Public Management Reforms in Austria

Promberger Kurt/Rauskala Iris/Franziska Cecon
Working Paper No. 15, Zentrum für Verwaltungsmanagement (Universität Innsbruck) und Institut für Public Management (Europäische Akademie Bozen) 2004


Public sector reform in Austria is a `never ending story`. Each new elected government is writing a new chapter in this incredible book. In more recent history, these chapters are representing different reform initiatives, which are labelled `public management project` (1989 until 1993) or `administration innovation programme I and II (1999 until now). In the mid 1990s the `new public management` wave or revolution reached Austria. Politicians, top officials and political interest groups have been calling for the implementation of key NPM instruments via media reports, party platforms and government white papers. Public management reform reached a new level of attention after a fundamental change in federal government form a centre-left to a centre-right coalition in the year 2000. A long lasting period of social-democratic involvement in federal government had ended. The new era gives inpetus for further public sector renewal.

The structure of this working paper follows public management reforms at all three levels of government. In chapter one there is a general introduction about Austrian political-administrative system, highlighting special characteristics. Chapter two concentrates on federal reforms, focussing first on the general background to continue with details to the various reform fields, and finally ending with concluding remarks. Chapter three and four follow this structure on provincial and municipal level respectivley.

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