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Access laws on federal and provincial level

The Austrian constitution mentions the duty of public bodies to share information with their citizens, however it also reminds officials of their pledge of secrecy.

The general approach is a duty of the authorities to provide information rather than a right of the citizen to know, the title of the law being Duty of Informing Law (Auskunftspflichtsgesetz).

Article 20 3) and 4) of the Austrian Federal Constitution (Bundesverfassungsgesetz) state:

(3) All functionaries entrusted with Federal, Laender and municipal administrative duties as well as the functionaries of other public law corporate bodies are, save as otherwise provided by law, pledged to secrecy about all facts of which they have obtained knowledge exclusively from their official activity and whose concealment is enjoined on them in the interest of the maintenance of public peace, order and security, of universal national defence, of external relations, in the interest of a public law corporate body, for the preparation of a ruling or in the preponderant interest of the parties involved (official secrecy). Official secrecy does not exist for functionaries appointed by a popular representative body if it expressly asks for such information. 

(4) All functionaries entrusted with Federation, Laender and municipal administrative duties as well as the functionaries of other public law corporate bodies shall impart information about matters pertaining to their sphere of competence in so far as this does not conflict with a legal obligation to maintain secrecy; an onus on professional associations to supply information extends only to members of their respective organizations and this inasmuch as fulfilment of their statutory functions is not impeded. The detailed regulations are, as regards the Federal authorities and the selfune administration to be settled by Federal law in respect of legislation and execution, the business of the Federation; as regards the Laender and municipal authorities and the selfadministration to be settled by Land law in respect of framework legislation, they are the business of the Federation while the implemental legislation and execution are Land business. 


The Austrian authorities have a duty to inform - unless a legal duty of secrecy prevents them from doing so.

The constitution was amended and the duty of information law was passed in 1987, it came into force on January 1. of 1988. 



The basic law is 286/1987 (Auskunftsinformations-Grundsatzgesetz) and the duty to provide information law 287/1987 (Auskunftspflichtgesetz in German and English) were passed on May 15th 1987.

An change was passed in 1998, however it only contains minor changes.

Most of the laws in the provinces, the so-called Länder, came into force in the late 1980'ies, some have been amended since.

All legal texts are available online, however some are available directly, some via a search function in a legal database.

Gesetz vom 14. Dezember 2006 über die Auskunftspflicht, die Weiterverwendung von Informationen öffentlicher Stellen sowie die Statistik des Landes Burgenland (Burgenländisches Auskunftspflicht-, Informationsweiterverwendungs- und Statistikgesetz). Passed in 2006, it came into force in February 2007.

Carinthia (Kärnten)
Kärnten, Gesetz 29/1988 über die Auskunftsfplicht in der Verwaltung des Landes und der Gemeinden.

Auskunftsgesetz 76/88, amended by 
Novelle 115/00 and Novelle 94a/06. Fhe final version is available only in German.

Auskunftspflichtgesetz (only in German). 

Gesetz über Auskunftspflicht, Datenschutz und Landesstatistik (only in German).

Styria (Steiermark)
Gesetz vom 26. Juni 1990 über die Erteilung von Auskünften (Steiermärkisches Auskunftspflichtgesetz)
Original law: 73/1990, amended by Novelle 63/1999. Only in German.

Gesetz vom 16. November 1988 über die Auskunftspflicht der Organe des Landes, der Gemeinden, der Gemeindeverbände und der übrigen durch Landesgesetz geregelten Selbstverwaltungskörper (Tiroler
Auskunftspflichtgesetz) StF: LGBl 4/1989. Only in German.

Gesetz 17/1989 über die Auskunftserteilung in der Verwaltung des Landes und  der Gemeinden

Go to the Vorarlberg legal database and type 'auskunftspflicht'.

Vienna (Wien)
Gesetz über die Auskunftspflicht (Wiener Auskunftspflichtgesetz), amended 1999.


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