Control of Public Accounts and Administration of Public Funds

Chapter V

Control of Public Accounts and Administration of Public Funds

Article 121 Auditing Board

   1. The Auditing Board is competent to examine the administration of public funds by Federation, States, County Associations, Counties and other legal entities determined by law.

   2. The Auditing Board draws up the final Federal budget accounts and submits them to the House of Representatives. The contents of the final Federal budget accounts may not be published before the beginning of the debate thereon in the House of Representatives.

   3. All vouchers about financial debts of the Federation, in so far as they result in liability on the part of the Federation, shall be countersigned by the President of the Auditing Board or, should he be impeded, by his deputy. The countersignature guarantees only the legality of the debt incurred and its proper entry in the National Debt ledger.

Article 122. Responsibility, Independence, Establishment

   1. The Auditing Board is directly subordinate to the House of Representatives. It acts in matters pertaining to Federal administration of public funds as agent for the House of Representatives, in matters pertaining to States, County Associations, and local administration of public funds as agent for the State Parliament concerned.

   2. The Auditing Board is independent of the Federal Government and the State Governments and subject only to the provisions of the law.

   3. The Auditing Board consists of a President, a Vice-President, and the requisite officials and auxiliary personnel.

   4. The President and Vice-President of the Auditing Board are elected on the proposal of the Main Committee of the House of Representatives. Before their assumption of office they render an affirmation to the Federal President.

   5. The President and the Vice-President of the Auditing Board may neither belong to any popular representative body nor may they, during the past four years, have held office in the Federal Government.

Article 123. President of the Board

   1. With regard to accountability, the President of the Auditing Board has the same status as members of the Federal Government or members of the State Government concerned, depending on whether the Auditing Board acts as agent of the House of Representatives or a State Parliament.

   2. The President and/or the Vice-President of the Auditing Board can be relieved of office by a vote of the House of Representatives.

Article 123(a). Pariticipation in Debates

   1. The President and the Vice-President of the Auditing Board are entitled to participate in the debates by the House of Representatives and its committees (sub-committees) on reports by the Auditing Board, on the final Federal budget accounts, and on the sections relating to the Auditing Board in the Federal Finance bill.

   2. The President of the Auditing Board has, in accordance with the detailed provisions of the Federal law on the House of Representatives' Standing Orders, always the right to be heard at his own request in the debates on the subjects listed in Paragraph (1).

Article 124. Temporary Discharge

   1. Should the President of the Auditing Board be prevented from the discharge of his responsibilities, the Vice-President will act for him, and if the Vice-President too is impeded, the senior official of the Auditing Board will deputize. This also holds good if the office of President is vacant. Who shall act in the House of Representatives as deputy for the President of the Auditing Board is settled by the Federal law on the House of Representatives' Standing Orders.

   2. If someone deputizes for the President, the provisions of Article 123 (1) apply to the deputy.

Article 125. Appointment

   1. The officials of the Auditing Board are appointed by the Federal President upon the recommendation and with the countersignature of the President of the Auditing Board; the same applies to granting official titles. The Federal President may, however, authorize the President of the Auditing Board to appoint officials of certain categories.

   2. The President of the Auditing Board appoints the auxiliary personnel.

Article 126. Incompatibilities

No member of the Auditing Board may be a participant in the management and administration of enterprises subject to control by the Auditing Board. Just as little may a member of the Auditing Board participate in the management and administration of any other enterprises operating for profit.

Article 126(a). Ruling About Competence

Should divergences of opinion arise between the Auditing Board and the Federal Government or a Federal Minister or a State Government on interpretation of the legal provisions which prescribe the competence of the Auditing Board, the Constitutional Court, upon request by the Federal or State Government or the Auditing Board, decides the issue in closed proceedings. The Procedure will be prescribed by Federal law.

Article 126(b). Scope of Examination

   1. The Auditing Board shall examine the entire management, of the Federation and, furthermore, the financial administration of endowments, funds, and institutions administered by Federal authorities or persons or groups of persons appointed for this purpose by authorities of the Federation.

   2. The Auditing Board also examines the financial administration of enterprises where the Federation is either the sole participant or holds at least fifty percent of the share capital together with other legal entities falling within the competence of the Auditing Board or where the Federation is either their sole or joint operator with other such legal entities. Such a financial participation shall be deemed equivalent to the control of enterprises by other financial, economic, or organizational measures. Moreover, the competence of the Auditing Board extends to enterprises of any additional category where the conditions pursuant to this paragraph exist.

   3. The Auditing Board is competent to examine the financial administration of corporations under public law using Federal funds.

   4. The Auditing Board shall, on a vote by the House of Representatives or at the request of House of Representatives members, carry out special measures of investigation into financial administration which falls into its sphere of competence. The more detailed regulation will be laid down by the Federal law on the House of Representatives' Standing Orders. The Auditing Board shall likewise carry out such measures at the substantiated request of the Federal Government or a Federal Minister and report the result to the applicant authority.

   5. Examination by the Auditing Board shall extend to arithmetical correctness, compliance with existing regulations, and the employment of thrift, efficiency and expediency.

Article 126(c). Financial Examination

The Auditing Board is competent to examine the financial administration of the social insurance institutions.

Article 126(d). Annual Report

   1. The Auditing Board annually renders the House of Representatives, not later than 15 October, in any year a report on its activities. The Auditing Board can also, at any time, report to the House of Representatives its observations on individual matters and, if necessary, make proposals. The Auditing Board must simultaneously with its submission to the House of Representatives inform the Federal Chancellor of every report. The annual report of the Auditing Board on its activities shall be published; a publication of the contents may not, however, ensue before the beginning of the House of Representatives deliberation.

   2. A Standing Committee shall be appointed by the House of Representatives to discuss the reports of the Auditing Board. Its appointment shall maintain the principle of proportional representation.

Article 127. State Examination

   1. The Auditing Board shall examine the financial administration of the States in their autonomous sphere of competence as well as the financial administration of endowments, funds, and institutions administered by the authorities of a State or persons of groups of persons appointed for the purpose by authorities of the State. The examination shall extend to arithmetical correctness, compliance with existing regulations, and the employment of thrift, efficiency, and expedience in the financial administration; it shall not, however, include the resolutions passed by the constitutionally competent representative bodies with respect to the financial administration.

   2. The State Governments shall annually transmit to the Auditing Board the budget estimates and the final budget accounts.

   3. The Auditing Board also examines the financial administration of enterprises where the State is either the sole participant or holds at least fifty per cent of the share capital together with other legal entities falling within the competence of the Auditing Board or where the State is either their sole or joint operator with other such legal entities. As regards the concept of financial participation, Article 126b (2) applies analogously. The competence of the Auditing Board also extends to enterprises of any additional category where the conditions pursuant to this paragraph exist.

   4. The Auditing Board is competent to examine the financial administration of corporations under public law using State funds.

   5. The Auditing Board shall inform the State Government of the result of its examination for submission to the State Parliament and for the delivery, if need be, of comment which must be made within three weeks. The State Government shall, within three months, advise the Auditing Board of the measures taken by reason of the result of the examination.

   6. The Auditing Board shall also notify the Federal Government of the report rendered to the State Parliament together with any possible comment by the State Government.

   7. The Auditing Board shall, at the substantiated request of a State Government, carry out special measures of examination into financial administration which fall into its sphere of competence and report the result to the applicant authority.

   8. The provisions of this Article also hold good for the examination into the financial administration of the City of Vienna, the County Parliament taking the place of the State Parliament, and the Town Senate taking the place of the State Government.

Article 127(a). County Examination

   1. The Auditing Board shall examine the financial administration of Counties with at least 20,000 inhabitants as well as the financial administration of endowments, funds, and institutions administered by the authorities of a County or persons or groups of persons appointed for the purpose by the authorities of a County. The examination shall extend to the arithmetical correctness, compliance with existing regulations, and the employment of thrift, efficiency, and expediency in the financial administration.

   2. The Mayor shall annually transmit to the Auditing Board and simultaneously to the State Government the budget estimates and the final budget accounts.

   3. The calculation shall also examine the financial administration of enterprises where a County with at least 20,000 inhabitants is either the sole participant or holds at least fifty per cent of the share capital together with other legal entities falling within the competence of the Auditing Board or where the County is either their sole or joint operator with other such legal entities. As regards the concept of financial participation, Article 126b (2) applies analogously. The competence of the Auditing Board also extends to enterprises of any additional category where the conditions pursuant to this paragraph exist.

   4. The Auditing Board is competent to examine the financial administration of corporations under public law using funds of a County with at least 20,000 inhabitants.

   5. The Auditing Board shall inform the Mayor of the result of its examination for submission to the County Parliament and for the delivery of possible comment which must be made within three weeks. Upon the expiry of this deadline, the Auditing Board transmits the result of the examination together with the possibly accompanying comment to the State Government which informs the State Parliament of the submission. The Mayor shall, within three months, advise the Auditing Board of the measures taken by reason of the result of the examination.

   6. The Auditing Board shall also inform the Federal Government of the result of its examination of the financial administration.

   7. The Auditing Board shall also, at the substantiated request of the competent State Government, examine in individual cases the financial administration of Counties with less than 20,000 inhabitants and inform the State Government of the result of this examination. Paragraphs (1) and (3) apply analogously.

   8. The provisions applying for the examination of the financial administration of Counties with at least 20,000 inhabitants shall apply analogously to the examination of the financial administration of County Associations.

Article 128. Auditing Law

The more detailed provisions about the establishment and activity of the Auditing Board will be laid down by Federal law.