External Reporting Office for Breaches of EU Law

The external reporting office pursuant to the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG) accepts reports of breaches of EU law as listed in the Annex to the EU Whistleblowing Directive 2019/1937 that fall within the legislative competence of the Province of Vienna.

The reporting office's remit primarily covers infringements in the following areas:

  • Public procurement
  • Financial services, financial products and financial markets, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Product safety and compliance
  • Transport safety
  • Protection of the environment
  • Radiation protection and nuclear safety
  • Food and feed safety, animal health and animal welfare
  • Public health
  • Consumer protection
  • Protection of privacy and personal data, and security of network and information systems

Persons reporting such breaches are referred to as "whistleblowers" and are protected from retaliation (German) by the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act.

Who can report?

The External Reporting Office accepts reports from any individual who has obtained information about a breach in a work-related context, in particular whistleblowers who work in the private or public sector and have obtained information about a breach of Union law pursuant to this Act.

This includes primarily:

  • Workers, including civil servants, as well as contract workers and temporary agency staff
  • Trainees, volunteers and apprentices
  • Self-employed persons and freelancers
  • Persons belonging to the administrative, management or supervisory body of a legal entity
  • Persons working under the supervision and direction of contractors, subcontractors and suppliers

It also includes:

  • Persons who have applied for one of the above positions or have since ended their work relationship with the entity in question, if they obtained information about breaches during the recruitment process or during their past work relationship.
  • Shareholders of legal entities in the private sector who have, in connection with their professional activity related to this entity, obtained information on breaches in matters of Viennese provincial and municipal law in which the Province of Vienna has legislative competence.

How to report

If you want to report an infringement, you can first get confidential and free advice pursuant to Art. 21 of the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG) (German).

You can make your report

  • by online form (German)
  • by email
  • by phone - phone calls are not recorded
  • in person - by appointment only

To submit a report or make an appointment, please contact the office by phone or by email:

Only the Reporting Office has access to your data. Please always contact the Reporting Office directly to ensure the confidentiality of your report.

The Reporting Office scrutinizes the validity of all reports and documents them.

If necessary, the Reporting Office will arrange appropriate follow-up measures, such as an investigation. You will receive written confirmation within 7 days that your report has been received. You will hear back from the Reporting Office at the latest 3 months after your report.

If necessary, the External Reporting Office may ask you to provide further information and details.

Data protection information

The data you provide in the context of your report will be processed for the purpose of processing your report and for any questions that may arise. More information on data protection:

Confidentiality and protection of whistleblowers from retaliation

If you have sufficient reason to believe that the information about breaches that you have obtained is true and that the breaches fall within the material competence of the Reporting Office, you are protected by law as a whistleblower:

  • If you have sufficient reason to believe that the report is necessary to uncover a breach, you are not in violation of official secrecy.
  • Anonymous reports are permitted.
  • Your identity may only be disclosed with your explicit consent to any persons who are not entrusted with the tasks of the Reporting Office. An exception to this is made if disclosing the identity is necessary for administrative or judicial proceedings with regard to the purpose of the proceedings or to safeguard the rights of the person concerned and is deemed proportionate to any possible threat to the whistleblower. In such a case you as the whistleblower must be notified in writing of the disclosure, stating reasons.
  • No retaliations may be made against you as a whistleblower in reaction to your report. Such retaliations include, e.g., suspension or dismissal, reduction in wages or harassment. A list of things that are considered retaliations is given in Art. 20 of the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG).
  • If you experience retaliations, you can demand these measures to be taken back or claim compensation for financial or personal damage suffered. In proceedings relating to such matters, the burden of proof is not on you.
  • As whistleblower, you are not liable for the factual or legal consequences of a justified report.

Please note that knowingly reporting false information about breaches is an administrative offense.

The measures for the protection of whistleblowers also apply to:

  • Natural persons who assist a whistleblower in reporting a breach of law.
  • Natural persons with ties to the whistleblower who might be subjected to retaliatory measures in a work-related context, such as colleagues or relatives.
  • Legal entities that the whistleblowers owns fully or in part, works for, or are otherwise connected to in a work-related context.

Reporting requirements pursuant to Art. 9 W-HSchG

Pursuant to Art. 9(2) of the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG), the External Reporting Office for Breaches of EU Law, as an external reporting office of the Province of Vienna, is required to provide certain information. This is detailed in Art. 9(2) of the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG) (German).

Legal basis

Reporting to other reporting offices

Regardless of whether you make a report to the External Reporting Office of the Province of Vienna, you also have the right to make a report to an internal reporting office pursuant to Art. 10 of the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act (W-HSchG), such as the Vienna Whistleblower System (Wiener Hinweisgeber*innen-System). More information, including on the advice you can get, is available on the web pages of the Executive Group for Personnel and Internal Auditing, Internal Auditing and Compliance Group of the City of Vienna (German).

You can also contact the federal government's external reporting office. This is set up in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Whistleblower Protection Act ("Bundesgesetz über das Verfahren und den Schutz bei Hinweisen auf Rechtsverletzungen in bestimmten Rechtsbereichen" - "HinweisgeberInnenschutzgesetz" - HSchG) (German). It is responsible, in particular, for receiving reports of violations of those acts of the Union that fall within the competence of the federal legislature.

Further information

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