Disclosure of Publicly Funded Studies Enshrined in Law

29.08.2022

New Amendment Regulates the Publication of Studies

Since 27 July 2022, the Austrian National Council has explicitly stipulated through an amendment to the Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG) that studies commissioned by the public sector and financed with taxpayers' money must be published.

The Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), as well as the Center for Innovation Systems & Policy of the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Joanneum Research POLICIES had already committed themselves on 28 January 2022 in a joint Memorandum of Understanding on the principles of scientific integrity in publicly financed contract studies to publish them as a matter of principle. Exceptions must be justified at the time of commissioning. If completed research and analysis results are actively communicated to the public, the underlying publications must be made available to the public in full.

The corresponding legal anchoring has now been made within the framework of an amendment to the Federal Constitutional Law. The new paragraph of section 20 of the Federal Constitution Law states that all federal, provincial and municipal administrative bodies are obliged to "publish studies, expert opinions and surveys commissioned by them, together with their costs, in a manner accessible to everyone, as long as and insofar as their secrecy is not required in accordance with paragraph 3".

WIFO welcomes this regulation as a confirmation of the "Memorandum of Understanding". The publication of studies is not only appropriate for reasons of transparency. It also ensures that studies, which can form the basis for political decisions, can be viewed and consulted by all those involved in the political discourse: the content and quality of the studies are thus publicly accessible to all and can be evaluated by all.

The press release of IHS is available here (in German).

Please contact

Mag. Dr. Jürgen Janger, MSc

Function: Senior Economist
Research groups: Industrial Economics, Innovation and International Competition
© Frederic Köberl/Unsplash
© Frederic Köberl/Unsplash