Rechnungshof

Universities: criticism regarding outside employments of professors – and: Bundesschullandheim Radstadt (federal hostel for school excursions in Radstadt, Salzburg)

10.05.2019 - The Austrian Court of Audit publishes two reports

In its most recent audit report, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) criticizes the handling of outside employments of university professors at the universities of Linz and Vienna. It recommends to ensure more transparency and to launch an initiative regarding new statutory provisions. Furthermore, both audited universities should regularly advise university professors of their obligation to report outside employments and of possible sanctions in case of non-compliance or false declarations. 

The second report concerns the Bundesschullandheim Radstadt, which is a subordinate agency of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.

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Outside Employments of University Professors

Between September 2017 and January 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit with regard to outside employments of university professors at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna. The audit aimed at presenting and assessing the legal framework conditions, the declaration of outside employments of university professors, the organizational arrangement, the impacts on the university and the role of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.

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Recommendations

  1. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the universities should discuss transparency-related regulations with regard to outside employments of university professors during the talks held on the performance agreements. Based on that, the ministry should decide on an initiative regarding new statutory provisions while taking full account of data protection requirements.
  2. Both audited universities should define the term “significant interests of the service” with regard to outside employments via a works agreement.
  3. Both audited universities should regularly advise university professors of their obligation to report outside employments and of possible sanctions in case of non-compliance or false declarations.
  4. Both audited universities should request, in case that university resources (personnel, material resources) are used for the outside employment for extrajudicial expert opinions, a corresponding declaration and assess the options for cost reimbursements.
  5. Declarations of outside employments should allow for conclusions regarding the content and possible relations to the university or the university employment.



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Bundesschullandheim Radstadt

In August 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit of the Bundesschullandheim Radstadt (federal hostel for school excursions in Radstadt, Salzburg). The audit aimed at assessing the legal and organizational framework conditions and the performance of tasks. The ACA’s auditors also performed an analysis of the development of costs.

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Recommendations

  1. The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research should assess the usefulness of running federal hostels for school excursions by way of a comprehensive value-for-money analysis. In this regard, the ministry should also re-examine the necessity of running such federal hostels. Should the federation continue to run such hostels, the responsible stakeholders should in any case aim to increase the rate of occupancy. Furthermore, the tariffs would have to be aligned with the strategic goals.
  2. The Bundesschullandheim Radstadt should improve the rate of occupancy and ensure that the planning processes are plausible.
  3. The Bundesschullandheim should employ a tariff system that differentiates between school-related activities and the education and training of teachers and federal employees on the one hand and private guests and other events on the other hand. For the latter, the Bundesschullandheim should apply tariffs that are in line with the market.