Who shall receive funds from impermissible donations to political parties?
Citizens are invited to make suggestions as to which child and youth care institutions shall receive money from impermissible donations made to political parties. Suggestions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via direct message on Facebook RechnungshofAT or by post (Dampfschiffstraße 2, 1030 Vienna) by 31 December 2021.
The background to this initiative is as follows: the Political Parties Act (Parteiengesetz) stipulates that “impermissible donations” shall not be transferred back to the donor but be referred to the ACA. The ACA President then shall determine which institutions “serving charitable or scientific purposes” will receive such party donations. Until now, no such case has occurred.
Three transfers of EUR 1.970 each
Two impermissible donations were revealed through the examination of the 2018 accountability report of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP):
The ÖVP Salzburg provincial parliamentary group paid an advertisement entitled “Why is it important to vote for Wilfried Haslauer and the ÖVP Salzburg on 22 April?” in the April 2018 issue of the ÖVP Salzburg members’ magazine. The costs for the advertisement – an impermissible donation – amounted to EUR 3,333.33.
Furthermore, the ÖVP Salzburg provincial parliamentary group placed an advertisement in the “Salzburger Nachrichten” in March 2018 – in run-up to the provincial parliamentary elections – for an event on the topic of “Gardening in Spring” with an expert. Since there was no substantial connection between the event and the work of the provincial parliamentary group, this is also considered to be an impermissible donation amounting to EUR 2,087.00.
The ACA also received money from an impermissible donation accounting for EUR 492.50 by the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) due to the fact that the limit for anonymous donations had been exceeded (EUR 507.50 as of 1 January 2020).
Hence, a total of EUR 5,912.83 of inadmissible donations was transferred to the ACA.
Announcement of the recipients in early 2022
The Political Parties Act does not contain any detailed provisions on how to proceed with inadmissible donations. ACA President Margit Kraker therefore decided to take the following approach:
The citizens are invited to make suggestions as to which child and youth care institutions shall be considered. The ACA President considers it important that such institutions are non-partisan and generally recognized organizations operating in Austria. The suggestions submitted by the citizens will be summarized in a list, based on which the ACA will determine by lot which three institutions will receive EUR 1,970 each. The result will be published in early 2022.