since 2010. The intelligent use of information technology allows to increasingly systematize and combine traditional tasks, data and procedures, making possible a new way of cooperation.
Several times in its history, the BVA has assumed a decisive role in immediate assistance in response to tragic events. Many citizens remember the aids following the Chernobyl disaster (1986), the 1997 Oder flood, the Anna Amalia Library blaze in Weimar in 2004 and the 2004/2005 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
In 2013, the Federal Office of Administration faced one of the greatest challenges in its history. On 1 July 2013, the Federal Ministry of Defence transferred large parts of the payroll accounting department for the Bundeswehr (Federal Armed Forces) to the Federal Office of Administration. This transfer of responsibilities resulted in around 1,400 Bundeswehr employees moving to the Federal Office of Administration, while nine locations were added. The increase in responsibilities also had organizational implications: new departments were set up while existing departments were reorganized.
In mid-2015, the Federal Government adopted a framework for the realignment of the federal IT infrastructure, which has had a far-reaching organiszational and technical impact on the BVA. The major project "IT-Zentrum des Bundes" (ITZBund) includes the proposal to concentrate all IT services linked to the federal administration step-by-step on just a few locations. As part of this process, the Federal Office for Information Technology (BIT) of the BVA was transferred over to the new Federal Information Technology Centre (ITZBund) on 1 January 2016 and has since then belonged to the business domain of the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF).
As a result, some former BIT competences are being transferred over to other directorates-general of the BVA. This is a new initiative in a long chain of responsibilities that the Federal Office of Administration has undertaken in its 55-year history.