Follow-up audits by the ACA
Today, the Austrian Court of Audit (ACA) published three follow-up reports: "New Invalidity Pension", "Federal Monuments Authority Austria" and "Gender Aspects in Income Tax Law with a Focus on Earnings Tax". The Federal Monuments Authority Austria implemented all recommendations either fully or partly. As regards the “New Invalidity Pension”, some recommendations remained unheeded. In total, 71 per cent of the assessed recommendations were implemented either fully or in part.
"New Invalidity Pension":
far more beneficiaries than presumed
In its preceding report, the ACA observed that the savings of EUR 649 million forecast by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs for the period 2014-2018 were not realistic and unlikely to occur. Instead, additional expenses between EUR 100 million to EUR 200 million were to be expected. In the preceding report, the ACA’s auditors recommended to the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs to re-examine and, if need be, update the presumptions made on the “New Invalidity Pension” by means of the data available. The deviations observed between the presumptions indicated in the government bill and the actual values for 2015 also applied largely for 2018. For example, still about four times as many persons as planned had to undergo medical rehabilitation. In concrete terms: the actual number of beneficiaries of rehabilitation allowance amounted to 19,841 in 2018, while only 5,536 had been presumed. Also the average period during which the allowance was paid accounted for 23 months in 2018 and was almost twice as high as presumed in the government bill. The ACA notes: a financial reassessment and reorientation of the reform did not take place. It reiterates its recommendation to the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs to completely and realistically depict the parameters of the “New Invalidity Pension” and to base the future structure of the “New Invalidity Pension” on such parameters.
As regards the payment of allowances, the auditors recommended in the preceding report to define a longer period for the calculation of the rehabilitation allowance and to pursue an amendment of the act. The ACA notes that no amendments were made and that the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs did not prepare any draft laws either. It therefore considers its recommendation as not implemented.
The Federal Monuments Authority Austria implemented the recommendation on the research strategy in part
In its preceding report, the ACA recommended to the Federal Monuments Authority Austria to formulate and to assess a research strategy for the preservation of historical monuments. The auditors note that descriptions of individual departments – including their areas of responsibility, areas of focus, lead projects and strategic objectives – are available. This, however, does not comprise a comprehensive research strategy. The ACA reiterates its recommendation to formulate a research strategy and to analyse to what extent there is a need for research in order to fulfil the sovereign tasks.
Of twelve recommendations, the Federal Monuments Authority Austria implemented seven fully and four partly. The ACA could not assess the implementation of one recommendation since no case has arisen yet in which it could have been applied.
The ACA reiterates its recommendation to implement adequate measures to reduce the income gap
The follow-up audit report presented today on “Gender Aspects in Income Tax Law with a Focus on Earnings Tax” shows that of eleven assessed recommendations the Federal Ministry of Finance implemented two fully and seven in part. Two recommendations remained unheeded.
The tax reform 2015/2016 benefited mainly (almost to two-thirds) men. In its preceding report the ACA recommended to the Federal Ministry of Finance to pursue the implementation of adequate measures to reduce the gender pay gap. The ACA notes that, according to the outcome targets for the financial years of 2018 and 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance intended to counteract the pay gap between men and women, namely via gender-sensitive tax. However, according to the auditors' view, this declaration of intent does not suffice. The recommendation issued to the Federal Ministry of Finance therefore remains valid.
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Report: New Invalidity Pension; Follow-up Audit (in German)
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Report: Federal Monuments Authority Austria; Follow-up Audit (in German)
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