General Provisions

Chapter I.

General Provisions

Article 1. Republic, Democracy

Austria is a democratic republic. Its law emanates from the people.

Article 2. Federal State

   1. Austria is a federal state.

   2. The Federal State is composed of the autonomous States of Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tirol, Vorarlberg, and Vienna.

Article 3. Territory

   1. The federal territory comprises the territories of the Federal States.

   2. A change in the federal territory, which is at the same time a change in State territory, just as the change of a State boundary within federal territory, can, apart from peace treaties, only be effected by corresponding constitutional laws of the Federation and the State whose territory undergoes change.

Article 4. Currency, Customs

   1. The federal territory constitutes a uniform currency, economic, and customs area.

   2. Intermediate customs barriers or other traffic restrictions may not be established within federal territory.

Article 5. Capital

   1. The federal capital and seat of the highest federal authorities is Vienna.

   2. For the duration of extraordinary circumstances the Federal President can, at the request of the Federal Government, remove the seat of the highest federal authorities elsewhere in federal territory.

Article 6.{...}

Article 7. Equality, Political Rights

   1. All federal nationals are equal before the law. Privileges based upon birth, sex, estate, class, or religion are excluded.

   2. Public employees, including members of the Federal Army, are guaranteed the unrestricted exercise of their political rights.

Article 8. Official Language

German is the official language of the Republic without prejudice to the rights provided by federal law for linguistic minorities.

Article 8(a). State Colors, Flag, Coat of Arms, Seal

   1. The colors of the Republic of Austria are red-white-red. The flag consists of three identically broad horizontal stripes of which the intermediate is white the upper and the lower are red.

   2. The federal Coat of Arms consists of an unfettered single-headed, black, gilt-armed and red-tongued eagle on whose breast is imposed a red shield intersected by a silver crosspiece. On its head, the eagle bears a mural crown with three visible merlons. A sundered iron chain rings both talons. The right holds a golden sickle with inward turned blade, the left a golden hammer.

   3. Detailed provisions, in particular as to safeguard of the colors, the coat of arms, and the seal of the Republic, are settled by federal law.

Article 9. International Law, Transfer of Powers

   1. The generally recognized rules of international law are regarded as integral parts of federal law.

   2. Legislation or a treaty requiring sanction in accordance with Article 50 (1) can transfer specific federal competencies to intergovernmental organizations and their authorities and can within the framework of international law regulate the activity of foreign states' agents inside Austria as well as the activity of Austrian agents abroad.

Article 9(a). Defence, Military Service

   1. Austria subscribes to universal national defence. Its task is to preserve the federal territory's outside independence as well as its inviolability and its unity, especially as regards the maintenance and defence of permanent neutrality. In this connection, too, the constitutional establishments and their capacity to function as well as the democratic freedoms of residents require to be safeguarded and defended against acts of armed attack from outside.

   2. Universal national defence comprises military, intellectual, civil, and economic national defence.

   3. Every male Austrian national is liable for military service. Conscientious objectors who refuse the fulfillment of compulsory military service and are exonerated therefrom must perform an alternative service. The details are settled by law.

Article 10.  Federal Legislation and Execution

(1) The Federation has powers of legislation and execution in the following matters:
  1. The Federal Constitution, in particular elections to the House of Representatives, and referenda as provided by the Federal Constitution; the Constitutional Court;
  2.  External affairs, including political and economic representation with regard to other countries and in particular the conclusion of international treaties of all kinds, demarcation of frontiers; trade in goods and livestock with other countries; customs;
  3.  Regulation and control of entry into and exit from the federal territory; immigration and emigration; passports; deportation, turning back at the frontier, expulsion, and extradition from or through the federal territory;
  4.  Federal finances, in particular taxes to be collected exclusively or in part on behalf of the Federation; monopolies;
  5.  The monetary, credit, stock exchange and banking system; the weights and measures, standards, and hallmark system;
  6.  Civil law, including the rules relating to economic association, but excluding regulations which render real property transactions with aliens subject to restrictions by the administrative authorities; criminal law, excluding administrative penal law and administrative penal procedure in matters which fall within the autonomous sphere of competence of the States; administration of justice; establishments, such as compulsory labor and similar institutions, for the protection of society against criminal, degenerate or otherwise dangerous elements; the Administrative Court; copyright; Press affairs; expropriation for the purposes of urban and rural reclamation, reconditioning, restoration; expropriation in so far as it does not concern matters falling within the autonomous sphere of competence of the States, matters of notaries, lawyers, and related professions;
  7.  The maintenance of peace, order and security, excluding the local public safety administration; the right of association and assembly; matters of personal status, including the registration of births, marriages and deaths, and change of name; aliens police and residence registration; matters of weapons, ammunition and explosives, and the use of fire-arms;
  8.  Matters of trade and industry; public advertising and commercial brokerage; restraint of unfair competition; patent matters and the protection of designs, trade marks, and other commodity descriptions; matters of patent agents; matters of civil engineering; chambers of commerce, trade, and industry; establishment of professional associations in so far as they extend to the federal territory as a whole, but with the exception of those in the field of agriculture and forestry;
  9.  The traffic system relating to the railways, aviation, and shipping in so far as the last of these does not fall under Article 11 motor traffic; matters, with exception of the highway police, which concern roads declared by federal law as federal highways on account of their importance for transit traffic; river and navigation police in so far as these do not fall under. Article 11; the postal, telegraph, and telephone system;
  10.  Mining; forestry, including timber flotage; water rights; control and conservation of waters for the safe diversion of floods or for shipping and raft transport; regulation of torrents; construction and maintenance of waterways regulation and standardization of electrical plants and establishments as well as safety measures in this field; provisions of electric power transmission in so far as the transmission extends over two or more States, matters of steam- and other power-driven engines; surveying;
  11.  Labor legislation in so far as it does not fall under Article 12; social and contractual insurance; chambers for workers and salaried employees with the exception of those relating to agriculture and forestry;
  12.  Public health with the exception of burial and disposal of the dead and community sanitation and first aid services, but only sanitary supervision with respect to hospitals, nursing homes, health resorts and natural curative resources; measures to counter factors hazardous to the environment through the transcendence of input limits, veterinary affairs; nutrition affairs, including foodstuffs inspection;
  13.  Archive and library services for the sciences and specialist purposes; matters of federal collections and establishments serving the arts and sciences, all matters of the federal theaters not however including the settlement of their structural alignment and level nor the treatment accorded by the official building authorities to constructions which concern surface elements in such edifices; the preservation of monuments; religious affairs; census as well as, allowing for the rights of the States to engage within their own territory in every kind of statistical activity, other statistics in so far as they do not serve the interests of one State only; endowments and foundations when their purposes extend beyond a single State's sphere of interests and they have hitherto not been autonomously administered by the States;
  14.  Organization and conduct of the federal police and the federal gendarmerie; settlement of the conditions of establishment and organization of other protective forces, including their armament and the right to make use of their weapons;
  15.  Military affairs; matters of war damage and welfare measures for combatants and their surviving dependents; care of war graves; whatever measures seem necessary by reason or in consequence of war to ensure the uniform conduct of economic affairs, in particular with regard to the population's supply with essentials;
  16. The establishment of federal authorities and other federal agencies; service code for and staff representation rights of federal employees; and
  17.  Population policy in so far as it concerns the grant of children's allowances and the organization of burden equalization on behalf of families.
(2) In federal laws on the right of succession to undivided farm estate as well as in federal laws promulgated in accordance with Paragraph (1) no.10, State legislatures can be empowered to issue implementing provisions with respect to individual provisions which must be specifically designated. The provisions of Article 15 (6) shall be analogously applied to these State laws. Execution of the implementing laws issued in such cases lies with the Federation, but the enabling ordinances, in so far as they relate to the implementing provisions of the State law, need foregoing agreement with the State government concerned.

(3) The Federation must allow the States opportunity to present their views before its conclusion of treaties which within the meaning of Article 1 render necessary enabling measures or affect the autonomous sphere of competence of the States in another way.

Article 11. Federal Legislation and State Execution

(1) In the following matters legislation is the business of the Federation, execution that of the States:

nationality and right of citizenship;

professional associations in so far as they do not fall under Article 10, but with the exception of those in the field of agriculture and forestry;

national housing affairs;

highway police;

sanitation; and

inland shipping as regards shipping licenses, shipping facilities and compulsory measures of such facilities in so far as it does not apply to the Danube, Lake Constance, Lake Neusiedl, and boundary stretches of other frontier waters.

(2) In so far as a need for the issue of uniform regulations is considered to exist, the administrative procedure the general provisions of administrative penal law, the administrative penal procedure and the administrative execution also in matters where legislation lies with the States in particular also in matters of taxation, are prescribed by federal law; divergent regulations can be made in Federal or State laws settling the individual spheres of administration only when they are requisite for regularization of the matter in hand.

(3) Enabling ordinances to the federal laws promulgated in accordance with Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be issued, save as otherwise provided in these laws, by the Federation. The manner of publication for enabling ordinances whose issue by the States in matters concerning Paragraph (1) no.4 and 6 is empowered by federal law can be prescribed by federal law.

(4) The application of the laws promulgated pursuant to Paragraph (2) and the enabling ordinances issued hereto lies with the Federation or the States, depending on whether the business which forms the subject of the procedure is a matter for execution by the Federation or the States.

(5) In proceedings before the administrative authorities the final decision on administrative contraventions lies with administrative penal tribunals to be constituted within the framework of the competent authorities. The members of these tribunals are independent in the exercise of their office and not bound by any instructions. The senior official of the authority concerned or a deputy delegated by him, who must have legal training, presides. The Federation appoints two members also in cases where the tribunals have not been constituted within the framework of the federal authorities. Acting on applications from the administrative penal tribunals, the State-Governors are competent to exercise the right of pardon provided for by law where penal administrative business arises under the indirect federal administration, the State Governments in matters of the autonomous sphere of competence of the States. Details regarding the establishment of administrative penal tribunals and their activity will be prescribed by federal law.

Article 12. Federal Framework Legislation

(1) In the following matters, framework legislation is the business of the Federation, the issue of implementing laws and execution the business of the States:

social welfare; population policy in so far as it does not fall under Article 10; public social and welfare establishments; maternity, infant, and adolescent welfare; hospitals and nursing homes; requirements to be imposed for health reasons on health resorts, sanatoria, and health establishments; natural curative resources;

public institutions for the adjustment of disputes out of court;

land reform, in particular land consolidation measures and resettlement;

the protection of plants against diseases and pests;

matters of electric power in so far as they do not fall under Art. 10; and

labor legislation and the protection of workers and employees in so far as it is a matter of workers and employees engaged in agriculture and forestry.

(2) In matters of land reform the final decision and that at State level lies with tribunals composed of a chairman and judges, administrative officials, and experts the tribunal qualified to pronounce final judgment will be appointed within the framework of the competent Federal Ministry. The organization, the duties and the procedure of the tribunals as well as the principles for the organization of other authorities concerned with matters of land reform will be prescribed by federal law. This shall provide that the decisions by the tribunals are not subject to repeal and change by way of administrative ruling; the exclusion of ordinary appeal from the authority of first instance to the State jurisdiction is inadmissible.

(3) If and inasmuch as the rulings of State authorities in matters of electric power deviate from one another or a State Government was the sole competent State authority, the competence in such a matter passes, provided a party so demands within the deadline to be fixed by federal law, to the Federal Ministry competent in the business. As soon as the Ministry has reached a decision, the rulings hitherto made by the State authorities are invalidated.

Article 13. Taxation

The competencies of the Federation and the States in the field of taxation will be prescribed in a special federal constitutional law.

Article 14. Education

   1. Save as provided otherwise in the following paragraphs, legislation and execution in the field of schooling and in the field of education in matters of pupil and student hostels are the business of the Federation. The matters settled in Article 14a do not belong to schooling and education within the meaning of this Article.

   2. Save as provided otherwise by Paragraph (4)(a), legislation is the business of the Federation, execution the business of the States in matters of the service code for and staff representation rights of teachers at public compulsory schools. Such federal laws can empower State legislatures to issue implementing provisions to individual provisions which shall be precisely specified; in these instances the provisions of Article 15 (6) apply analogously. The enabling ordinances in respect of such federal laws, save as provided otherwise herein, shall be issued by the Federation.

   3. In the following matters framework legislation is the business of the Federation, the issue of implementing laws and execution the business of the States:
  1. composition and disposition, including their members' appointment and remuneration, of the boards to be constituted in the States and political Districts as part of the federal school authorities;
  2.  framework organization (structure, organizational forms, establishment, maintenance, dissolution, local districts, sizes of classes and instruction periods) of public compulsory schools;
  3. framework organization of publicly maintained student hostels provided exclusively or mainly for pupils of compulsory schools; and
  4. professional employment qualifications for kindergarten teachers and educational assistants to be employed by the States, Counties, or County Associations at the centers and student hostels provided exclusively or mainly for pupils of compulsory schools.
   4. In the following matters legislation and execution is the business of the States:
  1. competence of officials, on the basis of laws promulgated pursuant to Paragraph (2), to exercise official responsibility over teachers at public compulsory schools; the States laws shall provide that the federal school authorities in the States and political Districts must participate in appointments, other selections for service positions, and awards as well as in eligibility and disciplinary proceedings. The participation in appointments, other selections for service positions, and awards shall at all events comprise a right of nomination on the part of the primary level federal school authority;
  2. the kindergarten system and the centers system.
   5. In the following matters legislation and execution are, in deviation from the provisions of Paragraphs (2) to (4), the business of the Federation:
  1. public demonstration schools, demonstration kindergartens, demonstration centers, and demonstration student hostels attached to a public school for the purpose of practical instruction as provided by the curriculum;
  2. publicly maintained student hostels intended exclusively or mainly for pupils of the demonstration schools mentioned in Sub-Paragraph (a); and
  3. the service code for and staff representation rights of teachers, educational assistants, and kindergarten teachers at the public institutions mentioned in Sub-Paragraphs (a) and (b).
   6. Public schools are those schools which are established and maintained by authorities so required by law. The Federation is the authority so required by law in so far as legislation and execution in matters of the establishment, maintenance, and dissolution of public schools are the business of the Federation. The State or, according to the statutory provisions, the County, or a County Association is the authority so required by law in so far as legislation or implementing legislation and execution in matters of establishment, maintenance and dissolution of public schools are the business of the State. Admission to public school is open to all without distinction of birth, sex race, status, class, language and religion, and in other respects within the limits of the statutory requirements. The same applies analogously to kindergartens, centers, and student hostels.

   7. Private schools are different from public schools; they shall be accorded public status according to the statutory provisions.

   8. The Federation is entitled, in matters which in accordance with Paragraphs (2) and (3) belong to execution by the States, to obtain confirmation about adherence to the laws and ordinances issued on the basis of these paragraphs and can for this purpose delegate officials to the schools and student hostels. Should shortcomings be observed, the State-Governor can be instructed (Article 20 (1)) to redress the shortcomings within an appropriate deadline. The State-Governor must see to the redress of the shortcomings according to the statutory provisions and, to effect the execution of such instructions, is bound also to employ the means at his disposal in his capacity as an authority acting on behalf of the State in its autonomous sphere of competence.

   9. The general rules in Articles 10 and 21 as to the distribution of competencies for legislation and execution regarding conditions of service with the Federation, the States, the Counties, and the County Associations apply in respect of the service code for teachers, educational assistants, and kindergarten teachers, save as provided otherwise by the preceding paragraphs. The same applies to the staff representation rights of teachers, educational assistants, and kindergarten teachers.

  10. In matters of the school authorities of the Federation in the States and political Districts, compulsory schooling, school organization, private schools, and the relationship between school and the Churches including religious instruction at school, the House of Representatives, in so far as matters of universities and fine arts academies are not concerned, can adopt federal legislation only in the presence of at least half the members and by a two thirds majority of the votes cast. The same applies to the ratification of treaties negotiated on these matters and which fall into the category specified in Article 50.

Article 14(a). State Legislation and Execution, Exceptions

   1. Save as provided otherwise in the following paragraphs, legislation and execution are the business of the States with regard to agricultural and forestry schooling as well as with regard to agricultural and forestry education in matters of student hostels, and in matters of the service code for and staff representation rights of teachers and educational assistants at the schools and student hostels falling under this Article. Matters of university training do not fall under agricultural and forestry schooling.

   2. Legislation and execution is the business of the Federation in the following matters:
  1. secondary agricultural and forestry schools and schools for the training and supplementary training of teachers at agricultural and forestry schools;
  2. technical colleges for the training of forestry employees;
  3. public agricultural and forestry technical colleges linked organizationally with one of the public schools mentioned in Sub-Paragraphs (a) and (b) or with a federal agricultural and forestry research institute to ensure provision of the demonstrations scheduled in the curricula;
  4. student hostels exclusively or mainly designated for pupils of the schools mentioned in Sub-Paragraphs (a) to (c);
  5. service code for and staff representational rights of the teachers and educational assistants in the establishments mentioned in Sub-Paragraphs (a) to (d) above;
  6. subsidies for staff expenditure of the denominational agricultural and forestry schools; and
  7. federal agricultural and forestry institutes linked organizationally with an agricultural and forestry school supported by the Federation to ensure provision of the demonstrations scheduled in the curricula of these schools.
   3. Save as it concerns matters mentioned in Paragraph (2), legislation is the business of the Federation, execution the business of the States in matters of:
  1.   religious instruction and
  2.   the service code for and staff representation rights of teachers at public agricultural and forestry vocational schools and technical colleges and of educational assistants at publicly maintained student hostels exclusively or mainly designated for pupils of these schools, excepting however matters of official competence for the exercise of the service prerogative over these teachers and educational assistants. State legislatures can be authorized in federal laws promulgated by reason of the provisions under Sub-Paragraph (b) to issue implementing provisions for individual regulations which shall be precisely specified, in this connection the provisions of Article 15 (6) apply analogously. Enabling ordinances for the federal laws shall, save as otherwise provided there, be issued by the Federation.
   4. Framework legislation is the business of the Federation, the issue of implementing laws and execution is the business of the States:
  1. as regards the agricultural and forestry vocational schools in matters of definitions of t,he instructional objective, the obligatory subjects, and free tuition as well as in matters of compulsory schooling and the transfer from the school in one State to the school in another State;
  2. as regards the agricultural and forestry technical colleges in matters of the definition of admission prerequisites, instructional objective, organizational forms, extent of the teaching and obligatory subjects, free tuition, and the transfer from the school in one State to the school in another State;
  3. in matters of the public status of private agricultural and forestry vocational schools and training colleges with the exception of schools falling under para. 2 sub-para. b above; and
  4. as regards the organization and competence of advisory boards who in the matters of Paragraph (1) participate in the execution by the States.
   5. The establishment of the agricultural and forestry technical colleges and research institutes specified under Paragraph (2)(c) and (g) is only admissible if the State government of the State in which the vocational school or technical college is to have its location has agreed to the establishment. This agreement is not requisite if the establishment concerns an agricultural and forestry school which is to be organizationally linked to a school for the training and supplementary training of teachers and agricultural and forestry schools to ensure provision of the demonstrations scheduled in their curricula.

   6. It lies within the competence of the Federation to see to the observance of the regulations issued by it in matters whose execution in accordance with Paragraphs (3) and (4) belongs to the States.

   7. The provisions of Article 14 (6), (7), and (9) analogously also apply for the spheres specified in the first sentence of Paragraph (1).

   8. federal laws on matters pursuant to Paragraph (4) can be passed by the House of Representatives only ill the presence of at least half the members and by a two thirds majority of the votes cast.

Article 15. General Competence of the States

   1. In so far as a matter is not expressly assigned by the Federal Constitution to the Federation for legislation or also execution, it remains within the States' autonomous sphere of competence.

   2. In matters of local public safety administration, i.e., that part of public safety administration which exclusively or preponderantly affects the interests of the local community personified by the County and which, like preservation of public decency and defence against the improper creation of noise, can suitably be undertaken by the community within its local boundaries, the Federation has authority to supervise the conduct of these matters by the County and to redress any observed shortcomings by instructions to the State-Governor. Inspectoral authorities of the Federation can for this purpose be delegated to the County; in each and every case the State-Governor shall be informed hereof.

   3. The provisions of States legislation in matters of theaters and cinemas, public shows, performances, and entertainments shall assign to the federal public safety administration within its local sphere of competence at least the superintendence of the events, in so far as this does not extend to technical operation, building police, and fire police considerations, and the participation by the administration in the initial stage of grant of licenses as stipulated by such legislation.

   4. To what extent the federal public safety administration shall within its local sphere of competence be assigned executive responsibility in the domain of the highway police, except the local traffic police (Article 118 (4) no.4) and the river and navigation police on the Danube, Lake Constance, Lake Neusiedl, and boundary stretches of other frontier waters, shall be prescribed in corresponding laws of the Federation and the State concerned.

   5. In so far as executive acts in building matters concern federally owned buildings which serve public purposes, like accommodation for federal authorities and offices or public institutions including schools and hospitals or barracks quarters for members of the Army or other federal employees, these executive acts fall under the indirect federal administration; the final decision on appeals rests with the State-Governor. Nevertheless determination of alignment and level in these cases too falls under the executive power of the States.

   6. In so far as framework legislation has been reserved to the Federation, detailed implementation within the framework laid down by federal law is incumbent on State legislatures. The federal law can fix for the issue of the implementing legislation a deadline which may not without the consent of the Senate, be shorter than six months and not longer than one year. If a State does not observe this deadline, competence for the issue of the implementing legislation passes from that State to the Federation. As soon as the State has issued the implementing legislation the federal implementing legislation becomes invalidated. If the Federation has not established any framework, State legislation is free to settle such matters. As soon as the Federation has established a framework, the provisions of State legislation shall within the deadline to be appointed by federal law be adjusted to the framework legislation.

   7. If an executive act on the part of one State in matters covered by Articles 11, 12, 14 (2) and (3), and 14a (3) and (4) is to be effective in several States, the participant States shall take the lead in reaching an agreed basis. If within six months from the legal business arising no agreed ruling has been laid down, the competence for such an act passes, upon request by one of the States or one of the parties participating in the matter, to the competent Federal Ministry. The details can be settled by federal laws promulgated under Articles 11, 12, 14 (2) and (3), and 14a (3) and (4).

   8. In matters reserved to federal legislation in conformity with Articles 11 and 12, the Federation is entitled to control the observance of the regulations it has issued.

   9. States are competent within the scope of their legislation to make likewise in the field of civil and criminal law the provisions necessary to dispose of an item.

  10. State legislation which alters or settles along the lines the existent organization of the ordinary public administration in the States, may only be promulgated with the consent of the Federal Government.

Article 15(a). Agreements Between Federation and States

   1. Federation and States can make agreements among themselves about matters within their respective sphere of competence. The conclusion of such agreements in the name of the Federation is, depending on the subject, incumbent on the Federal Government or Federal Minister. Agreements which are to be binding also on the authorities of the federal legislature can be concluded by the Federal Government only with the approval of the House of Representatives. Article 50 (3) shall by analogy be applied to such resolutions of the House of Representatives; they shall he published in the federal law Gazette.

   2. Agreements between the States can only be made about matters of their autonomous sphere of competence and must without delay be brought to the Federal Government's knowledge.

   3. The principles of international law concerning treaties shall apply to agreements within the meaning of Paragraph (1). The same applies for agreements within the meaning of Paragraph (2), save as provided otherwise by corresponding constitutional laws of the States in question.

Article 16. Implementation of Treaties

   1. The States are bound to take measures which become necessary within their autonomous sphere of competence for the implementation of international treaties; should a State fail to comply punctually with this obligation, competence for such measures, particularly issuing the necessary laws, passes to the Federation. A measure taken by the Federation pursuant to this provision, particularly issuing a law or an ordinance, becomes invalid as soon as the State has taken the requisite action.

   2. Likewise, in the implementation of treaties with foreign states, the Federation has the right of supervision in matters which belong to the autonomous sphere of competence of the States. In such case the Federation has the same rights with respect to the States as in matters of the indirect federal administration (Article 102).

Article 17. Competences Not Restricting Civil Rights

   1. The provisions of Articles 10 to 15 with regard to competence of legislation and execution in no way affects the position of the Federation as the holder of civil rights.

   2. The Federation can in all these legal relations never be placed by State legislation in a position less favorable than that of the State concerned.

Article 18.  Rule of Law

   1. The entire public administration shall be based on law.

   2. Every administrative authority can on the basis of law issue ordinances within its sphere of competence.

   3. If the immediate issue of measures, which require in accordance with the Constitution a resolution by the House of Representatives, becomes necessary to prevent obvious and irreparable damage to the community at a time when the House of Representatives is not assembled, cannot meet in time, or is impeded from action by circumstances beyond its control, the Federal President can at the recommendation of the Federal Government and on his and their responsibility take these measures by way of provisional law-amending ordinances. The Federal Government must present its recommendation with the consent of the Standing Sub-Committee to be appointed by the Main Committee of the House of Representatives (Article 55 (2)). Such an ordinance requires the countersignature of the Federal Government.

   4. Every ordinance issued in accordance with Paragraph (3) shall without delay be submitted by the Federal Government to the House of Representatives which if it is not in session at this time shall be convened by the Federal President, but if it is in session by the President of the House of Representatives, on one of the eight days following its submission. Within four weeks of the submission, the House of Representatives must either vote a corresponding federal law in place of the ordinance or pass a resolution demanding that the ordinance immediately become invalidated. In the latter case the Federal Government must immediately meet this demand. In order that the resolution of the House of Representatives may be adopted in time, the President shall at the latest submit the motion to the vote on the last day but one before expiry of the four weeks deadline; detailed provisions shall be made in the Standing Orders.

   5. The ordinances specified in Paragraph (3) may not contain an amendment to provisions of federal constitutional law and may have for their subject neither a permanent financial burden on the Federation nor a financial burden on the States, Districts, or Counties nor financial commitments for federal citizens nor an alienation of state property nor measures of matters specified in Article 10 (1) no.11 nor, finally, such as concern the right of collective association or rent protection.

Article 19. Governmental Power, Incompatibility

   1. The highest executive authorities are the Federal President, the Federal Ministers and the Secretaries of State, and the members of the State Governments.

   2. The admissibility of activities in the private sector of the economy by the authorities specified in Paragraph (1) and other public functionaries can be restricted by federal law.

Article 20. Administration

   1. Under the direction of the highest authorities of the Federation and the States elected temporary functionaries or permanent appointees conduct the administration in accordance with the provisions of the laws. They are, except for differing regulations by Constitutional laws, bound by the instructions of their superiors and responsible to these for the exercise of their office. The subordinate officer can refuse compliance with an instruction if the instruction was given by an authority not competent in the matter or compliance would infringe the criminal code.

   2. If Federal or State law has appointed for decision in the last instance a tribunal whose rulings are, according to the provisions of the law, not subject to rescission or alteration through administrative authorities and whose membership includes at least one judge, the other members of this tribunal are likewise bound by no instructions in the exercise of their office.

   3. All functionaries entrusted with administrative duties of Federation, States, and Counties are, except for differing regulations by law, pledged to secrecy about all facts of which they have obtained knowledge exclusively from their official activity and whose concealment is enjoined by the public interest or that of the parties concerned. Official secrecy does not exist for functionaries appointed by a popular representative body if it expressly asks for such information.

Article 21. Service Code

   1. Legislation and execution in matters of the service code for and staff representation rights of employees of the States, the Counties, and the County Associations are, save as provided otherwise, in all matters in Paragraph (2) and Article 14 (2) and (3)(d), incumbent on the States. The laws and ordinances issued by the States in matters of the service code may not differ in such degree from the laws and ordinances of the Federation relating to the service code as substantially to impede the alternation of service stipulated pursuant to Paragraph (4).

   2. The State laws promulgated in accordance with Paragraph (1) in the field of service contract regulations may only contain provisions dealing with establishment and severance of the employment relationship and the rights and duties arising therefrom. Legislation and execution in matters of employee protection for functionaries (Paragraph (1)) and to staff representation of States functionaries, in so far as they are not engaged in public enterprises, are incumbent on the States. In so far as in accordance with this paragraph the States are not competent, the aforementioned matters fall within the competence of the Federation.

   3. The service prerogative with regard to employees of the Federation is exercised by the highest authorities of the Federation, the service prerogative with regard to employees of the States by the highest authorities of the States. The service prerogative with regard to the employees of the Auditing Board is exercised on behalf of the Federation by the president of the Auditing Board.

   4. The possibility of an alternation of service between the Federation, the States, the Counties, and the County Associations pertains guaranteed at all times to public employees. The alternation of service will take place with the agreement of the authorities competent to exercise the service prerogative. Special arrangements to facilitate the alternation of service can be made by federal law.

   5. Official titles for the functionaries of the Federation, the States, the Counties, and the County Associations can be laid down by federal law in a standardized form. Their use is safeguarded by law.

Article 22. Mutual Assistance

All authorities of the Federation, the States, and the Counties are bound within the framework of their legal sphere of competence to render each other mutual assistance.

Article 23. State Liability

   1. The Federation, the States, the Districts, the Counties, and the other bodies and institutions established under public law are liable for the injury which persons acting on their behalf in execution of the laws have by illegal behavior culpably inflicted on whomsoever.

   2. Persons acting on behalf of one of the legal entities specified in Paragraph (1) are liable to it, in so far as intent or gross negligence can be laid to their charge, for the injury for which the legal entity has indemnified the injured party.

   3. Persons acting on behalf of one of the legal entities specified in Paragraph (1) are liable for the injury which in execution of the laws they have by illegal behavior inflicted directly on the legal entity.

   4. The detailed provisions with respect to Paragraphs (1) to (3) will be established by federal law.

   5. A federal law can also provide to what extent special provisions deviating from the principles laid down in Paragraph (1) to (3) above apply in the field of the postal, telegraph, and telephone system.