The Cultural Policy Act (1993) regulates the subsidies based on cultural policy decisions and enables the Minister to create funds to finance the arts and culture. Part of the funds can be allocated directly by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (for consecutive four-year periods) to uphold the national basic infrastructure (see chapter 1.1). As dictated by the Cultural Policy Act, subsidy decisions are based on advice by the national Council for Culture. The Minister or Secretary of Culture, however, makes the final decisions. Deviations from the advice need to be substantiated as a consequence of the General Administrative Law Act. As a rule, the Minister or Secretary follows the advice by the Council.
Other funds from the state are running through six state culture funds. These funds are operated at arm’s length. The Minister decides the quantity of money reserved for them and has to approve all arrangements. The Cultural Policy Act was subject to alterations in 2012, related to the restructuring of the subsidy system. As of 2013, the Law for Autonomous Administrative Bodies applies to cultural funds subsidised by central government. Autonomous administrative bodies are part of central government, but they are not part of the Ministry. Although they are autonomous, their tasks are laid down by law and the Minister has authority over these organisations. In principle, the Minister is accountable to parliament for the Ministry’s decisions. Furthermore, the funds’ policies and criteria are subject to advice from the Council for Culture. Apart from the Cultural Policy Act, there are some sector- specific laws for implementing arts funding (see chapter 4.2).