COVID-19 – Aid measures
In its report published today on "COVID-19 – Structure and Scope of the Financial Aid Measures“, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) presents a systematic overview of the financial aid measures provided by the Federal Government and the provinces to address the COVID-19 pandemic – namely in the period between March 2020 and 30 September 2020. The report depicts the complexity, intricacy and comprehensiveness of the financial flows and presents the beneficiary groups of the financial aid. The audit aimed at creating transparency on the use of public funds.
The ACA considers “financial aid measures” as non-monetary aid – such as grants, in-kind benefits, liabilities, guarantees and loans. The report also covers public revenue shortfalls – such as foregone revenue.
For the audited period, an overall volume of EUR 52.180 billion was available for financial aid measures. Of this overall volume, EUR 21.332 billion, namely 40.9 per cent, were transformed into concrete financial aid until end-September 2020, of which about EUR 20.900 billion were borne by the Federal Government and some EUR 432 billion by the provinces.
The financial aid measures of the Federal Government were mainly aimed at the following areas: economy (EUR 6.410 billion) and labour market (EUR 5.049 billion) as well as financial aid measures in connection with foregone revenue or the deferral of revenue (EUR 6.967 billion).
Comprehensive financial flows, many interfaces, great need for coordination
Overall, 89 financial aid measures of the Federal Government were reported to the ACA. In 38 cases the Federal Government commissioned third parties, so-called intermediaries, with their implementation. In doing so, the ministries resorted largely to already existing settlement agencies. The COVID-19 Federal Financing Agency (COFAG) was the only newly established agency. Intermediaries, i.e. third parties, were commissioned also in the provinces with the implementation of the aid measures.
It has become evident that the considerable number of involved players (federal ministries, provinces and intermediaries) at the federal and provincial level substantially increased the complexity and resulted in a lack of clarity. The numerous interfaces required coordination within and between the federal ministries and local authorities. In its report, the ACA therefore presented all financial flows related to the COVID-19 aid measures.
As regards the financial aid provided by the Federal Government, applications had to be filed for more than half of the measures. At the federal level, some 1,74 million applications for financial aid measures were submitted by 30 September 2020.
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Report: COVID-19 – Structure and Scope of the COVID-19 Financial Aid Measures (in German)
The tackling of the COVID-19 pandemic required the public sector to quickly implement financial aid measures with a considerable use of public funds and the involvement of a large number of organizational units. Consequently and more than ever, all levels of government, namely the federal government and the federal provinces, as well as all funding and support agencies have been called upon to contribute their part and to interact.
This interactive graph allows you to filter the financial aid benefits by levels of government (Federal Government and provinces) as well as by types of aid. Furthermore, you can download the results as Excel and PDF files.