Cultural funding in Burgenland, Lower Austria and Vienna
From September to December 2018, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) carried out an audit of selected aspects of funding schemes for performing arts in the provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria as well as in the city of Vienna.
The audit aimed at presenting the objectives, requirements, procedures and the processing of the funding schemes. Selected aspects were compared and assessed. The audited period spanned the years from 2015 through 2017.
- As regards the preparation of the cultural reports, the provinces of Burgenland and Lower Austria as well as the city of Vienna should ensure a coordinated approach to render the funds comprised in the individual main categories comparable; they could consider, for example, a uniform approach for the documentation of funds provided for festivals in the main category “large-scale events”.
- The province of Burgenland should indicate all funds provided for performing arts in its cultural reports; the province of Lower Austria should indicate all funds for performing arts granted from provincial funds in the cultural reports.
- The province of Lower Austria should refrain from any further funding to the FESTSPIELE REICHENAU Ges.m.b.H. as the ascertained procedures and contractual relations between the FESTSPIELE REICHENAU Ges.m.b.H. and two other companies as well as the use of funds by the FESTSPIELE REICHENAU Ges.m.b.H., which benefited from the support schemes, were to be considered as lacking in transparency, violating procurement laws and uneconomical. Furthermore, the conflicts of interest arising from close family relations in the ascertained corporate structure have remained unresolved.
- The most recent funding of EUR 462,000 should be reclaimed from the province of Lower Austria as retroactively as possible as the FESTSPIELE REICHENAU Ges.m.b.H., in violation of the funding agreement, had failed to comply with public procurement law and recently paid about EUR 215,500 to company B instead of company A.
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