Federal authorities operating in Vienna

The Republic of Austria has established a number of authorities to perform federal tasks. The most important authorities of this kind are the following:

School Authorities

The Education Reform Act 2017 (Bildungsreformgesetz, Federal Law Gazette I No 138/2017) has brought substantial changes to the school system. By 31 December 2018 the Provincial School Boards (in Vienna: Vienna School Board), which had been in charge of school administration in the federal provinces, were dissolved. As at 1 January 2019 an Board of Education (Bildungsdirektion) was established for each federal province as joint authority of the federal state and the respective federal province. For Vienna, this is the Vienna Board of Education.

The Boards of Education are responsible for executing school legislation in accordance with sec 14 of the Austrian Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG). This includes tasks like quality assurance, school supervision and educational evaluation, unless these tasks are formally assigned to other authorities for individual sections of the education system (e.g. central education and training facilities - Zentrallehranstalten). Boards of Education are also generally in charge of executing teacher employment laws and staff representation rights for teachers employed at provincial or federal level.

The Education Director is the head of the Board of Education. She or he is appointed by the competent federal minister upon proposal and in consultation with the Governor of the province in question.

It can be stipulated by provincial law that the Governor acts as President of the Board of Education.


The establishment and management of universities and university-like colleges are federal matters and as such do not fall within the competence of provinces or municipalities.

Federal financial administration

The financial administration of the federal state is carried out by federal authorities established for that purpose.

Every local office of the Tax Authority Austria (Finanzamt Österreich) offices in Vienna is responsible for several municipal districts at a time. Complaints against decisions taken by a tax office can be submitted directly to the Federal Fiscal Court.

The City of Vienna has no influence on any of these authorities.

Courts of general jurisdiction

One of the fundamental principles of the Austrian Federal Constitution provides that "all general jurisdiction is a federal matter", i.e. general jurisdiction is exclusively in the hands of the federal state (- as stipulated in sec 82 para 1 of the Federal Constitutional Act).

Vienna is the seat of the supreme court of justice (and the other supreme courts, i.e. the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Administrative Court). Jurisdiction at provincial level (and beyond, in some cases) rests with the Vienna regional court for civil matters, the Vienna regional court for criminal matters, the Vienna commercial court and the Vienna labour and social security court. Additionally, the Vienna supreme provincial court (which is in charge of the federal provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland) as well as several district courts are located in Vienna. Vienna has the right to participate in the nomination of juries and lay assessors.

Public Employment Service Austria

As of 1 July 1994, the provision of labour market services (e.g. unemployment counselling) was transferred from direct federal administration to a service enterprise under public law: Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) (German).

AMS is made up of one federal office, nine provincial and several regional offices.

Social insurance institutions

Social insurance institutions, e.g. health insurance, general accident insurance and pension insurance, are set up as self-governing bodies. They are composed of representatives of the groups immediately concerned and, in matters pertaining to their independent own sphere of competence, they are not subject to directions but only to supervision by the federal authorities.


Chambers carry out specific (federal) tasks in Austria. Chambers established include the Chamber of Labour, the Economic Chamber, the Chamber of Agriculture, the Medical Society and the Law Society. They are also responsible for disciplinary mat-ters with respect to their members.

Other federal authorities operating in Vienna

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City of Vienna | Executive Office for General Matters
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