Controlling the political parties
The Austrian Court of Audit also audits the expenses and the financing of the political parties. However, in comparison to the other tasks of the Austrian Court of Audit, this cannot be regarded as a real audit. The political parties submit their reports and figures, which are then being checked by auditors, who are, however, not allowed to look into the bills and documents on site. The particular tasks are regulated by the Political Parties Act 2012.
The political parties have to compile annual accountability reports on their finances. This obligation exists whether political parties receive funding or not. All the political parties must have their respective reports audited and signed by two chartered accountants. The Austrian Court of Audit appoints these chartered accountants for a period of five years. The political parties must submit their accountability reports of the respective previous year to the Austrian Court of Audit each year by 30 September.
Individual donations exceeding 2.537,50 EUR (resp. 2,500 EUR till 2019 and 50.000 EUR till 2018) have to be immediately reported by the political and campaigning parties to the Austrian Court of Audit.
Over 6,000 legal entities are subject to audits by the Austrian Court of Audit. Once every year they are being queried whether they have concluded legal transactions with businesses in which political parties hold a share. The corresponding information is published on the website of the Austrian Court of Audit (only in German).
The particular tasks are regulated by the Political Parties Act 2012.