Vienna, 06 November 2012 Transparency database is “the most innovative eGovernment project” “With our transparency database, we have revolutionised the system of state aid and subsidies in Austria”, Austrian Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter stated, visibly gratified on the occasion of the 12th eGovernment awards.

On behalf of the panel of judges, Franz- Reinhard Habbel (spokesman of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities) presented the award at the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs. “We award this prize in recognition of exceptional successes and innovations by public authorities and social insurance entities. With its transparency database, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance has created a management tool that will serve as a model for us in Germany, as well”, Habbel said.

Up to now, municipal authorities and public institutions in Austria have handled billions of Euros in public aid each year, but have done so without any overarching strategy or controls. EUR 74 billion in state aid is disbursed to Austrian citizens in the form of subsidies. This corresponds to 26% of Austrian GDP, which means that for some years now, Austria has been at the top of the EU league tables for public subsidies. 

The transparency database has launched a new chapter in this sector and has cast much-needed light on the thicket of public aid schemes. “This means that unjustified multiple subsidies and scattershot grants of public aid and transfers are now a thing of the past”, Dr Fekter said. This tool enables the political sphere to award public aid efficiently in future, and it provides a comprehensive overview for citizens as to what subsidies and aid schemes are available for what types of individual need. The transparency database will also streamline the process of granting public aid , because up-to-the-minute data will be electronically available.

“In future, we will strive for razor-sharp precision when spending tax monies, so that the funds are deployed precisely where they are needed”, vice-chancellor and Foreign Minister Dr. Michael Spindelegger stated. He called the transparency database and the award for the “most innovative eGovernment project” an important step along the path to the future: “The transparency database is a model for success, and it is a clear signal that Austria is serious about greater transparency, efficiency and service.” He said that the project was a decisive milestone in modernising Austria’s public administration and will secure Austria’s leading position in the realm of eGovernment. 

“We, too, are gratified again and again to be able to highlight and present outstanding achievements such as these to a broader public” – these concluding remarks came from Mr Jon Abele, on behalf of the representatives of organisers BearingPoint and CISCO (acting under the auspices of the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Dr Hans-Peter Friedrich) .