EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Austria

Country score (European Average*)
  • 68(67) Political Financing
  • 21(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 53(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 29(56) Freedom of Information
  • 51(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)47,510
Population, total8,611,088
Urban population (% of total)66.0
Internet users (per 100 people)81.0
Life expectancy at birth (years)81.5
Mean years of schooling (years)10.8
Global Competitiveness Index5.1
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Political Parties Act 2012 regulates party political financing in Austria. 

Restrictions on the income of political parties and candidates exist on donations beginning from certain monetary thresholds. However, donations under the threshold are not prohibited even where they are from foreign interests, corporations and trade unions. There are no limits on donations. 

Parties are entitled to public funding which is allocated according to the share of votes obtained in the previous election, the representation in the elected body and the share of seats in the previous election. Media access is not subsidised but funding is available for party affiliated institutes. 

There are regulations on spending such as the prohibition on vote buying and general spending limits on parties which is 7 million euros per party.

Parties and candidates are required to report on their finances annually. Reports are received by the Court of Audit which is responsible for examining them. Sanctions are imposed by the Independent Political Parties Transparency Panel in the form of fines and forfeiture. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income676161
Public funding383838
Regulations on spending757575
Reporting, oversight and sanctions100100100

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 2,500 euros. (Section 3, §6(6)(6) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 2,500 euros. (Section 3, §6(9) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 2,500 euros or where the entity obviously wants to channel donation exceeding 1000 Euros from an anonymous donor. The provisions specify that donations above 2,500 Euro for natural and legal persons are banned. This includes corporations. This is made clear in §6(‌3)(‌2) which states that the financial report should include information on "total amount of donations received from natural and legal persons registered in the companies register," (Section 3 § 6(6)(7), 6(6)(8) & 6(6)(9) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013 )
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 2,500 euroes or where the entity obviously wants to channel donation exceeding 1000 Euros from an anonymous donor. The provisions specify that donations above 2,500 Euro for natural and legal persons are banned. This includes corporations. This is made clear in §6(‌3)(‌2) which states that the financial report should include information on "total amount of donations received from natural and legal persons registered in the companies register," (Section 3 § 6(6)(7), 6(6)(8) & 6(6)(9) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013 )
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework.
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. Where the public sectior holds a share of at least 25% in the undertaking or insitution. (Section 3 § 6(6)(5) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework.
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? Yes. Where the public sectior holds a share of at least 25% in the undertaking or insitution. (Section 3 § 6(6)(5) & 6(6)(9) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Subsidies from Trade Unions are explicitly excluded from the definition of "donation". (Section 1 §2(5)(f) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Subsidies from Trade Unions are explicitly excluded from the definition of "donation" (Section 1 §2(5)(f) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 1,000 euros in an individual case. (Section 3, §6(6)(8) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? Yes. Only where donation exceeds 1,000 euros in an individual case. (Section 3 § 6(6)(8) & 6(6)(9) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. (6) Political parties shall not accept donations from: 1. parliamentary groups as referred to in the Parliamentary Groups Funding Act 1985 (Klubfinanzierungsgesetz 1985), Federal Law Gazette No. 156, and provincial parliamentary groups, 2. legal entities as referred to in § 1 para 2 of the Journalism Subsidies Act 1984 (Publizistikförderungsgesetz 1984), Federal Law Gazette No. 369, and educational institutions of the parties subsidised by provinces, 3. bodies corporate under public law, (Section 3 §6(6)(1) - (3) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. Not-for-profit Institutions serving the support of grassroots sport, donors who noticeably want to forward a donation by an unnamed third party (if above €1,000), donors who want to grant to the party a donation, noticeably in expectation of or in return for a certain commercial or legal advantage, and donors who want to solicit donations for a party in return for remuneration to be paid by that party. (Section 3 §6(6) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Law does not appear to differentiate between election/ non-election periods. (Section 3 §6 Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. "Every political party can accept donations (§ 2 subpara 5) in accordance with the following provisions.‌.‌.‌" (No limits placed on donations to parties, only reporting requirements). (Section 3 §6(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. No limits placed on donations to candidates, only reporting requirements. (Section 3 §6 Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. Art 1.‌2-‌3, "(2) […] After deduction of the subsidies pursuant to subpara 1, the remaining funds shall be distributed among the political parties represented in the National Council pro rata to the votes cast for them in the last National Council election.‌ (3) Political parties not represented in the National Council but which received more than 1% of the valid votes in an election for the National Council shall be entitled to subsidies for their activities for the election year.‌ Such political parties shall receive an amount of 2.‌5 euros per vote cast for them in a National Council election; such subsidies shall be paid within six months following the National Council election.‌" (§ 1.‌2-‌3 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. Art 1.‌2-‌3, "(2) […] After deduction of the subsidies pursuant to subpara 1, the remaining funds shall be distributed among the political parties represented in the National Council pro rata to the votes cast for them in the last National Council election.‌ (3) Political parties not represented in the National Council but which received more than 1% of the valid votes in an election for the National Council shall be entitled to subsidies for their activities for the election year.‌ Such political parties shall receive an amount of 2.‌5 euros per vote cast for them in a National Council election; such subsidies shall be paid within six months following the National Council election.‌" (§ 1.‌2-‌3 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election Yes. Art 1.‌2-‌3, "(2) The subsidies by the federation shall be calculated by multiplying the number of persons eligible to vote in elections for the National Council by an amount of 4.‌6 euros.‌ The subsidies shall be granted to the individual political parties in the following manner: 1.‌ Every political party represented in the National Council that has at least five members of parliament (the minimum required for the formation of a parliamentary group as referred to in § 7 of the Rules of Procedure Law of 1975 [Geschäftsordnungsgesetz 1975], Federal Law Gazette No.‌ 410/‌1975) shall receive a basic subsidy in the amount of 218,000 euros; (§ 1.‌2-‌3 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework.
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. Art 2.1 "Every political party that is represented by members of parliament in the European Parliament after an election for the European Parliament shall be entitled to federal subsidies after the election in accordance with the following provisions" (§ ‌2 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. 2.‌ After deduction of the subsidies pursuant to subpara 1, the remaining funds shall be distributed among the political parties represented in the National Council pro rata to the votes cast for them in the last National Council election.‌ (§ 1.‌2 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal Yes. 1.‌ Every political party represented in the National Council that has at least five members of parliament (the minimum required for the formation of a parliamentary group as referred to in § 7 of the Rules of Procedure Law of 1975 [Geschäftsordnungsgesetz 1975], Federal Law Gazette No.‌ 410/‌1975) shall receive a basic subsidy in the amount of 218,000 euros; (§ 1.‌2 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received Yes. (3) Political parties not represented in the National Council but which received more than 1% of the valid votes in an election for the National Council shall be entitled to subsidies for their activities for the election year.‌ Such political parties shall receive an amount of 2.‌5 euros per vote cast for them in a National Council election; such subsidies shall be paid within six months following the National Council election.‌" (§ 1.‌3 Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013), Federal Law Gazette I No.​ 57/​2012)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending Yes. 4. Every political party may expend a maximum of 7 million euros for election campaigning between the qualifying date for the election and the day of the election for a general representative body or the European Parliament. If the same list of candidates is supported by two or more political parties, the maximum amount shall apply to the aggregated expenses of those parties (Section 2, §4(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework.
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework.
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework.
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework.

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework.
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other Yes. Funding provided to party affiliated institutes.   (GRECO (2011) Evaluation Report on Austria, Transparency of Political Party Funding (Theme II). Greco Third Evaluation Report, Strasbourg 9 December 2011)
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework.

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Vote buying and selling is punishable with imprisonment of up to 1 year. (§ 265 StGB Bestechung bei einer Wahl oder Volksabstimmung, amended 2015 [Penal Code bribery in an election or referendum])
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework.
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? Yes. 7 million euros per party. If the same list of candidates is supported by two or more political parties, the maximum amount shall apply to the aggregated expenses of those parties. (Section 2, §4(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? Yes. The total campaign expenditure limit of political parties is 7 million euro. In this, all individual candidates' campaign expenditures are included, which means that the theoretical spending limit of a candidate is 7 million euro. If, however, a candidate spends 15,000 euros or less, this will not count toward the party's limit. (Section 2, §4(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. Section 3 §5(1) Every political party shall annually render public account of the type of its income and expenses by way of a statement of accounts. (Section 3 §5(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. The expenses should be captured in the annual accounts (although the expenses may crossover two or more accounting periods). Expenses required in the annual accounts include public relations activites, events, vehicles and travel. It is likely that election expenditure would thus be captured. Also Section 3 §5(3) states that 'Proof with regard to the restriction on campaign expenses (§ 4 para 1) shall be presented in a separate section in the statement of accounts referring to the election year. More extensive accountability regulated in provincial laws shall remain unaffected.' Section 2 §4(2) lists the various expenses for election campaigning to which the provision above refers to which includes advertising, communications and personnel. (Section 2 §4(2) and 3 §5(3) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. Candidates are required to provide details of expenses to the party which are then published in the party accounts. Section 3 §5(7) states that 'Every political party shall submit the statement of accounts including lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements and a list of the undertakings in which shares are held as referred to in para 6 to the Court of Audit by 30 September of the following year. For that purpose, affiliated organisations and branches of the party that have their own legal personality as well as members of parliament and candidates who stood for elections on a list of candidates submitted by the political party shall submit to the political party the complete and correct details required for the lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements'. (Section 3 §5(7) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. Section 4 §10(3) states that 'If the Court of Audit determines that the statement of accounts meets the requirements (§ 5), the statement of accounts including the lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements, and the list of undertakings in which shares are held as referred to in § 5 para 6, and the volume of the legal transactions entered into by such undertakings with institutions subject to the supervision of the Court of Audit in the reporting year shall be published, separated according to the individual parties and undertakings, on the website of the Court of Audit and the website of the political party.' (Section 4 §10(4) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. Section 3 §(6)(4) Donations whose total amount exceeds the amount of 3,500 euros in a calendar year (accounting year), including the name and address of the donor, shall be stated.‌ Donations to federal, provincial and district organisations shall be aggregated.‌ §(6)(5) Donations exceeding the amount of 50,000 euros in an individual case shall be immediately reported to the Court of Audit.‌ The Court of Audit shall immediately publish the donations, including the name and address of the donor, on its website.‌" (Section 3 §6(4) & (5) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. The Court of Audit receives reports from political parties. "Every political party shall submit the statement of accounts including lists of donations, sponsorships and advertisements and a list of the undertakings in which shares are held as referred to in para 6 to the Court of Audit by 30 September of the following year.‌.‌.‌" (Section 3 §5(7) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency Yes. The Court of Audit is responsible. §10(‌1), "The statement of accounts to be prepared by a political party (§ 5) shall also be subject to the supervision of the Court of Audit.‌" (Section 4 §10(1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework.
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework.
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency Yes. The Court of Audit shall verify the numerical correctness of the statement of accounts and its conformity with this Federal Act (Section 4 §10(2) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework.
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. The " Independent Political Parties Transparency Panel" imposes penalties for political finance violations, based on documents submitted by the Court of Accounts. (Section 4, §11(‌1) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. The Independent Political Parties Transparency Panel shall impose a monetary penalty on a political party by way of an administrative decision on the basis of a notification made by the Court of Audit.‌ (2) Any person who 1.‌ does not state a donation contrary to § 6 para 4, or 2.‌ accepts a donation and does not report such a donation contrary to § 6 para 5, or 3.‌ accepts a donation contrary to § 6 para 7 and does not forward such a donation, or 4.‌ breaks down a received donation into partial amounts to circumvent § 6 para 4, 5 or 6 subpara 9 and books such partial amounts to the accounts or has them booked to the accounts, commits an administrative offence and shall be punished with a fine of up to 20,000 euros.‌ [...] (4) A person who, as the authorised agent responsible for the conformity of the declarations made with the requirements in respect of accountability, intentionally provides incorrect information for the statement of accounts, commits an administrative offence and shall be punished with a fine of up to 10,000 euros.‌ (Section 4, §12(1) - 12(4) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture Yes. If a member of parliament or a candidate who stood for elections on a list of candidates submitted by a political party (§ 6 para 9) has not stated a donation in violation of § 6 para 4 or has accepted and not reported a donation contrary to § 6 para 5 or has accepted and not forwarded a donation in violation of § 6 para 7, the decision shall also order the forfeiture of a monetary amount corresponding to the amount of the relevant donation.‌ (Section 4 §12(3) Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Political Parties Act, 2012, amended 2013 (German)pdf
Federal Act on Federal Support of Political Parties (Support of Political Parties Act 2012) (English)pdf
StGB Bestechung bei einer Wahl oder Volksabstimmung, amended 2015 [Penal Code bribery in an election or referendum] (German)pdf

Financial Disclosure

The Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013) regulates financial disclosure for Ministers and MPs, who provide similar disclosure items. Both declare firm ownership and board membership, with the incompatibility committee deciding whether keeping this position constitutes a conflict of interests. In addition, Ministers declare real estate, capital assets, accumulated debt and the spouse’s stockholdings. Instead, Members of Parliament declare income from outside employment. The Civil Servant Law (1979, last amended 2015) foresees lean disclosure requirements for Civil servants. Any outside employment and the receipt of honorary gifts must be disclosed, but no financial statements are to be made. There are no financial disclosure requirements for the Head of State, who holds a representative function.

Declarations are submitted to the Central Auditing Agency for Ministers, to the President of the Parliament for MPs, and to the administrative supervisory body for Civil servants. All the while, only the latter functions as an enforcement body. No other enforcement or verifying mechanisms are in place. The President of Parliament must keep a public list of disclosures made by MPs, which excludes capital income. None of the other declarations are made publicly available. 

 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items252626
Filing frequency385050
Sanctions000
Monitoring and Oversight252525
Public access to declarations666

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers343434
Members of Parliament203131
Civil servants212121

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing Frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Only spouses' stock holdings or private firm ownership has to be declared (Art. 3 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Real estate must be declared together with the administrative registration number ("Einlagezahl") and the type of cadastral community. (Art. 3a (2) 1 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Movable assets Yes. Capital assets must be declared. (Art. 3a (2) 2 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. Accumulated debt must be declared as one sum. (Art. 3a (2) 4 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. ownership of enterprises or of enterprise shares must be declared to the incompatability committee, the committee passes on this information to the Chancellor who publishes it in the "Wiener Zeitung", as these people are prohibited from receiving public contracts (Art 3, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. If a minister owns a state-owned enterprise he may maintain this position if the government declares that it is part of national interest that the person remains in this position (Art 5, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Holding government contracts Yes. Members of Parliament (which is also Ministers) must declare their holding government contracts within 1 month, the incompatability committee decides whether the activity can be continued. ( Art 6a,Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Members of the government have to disclose outside employment directly after entering into office. Members of the government are generally not allowed to have other jobs, unless allowed for by the Incompatibility comittee of the parliament (Art. 2 and 4 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing Frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Three months after taking office at the latest (Art. 3a Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Filing required upon leaving office Yes. Three months after leaving office at the latest (Art. 3a Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Filing required annually No. Only every second year (Art. 3a Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Ownership of stocks or private firms, including spouses, has to be declared immediately (Art. 3 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. President of the central auditing agency (Art. 3 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Members of parliament have to disclose monthly income from outside employment by sorting into 5 groups of income. (Art. 6 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Members of parliament have to disclose monthly income from outside employment including non-monetary benefits. (Art. 6 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. ownership of enterprises or of enterprise shares must be declared to the incompatability committee, the committee passes on this information to the Chancellor who publishes it in the "Wiener Zeitung", as these people are prohibited from receiving public contracts (Art 3, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. If an MP owns a state-owned enterprise he may maintain this position if the government declares that it is part of national interest that the person remains in this position (Art 5, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Holding government contracts Yes. Members of Parliament (assumption that this includes Ministers) must declare their holding government contracts within 1 month, the incompatability committee decides whether the activity can be continued. ( Art 6a, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Any board membership, leading role in a company or other employment or voluntary engagement must be declared to the Incompatibility committee which may ask the Minister to put down their employment if they see a conflict. ( Art 6a, Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Members of parliament have to disclose any employment at the state. (Art. 6a Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing Frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Any additional source of income, board membership, leading position in a voluntary organisation and income must be declared to the President within a month of taking office. (Art. 6 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. Applies only to income declaration, which is to be made by June 30th of every calender year. (Art. 6 (4) Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Starting a new employment has to be disclosed at the latest one month after the beginning of the employment (Art. 6 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. President of the Parliament (Art. 6 Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The President of Parliament must keep a public list of disclosures made by MPs, which exclueds capital income.Voluntary engagements must be published in the CV of parliamentarians on their homepages. (Art. 9 Bundesverfassungsgestz über die Begrenzung von Bezügen öffentlicher Funktionäre [Limits of payments for civil servants act] (1997, last amended 2014))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Civil servants just have to disclose their outside employment, but not their income (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. „honorary presents“ have to be disclosed to the administrative authority, other presents are not allowed (Art. 59 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Civil servants are required to disclose any such employment (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing Frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Declaration must take place immediately upon taking office. (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Declaration must take place immdiately when change occurs. (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Disclosure must be made towards the corresponding administrative supervisory body ("Dienstbehörde") (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. The corresponding administrative supervisory body forbids any activity that could lead to a conflict of interest. Part-time employees or employees on leave may only pursue additional employment after the supervisory body has allowed it. (Art. 56 Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] (1979, last amended 2015))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Beamten-Dienstrechtsgesetz [Civil Servant Law] 1979, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Bundesverfassungsgestz über die Begrenzung von Bezügen öffentlicher Funktionäre [Limits of payments for civil servants act] 1997, amended 2014 (German)pdf
Incompatibility and Transparency Act, 1983, amended 2013 (German)pdf

Conflict of Interest

The Austrian Constitution (1920, last amended 2009) regulates conflicts of interests regarding the President, while the Incompatibility and Transparency Law (1983, last amended 2013) regulates for Ministers and MPs. 

The only limitation for the President is not holding any other occupation. This rule also applies to Ministers. The incompatibility committee may grant the participation of Ministers and MPs in the private sector or in state-owned enterprises. Similarly, the responsible agency must approve any outside employment of Civil servants. The approval is based on whether or not a conflict of interests may arise. The only other restriction applicable to Ministers and MPs is that profit-oriented behavior may lead to a loss of mandate. Civil servants, on the other hand, are explicitly obliged to abstain from decision-making when private interests are affected. They are further bound to a six month-long cooling off period after leaving the service. 

Oversight differs between officials. Upon approval by the Federal Assembly, the Constitutional Court may begin a procedure against the President for conflict of interest violations. The incompatibility committee is responsible for monitoring and oversight of Ministers and MPs. The committee is elected amongst members of Parliament. In neither case are sanctions specified. For Civil Servants, sanctions include fines and loss of office. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Restrictions505050
Sanctions425858
Monitoring and Oversight505050

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State505050
Ministers505151
Members of Parliament506464
Civil servants394646

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The President may not hold any other occupation during his tenure but holding assets is allowed (Art. 61(1) Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The President may not hold any other occupation during his tenure but holding assets is allowed (Art. 61(1) Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Holding government contracts Yes. The President may not hold any other occupation during his tenure (Art. 61(1) Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The President may not hold any other occupation during his tenure (Art. 61(1) Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The President may not hold any other occupation during his tenure (Art. 61(1) Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The Constitutional Court may begin a procedure against the President if he has violated the constitution. The Federal Assemvly must begin this procedure. (Art. 142, Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The Constitutional Court may begin a proecure against the President if he has violated the constitution. The Federal Assemvly must begin this procedure. (Art. 142, Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Any penal procedure against the President can only be begun upon agreement of the Federal Assembly based on a violation of the constitution. The procedure is held before the Constitutional Court. (Art. 63(1), Art. 142 Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Profit-oriented behaviour can lead to a loss of mandate. (Art. 9 Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. ownership of enterprises or of enterprise shares must be declared to the Incompatibility committee, the committee passes on this information to the Chancellor who publishes it in the "Wiener Zeitung", as these people are prohibited from receiving public contracts (Art 3, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. If a minister owns a state-owned enterprise he may maintain this position if the government declares that it is part of national interest that the person remains in this position (Art 5, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Holding government contracts No. Members of Parliament (which is also Ministers) must declare their holding government contracts within 1 month, the Incompatibility committee decides whether the activity can be continued. ( Art 6a,Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Any board membership, leading role in a company or other employment or voluntary engagement must be declared to the Incompatibility committee which may ask the Minister to put down their employment if they see a conflict. (Art 2 (2, 3) Art. 6(2), Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Ministers may not hold an additional occupation. (Art. 2 Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Profit-oriented behaviour can lead to a loss of mandate. (Art. 9 Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Parliament elects an incompatibility committee amongst its members. (Art. 6, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The incompatibility committee and courts decide upon sanctions. (Art. 6, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Profit-oriented behaviour can lead to a loss of mandate. (Art. 9 Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. ownership of enterprises or of enterprise shares must be declared to the Incompatibility committee, the committee passes on this information to the Chancellor who publishes it in the "Wiener Zeitung", as these people are prohibited from receiving public contracts (Art 3, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. If an MP owns a state-owned enterprise he may maintain this position if the government declares that it is part of national interest that the person remains in this position (Art 5, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Holding government contracts Yes. Members of Parliament (assumption that this includes Ministers) must declare their holding government contracts within 1 month, the Incompatibility committee decides whether the activity can be continued. ( Art 6a, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Any board membership, leading role in a company or other employment or voluntary engagement must be declared to the Incompatibility committee which may ask the Minister to put down their employment if they see a conflict. ( Art 6a, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Public employees may run to become members of the national council, and may request a leave of absence if they are elected. (Art. 59a Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Profit-oriented behaviour can lead to a loss of mandate. (Art. 9 Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. The Parliament elects an incompatibility committee amongst its members. (Art. 6, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The incompatibility committee and courts decide upon sanctions. (Art. 6, Incompatibility Act (1983, last amended 2013))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Impartiality is part of civil servants duties; if there is a conflict of interest the civil servant must abstain from voting or participating in decision-making (Art. 43,47, Civil Service Law ( 1979, last amended 2015))
Accepting gifts Yes. Privately accepting gifts is not allowed, so-called "dignity-gifts" made out of politeness may be accepted but must be reported to the civil servants' agency. (Art. 59, Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Civil servants cannot serve additional employment that may lead to a conflict of interest, all second employment, board memberships or other kinds of memberships in profit-oriented organisations must be declared to the civil servants employer agency. (Art. 56 (2, 3, 5), Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Civil servants cannot serve additional employment that may lead to a conflict of interest, all second employment, board memberships or other kinds of memberships in profit-oriented organisations must be declared to the civil servants employer agency. (Art. 56 (2, 3, 5), Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Post-employment Yes. 6 month cooling off period (Art. 20(3a), art. 61, Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Public employeesmay run to become members of the national council, and may request a leave of absence if they are elected. (Art. 59a Constitution (1920, last amended 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. If there is a conflict of interest the civil servant must abstain from voting or participating in decision-making (Art. 43,47, Civil Service Law ( 1979, last amended 2015))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Fines between half a months salary to five times a monthly salary can be imposed, and are chosen by a court or disciplinary committee depending on the gravity of the infringement. (Art. 92, Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. Civil servants can be put on leave temporarily or fired, the sanction is chosen by a court or disciplinary committee depending on the gravity of the infringement. (Art. 92, Civil Service Law (1979, last amended 2015))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Civil Service Law, 1979, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Constitution, 1920, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Incompatibility and Transparency Act, 1983, amended 2013 (German)pdf

Freedom of Information

Austria’s access to information regime is governed by the Duty to Grant Information Act (1987, as amended 1998) and the Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information (1987). The law is limited to organs of the executive branch, as regulated by federal legislation. 

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the Constitution and the aforementioned FOI laws. No public interest test exists whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal with the federal administrative court, in line with the General Administrative Procedures Act. There is no appeals process through public bodies or an independent non-judicial mechanism, such as an information commissioner.

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions, nor are there any enforcement or oversight bodies tasked with managing implementation. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage404040
Information access and release545454
Exceptions and Overrides505050
Sanctions for non-compliance000
Monitoring and Oversight000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access No. Absent from legal framework
"Information" or "Documents" is defined No. Absent from legal framework
Proactive disclosure is specified No. Absent from legal framework

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The law covers all organs of the Federation as well of the self administration, as regulated by Federal Legislation. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998)
Legislative branch No. Absent from legal framework
Judicial branch No. Absent from legal framework
Other public bodies No. Absent from legal framework
Private sector No. Absent from legal framework

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. The publication of legal instruments is an administrative task and therefore covered by the law. Draft legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette which is accessible online. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. The publication of enacted legal instruments is an administrative task and therefore covered by the law. All enacted legal instruments (laws and statutory instruments) are promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette which is accessible online. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Annual budgets Yes. The preparation of an annual budget is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. The law provides for access to information - not actual documents. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. The preparation of an annual chart of accounts is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. The law provides for access to information - not actual documents. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. The preparation of an annual report is an administrative task and information about it is therefore covered by the law. The law provides for access to information - not actual documents. (§1(1) Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. The law permits "anyone" to submit requests for information. (§ 2 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 )
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. Requests can be submitted in writing, orally or by telephone. If a request is made orally or by telephone, the applicant may be requested to put it in writing if the scope or content of the information requested is not clear. (§ 2 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 )
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) No. Absent from legal framework
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. Requests are to be exempt from stamp duties and federal administration fees. (§ 5 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 )

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline No. At a Federal level, the law requires information shall be given without "undue delay" but within 8 weeks from receipt of the request for information. At a state level, the individual states can determine their timeframes for responding. (§ 3 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §5 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. At a Federal level, the law states that "if for special reasons such term can-not be complied with, the applicant shall be informed accordingly in writing" without giving any timeframe. At a state level, the individual states can determine their timeframes for responding. (§ 3 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §5 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days No. At a Federal level, the law requires information shall be given without "undue delay" but within 8 weeks from receipt of the request for information. At a state level, the individual states can determine their timeframes for responding. (§ 3 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §5 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law No. Official secrets are defined in the Constitution. (§ 20(3) Austrian Federal Constitution 1930, amended 2014)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The data protection law sets out a right to secrecy of personal data, especially with regard to private and family life. In addition, the Civil Code sets out a right to privacy. (§1(1) Federal Act concerning Protection of Personal Data 1999, as amended 2015 §1328(a) Civil Code 1846, as amended 2015)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Information can be withheld if disclosure would: a) prevent proper compliance with statutory duties b) infringe a statutory duty of secrecy which covers maintenance of public peace, order and security, national defence, external relations, c) reveal personal data d) archive information cannot be disclosed in the interests of protecting national defence, foreign-policy, economic or financial interests of Austria or the EU or anticipating, preventing or prosecuting crime. (§1 and §2 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998 §1 and §3 Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987 § 20(3) Austrian Federal Constitution 1930, amended 2014 §1(1) Federal Act concerning Protection of Personal Data 1999, as amended 2015)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. Absent from legal framework
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. No. Absent from legal framework
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal with the federal administrative court, in line with the General Administrative Procedures Act  (§4 Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, as amended 1998)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Duty to Grant Information Act 1987, amended 1998 (English)pdf
Fundamental Act on the Duty to Grant Information, 1987, amended 1998 (English)pdf
Austrian Federal Constitution, 1930, amended 2014 (English)pdf
Federal Act concerning Protection of Personal Data 1999, amended 2015 (German)pdf
Civil Code 1846, amended 2015 (German)pdf

Public Procurement

The Austrian public procurement system is regulated by the Federal Procurement Act (“BVergG”) and the Federal Defence and Security Procurement Act (“BVergGVS”). Additional regulations are laid down in eight State Acts. The public procurement regulatory body is the Federal Procurement Agency, located under the Federal Government.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

EUR 100000 for goods

EUR 1 m for works

EUR 100000 for services

Direct award procedures can be conducted below EUR 100 k

The minimum number of bidders is 3 for restricted procedures procedures, and 3 for negotiated procedures. The minimum submission period is 52 days for open procedures procedures and 37 days for both restricted procedures and negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is preferential treatment based on SME status. Bids can be excluded based on the reasons set out in the EU directives (see the EC legal summary) and also based on price related elements.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, no form of independence from the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is a payable fee (flat rate) in case of an arbitration procedure. Decisions are published online at the website of the Legal Information System of the Republic of Austria.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope4747
Information availability7777
Evaluation2525
Open competition6767
Institutional arrangements3939

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 100000. Thresholds for direct award. Other EU thresholds indicate in 11-16 below apply for more demanding transparency obligations (§ 37 (1) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014, amended 2014)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 1000000. Thresholds for direct award. Other EU thresholds indicate in 11-16 below apply for more demanding transparency obligations (§ 37 (1) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 100000. Thresholds for no publicity or direct award. Other EU thresholds indicate in 11-16 below apply for more demanding transparency obligations (§ 37 (1) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 134000. 0 (§ 12 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 414000. 0 (§ 37, 38 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 414000. EU threshold (§ 10 Bundesvergabegesetz Verteidigung und Sicherheit 2012 – BVergGVS, amended 2014)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 134000. 0 (§ 12 BVergG, § 180 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5186000. 0 (§ 12 BVergG, § 180 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 134000. 0 (§ 12 BVergG, § 180 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? No requirement. There is no requirement to publish certain information, but para 48 says that it is possible to do this online. (§ 48 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? No. 0
Is it mandatory to keep these records? Public notices of bidding opportunities, Bidding documents and addenda, Bid opening records, Bid evaluation reports, Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, Claims and dispute resolutions, Final payments, Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. 0 (§ 128 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? Yes. upon request, reply in max. 6 days (§ 151 (2) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? Yes. sometimes subject to discretion of sectoral entity (§ 83, § 257 (2), § 240 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? all subcontractors have to be announced, but the degree of disclosure depends on the nature of their duties (whether they are essential or not)

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? No. 0
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. those from EU directives (§ 68 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? Yes. "If possible, SMEs are in particular to be involved", but no specific measures (§ 102 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. no, but non-EU States have some extra requirements regarding notification (§ 270 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? No. no, only as aspect that will be considered (§ 19 (5) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. Yes. 0 (§ 269 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? No. 0 (§ 271 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? Yes. 0 (N/A)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? No. 0 (N/A)
If yes, what is banned? 0 (N/A)
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. 0 (N/A)
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? No. 0
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? if the CA becomes aware of circumstances that would have excluded the tender or would have led to a substantially different tender should they have been kNown beforehand, or in those cases where No offer is received. An electronic auction can be cancelled when an anNounced point in time is reached, after a certain time after the last offer, after the last round of offers, for other objective reasons. 0 (§ 137, § 138 and §147 (4) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) Federal Law Gazette and electronic publication medium. 0 (§ 50 and 52 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) Federal Law Gazette and electronic publication medium. 0 (§ 50 and 52 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) Federal Law Gazette and electronic publication medium. 0 (§ 50 and 52 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED Not specified.
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. 3 in negotiated procedure without prior Notice (§ 102 (3) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE Not specified.

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 52. 0 (§ 224 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 37. 0 (§ 226 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 37. 0 (§ 226 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? closed list. 20 exceptions, the most relevant being defence (covered by BVergGVS), security interests, application of other prevailing rules from EU (346 TFEU) or other int. organisation, broadcasting, central bank, public research, employment contracts, telecommunications (§ 10 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? federal, municipal, county bodies, bodies that act in the public interest, projects that are subsidized by more than 50%. 0 (§ 3 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014 )
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? offenes Verfahren (open procedure), nicht offenes Verfahren mit/ohne vorherige Bekanntmachung (restricted procedure with and without prior Notice), Verhandlungsverfahren mit/ohne vorherige Bekanntmachung (negotiated procedure with and without prior Notice), Rahmenvereinbarung (framework agreement), dynamisches Beschaffungssystem (Dynamic purchasing system), wettbewerblicher Dialog (competitive dialogue), Direktvergabe mit/ohne vorherige Bekanntmachung (direct award with and without prior Notice), elektronischen Auktion (electronic auction). 0 (§ 25 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014 )
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. Bundesverwaltungsgericht (§ 312 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. Bundesbeschaffung or Federal Procurement Agency (http://www.bbg.gv.at/english-information/about-the-fpa/)
Is the procurement regulatory body independent?
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. 0
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. 0 (§ 318 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
If yes, how much flat rate. set in Federal regulation (§ 318 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? No. 0 (§ 320 (3) Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? 7 days for decision on injunctions, otherwise 42 days. 0 (§ 326, 330 Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014)
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? Yes. 0

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Bundesvergabegesetz 2006 – BVergG, amended 2014missing file:
Bundesvergabegesetz Verteidigung und Sicherheit 2012 – BVergGVS, amended 2014missing file: