Austrian Energy Agency
From July to October 2020, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit at the association "Verein Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency" and at its wholly-owned subsudiary "Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency GmbH".
The audit aimed at outlining and assessing the legal framework conditions of the association and its subsidiary, the performance of tasks by its bodies, the governance as well as the organization and the economic situation. The audited period essentially spanned the years from 2017 through 2019.
- The “Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency” should lay down the meeting procedures for the executive committee and the board either in the statutes or in the rules of procedure yet to be issued. In the spirit of transparency and the quality of decision-making, deadlines for convening meetings should be set and regulations for determining the agenda and providing documents should be made so that the participants in the meetings have sufficient time to prepare the topics to be discussed.
- In the interest of ensuring professional corporate governance, the “Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency” should set up a monitoring or supervisory body to monitor the executive body and the management of the Energy Agency in the fulfilment of their tasks. Alternatively, a functional and organizational separation of the executive committee and the board according to management and supervisory tasks could be considered.
- In order to safeguard good corporate governance, the “Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency” should anchor the application of the Federal Public Corporate Governance Code in its rules and regulations as well as in the managing director's contract, align the corporate management accordingly and prepare a corporate governance report. In addition, it should also implement the relevant provisions of the Austrian Governance Code for non-profit organizations or refrain from referring to an “alignment with the NPO Code” on its website.
- The Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology should – within the framework of its representation in the association's bodies – ensure a higher degree of publicity and more transparency about the financial situation of the “Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency”, e.g. through the annual publication of the financial statements broken down according to the requirements for large associations.
- The Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology should develop strategic provisions for membership in the association “Österreichische Energieagentur – Austrian Energy Agency”, in which – in the sense of an equity interest strategy – the goals and principles for its participation in the association’s bodies and the coordination of the ministry’s specialized departments entrusted with matters pertaining to the association are defined.
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