The "International Culture Concept" for Austria outlines the tasks, objectives and focuses for 2011 to 2014.
3.2 Overall description of the system
Even though public responsibility is clearly defined in the federal system for some specific cultural fields, public bodies (at any level of government) may take an active role in supporting all arts and cultural activities. In this case, the relations between the various governmental bodies are shaped by informal co-operation as much as by competition (see also chapter 3.3).
Cultural Administration of the Federal Republic
The basis for the administrative structure in the field of culture is the Federal Ministry Act. Since 2007, after alternating ministerial responsibilities in recent decades, arts, culture and cultural heritage were integrated into one ministry, the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture.
The legal basis of arts promotion at federal level is the Federal Arts Promotion Act, adopted in 1988, amended in 1997 and 2000 (see chapter 5). Decisions on subsidies for the arts are made upon the (non-binding) recommendations of advisory boards and juries, consisting of experts from the various branches of the arts; they give advice to the departments of art and culture of the Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture. In the Department of Arts there are advisory boards for visual arts, architecture & design, photography, video & media arts, performing arts, music, dance, film, literature, translation, publishing affairs, literature for young people, women and arts and cultural initiatives.
There are expert juries for awarding various prizes, grants and subsidies.
Both departments of bmu:kk, the Department of Culture and the Department of Arts, publish annual reports, the Arts Report (Kunstbericht) and the Culture Report (Kulturbericht). The annual Arts Report is stipulated in the Federal Arts Promotion Act and provides information on state expenditure for the arts and cultural activities. The presentation of the support payments also follows the "LIKUS system" (Länder-Initiative Kultur-Statistik, see chapter 6), which was set up in 1996 to achieve as much transparency and comparability as possible – especially between the expenditures of the Bundesländer and those of the federal level. This system organises the data by sector (e.g. literature; film and photography etc.), rather than by the administrative departments. The annual Culture Report provide information on state expenditure for the main cultural institutions (the Federal Theatres, the Federal Museums, the National Library), heritage protection, foundations (e.g. the Leopold Foundation), cultural education and cooperation between cultural institutions and schools, provenance and restitution and EU and international cultural affairs. A newsletter through which the bmu:kk and its departments provide information about their current activities and focus has been appearing two to three times a year since 2009.
International cultural policies and cooperation activities are described in the annual Austrian Foreign Policy Yearbook, published by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. The tasks, objectives and focuses for 2011 to 2014 are formulated in the "International Culture Concept", agreed in September 2011.
From 2000 to 2006, the Institute of Culture Management and Culture Studies (IKM) published annually a report on the financing of culture at the federal level, which provided detailed information on the expenditures for culture and the arts along the above mentioned LIKUS system. Publication of the report has ceased.
Cultural Administration of the Federal Provinces (Bundesländer) and Local Authorities
The Bundesländer are active in promoting culture in all relevant fields, based on elements of private law. All Bundesländer governments have at least one department that concerns itself with cultural affairs. A member of the government generally assumes the political responsibility for this department. Occasionally, some cultural competence is reserved for the governor. The legal basis of the promotion of arts and culture are the respective Cultural Promotion Acts (except Vienna), which stipulate the establishment of advisory boards and the publication of a report on the expenditure on the arts and culture. Subsidy reports are available for all the Bundesländer, except Upper Austria, which publishes a chapter "Art and Kultus" in the general annual promotion report of the country.
Laws on the Promotion of Culture have also been adopted by the federal Bundesländer, with the exception of Vienna (see chapter 3.1); Upper Austria, for example, prepared a new cultural strategy in 2009 and defined its cultural-policy funding priorities. A new Cultural Promotion Act was agreed in Tyrol in May 2010. The revision of the 1979 Cultural Promotion Act is based on an up-do-date and extended concept of culture and it anchors the new cultural trends and developments in law. The province of Tyrol thereby commits itself to the creation of favourable conditions for cultural projects.
The capitals of the Bundesländer, as well as small rural municipalities, allocate considerable resources to cultural promotion, aimed at urban institutions, libraries and adult education facilities, as well as in most cases for the local museums. Since 2000, there has been a trend towards more transparency in municipal cultural support, for example through cultural development strategies (Salzburg 2001 / evaluation 2007, Linz 2000 / interim result 2004, Krems 2006), reports on support for culture (Graz 2007, Salzburg 2007) and the establishment of advisory boards.