Rechnungshof

Publication of two new reports

04.10.19 - Access to commercial and industrial professions and Smart Minerals GmbH

Schaubild Gewerbliche Berufsausübung - Copyright: iStock.com/skynesher, Group4 Studio, Aleksandar Georgiev

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

Access to commercial and industrial professions

Between June and October 2017, the ACA carried out an audit at the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy on various aspects of access regulation related to the obtaining of business licences based on the Industrial Code 1994. The audit aimed at assessing the most important access requirements and obstacles for commercial and industrial professions, the efficiency and costs of administrative procedures as well as the potential for further development while taking into account the European framework conditions. The audited period essentially spanned the years from 2014 through 2017.

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Access to commercial and industrial professions

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Central recommendations

  1. In accordance with the provisions of the European Commission, the regulatory mechanisms – in particular the related bureaucratic obstacles – should be analysed and their economic impact should be assessed in order to further simplify the access to commercial and industrial professions.
  2. It would be consistent to work towards a new codification of the Industrial Code in order to create a modern, well-arranged and user-friendly guideline.
  3. The management competency in the framework of indirect federal administration, which serves to attain a transparent and nationally uniform enforcement of the Industrial Code, should be used more intensively, such as through the issuing of directives and standards. Furthermore, it should be ensured that the use of statutory discretionary powers is transparent and traceable.

Smart Minerals GmbH

In December 2018 and January 2019, the ACA carried out an audit of the Smart Minerals GmbH. As a service and research company concerned with mineral building materials as well as an accredited testing and inspection body, this company was owned one-half each by the Vienna University of Technology and a private owner, an association representing the interests of the cement industry. The audit aimed at assessing the framework conditions, the performance of tasks, the finances and the internal control system. The audited period spanned the years from 2013 through 2017.

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Smart Minerals GmbH

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Central recommendations

  1. With regard to the performance of tasks and research cooperation, the Vienna University of Technology (TU) should evaluate its original goals and plans concerning the Smart Minerals GmbH as well as the corresponding general strategy for equity investments.
  2. The TU and the Smart Minerals GmbH should intensify the scientific research activities as a basis for the framework agreement and cooperation. Furthermore, corresponding performance indicators should be developed.
  3. The TU and the Smart Minerals GmbH should evaluate the activities of the technical-scientific advisory committee with regard to its efficacy.
  4. The Smart Minerals GmbH should endeavour to increase the share of women.