Rechnungshof

Financial Target Control System in Health Care, Disciplinary Regulations for Federal Employees

Today, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) published two reports.

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Report: Financial Target Control System in Health Care

From April to October 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit carried out an audit of the financial target control system in health care, which had been established through the healthcare reform in 2013. The audit was performed at the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, at the Gesundheit Österreich GmbH and in all provinces of Austria. The auditors addressed the issues of whether the financial target control system had traceably contributed to curbing the healthcare expenditure of the provinces in the target control period 2012-2016 and to what extent the concomitant monitoring had created transparency and comparability with regard to such expenditure.

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Central recommendations

  1. The Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, all provinces and the City of Vienna should, in their capacity as partners in the target control system, define, together with the social insurance providers, ambitious expenditure ceilings based on current data.
  2. The Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, all provinces and the City of Vienna should, in the future, also indicate in the monitoring reports investment grants provided by public donors to hospitals financed via provincial health funds.
  3. All provinces and the City of Vienna should carry out a traceable and transparent evaluation and allocation of the contributions to be made by the different provinces to attain the financial targets.
  4. All provinces and the City of Vienna should attach to the operational healthcare-related targets and measures an assessment of the related financial impacts in order to subsequently prioritize them and to be able to evaluate the attainment of the financial targets.
  5. The Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection and the Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice should jointly prepare a concrete draft for the implementation of the separation of competences in healthcare as envisaged in the 2017-2022 Government Programme and strengthen, in the framework of negotiations with the provinces, in particular the role of the Federation in hospital planning.

Disziplinarwesen der Bundesbediensteten

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Report: Disciplinary Regulations for Federal Employees

In the second half of 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit of the disciplinary regulations for federal employees at the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport. The audit focused on the effectiveness of disciplinary law with particular consideration of the responsibility of the superior and the administrative authorities as regards the handling of violations of official duties. Against the backdrop of the increasing number of contractual employees in public service, the ACA also audited this area. The audited period spanned the years from 2014 through 2018.

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Central recommendations

  1. The Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport should prepare a government bill, which – in the spirit of professionalization, improved quality, balanced workload, uniform jurisdiction and cost transparency – provides for the pooling of disciplinary proceedings at a central disciplinary commission that is responsible for all civil servants. This should also include a corresponding reporting system as well as the possibility to traceably evaluate and, if need be, enable the membership of contractual employees in such a disciplinary commission. – already IMPLEMENTED*
  2. Furthermore, a government bill should be prepared that lays down the obligation of the superior to report the instructions and admonishments issued, in disclosing the civil servant concerned, to the administrative authority. With this government bill, the admonishment should also be anchored as a measure to penalize minor violations of official duties in the Contractual Public Employees Act 1948 Vertragsbedienstetengesetz 1948) based on the Civil Servants Act 1979 (Beamten–Dienstrechtsgesetz 1979) (documented communication, disposal of the records after three years). This bill should also contain the obligation of the superior to report the admonishments issued, in disclosing the contractual public employee concerned, to the human resources department.
  3. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport should observe and document the length of disciplinary proceedings and their interruptions and use indicators on the quality of the proceedings in the framework of internal reporting.
  4. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport should ensure that the instructions and admonishments issued to civil servants and contractual public employees are transmitted, within their scope of competence, to the administrative authorities and the human resources departments.

* The central recommendation addressed to the Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport was implemented in the framework of the Second Amendment to the Public Service Act 2019 (2. Dienstrechts-Novelle 2019), Federal Law Gazette I 58/2019.