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Special Tasks of the Austrian Court of Audit pursuant to the Political Parties Act

The Political Parties Act was adopted in the framework of the “transparency package” in 2012. To grant more transparency, the political parties are facing new disclosure requirements. Numerous additional tasks were consequently assigned to the Austrian Court of Audit.

Mainly, the ACA receives, audits and publishes the accountability reports of the political parties and campaigning parties, if the reports comply with the requirements of the Political Parties Act. Before being transmitted to the ACA, the accountability reports must be examined and signed by two accountants. The accountants are appointed by the ACA according to certain criteria.

Furthermore, the ACA is obliged to demand the legal entities subject to its control to report the total amount of their legal transactions concluded with the individual partner undertakings which are then published by the ACA.

Party donations of over 50,000 € must be reported immediately and are published on the ACA website. Unlawful donations must be transferred to the ACA, which is obliged to give them to either charitable or scientific organisations.

The ACA has repeatedly stressed that it does not have any original on-site examination or audit rights in the framework of the tasks assigned to it. Concerning the financial administration of a political party, the ACA is therefore limited to examining the correctness of the figures and whether the requirements of the Political Parties Act regarding the structure and elements of the accountability report are met.

The tasks conveyed to the ACA pursuant to the Political Parties Act 2012, the problems related to their implementation, and possible improvement potential are listed in the report of the ACA No. Bund 2015/10.