General information on the Austrian Federal Budget Reform

The federal budget reform of the Austrian federal government is creating a mechanism for managing and using tax revenues more effectively and efficiently

The new Federal Medium-Term Expenditure Framework Act (BFRG) that has been developed in the context of the federal budget reform enables the government, for the first time, to plan the budget over the medium term: The BFRG prescribes binding ceilings on expenditures for four years in advance with respect to five “headings”, which correspond to the main functions of the federal government. This supports the sustainable development of the federal budget.

The federal ministers are now permitted to use budget funds in subsequent years when they have not been used during the year of appropriation. This combats “December fever” (full disbursement of budget funds by the end of the year) and creates a major incentive for the frugal use of tax funds. In the course of the federal budget reform, budgetary management is being reoriented towards achieving objectives and outcomes. One of these objectives is gender equality between women and men (gender budgeting).

The federal budget reform is being implemented in two stages – the first stage was brought into effect on 1 January 2009 and the second stage was entered into force on 1 January 2013.