Transparency in Practice

Bezirksbudget 13.10.2016

Event data

Datum
13. 10. 2016
Host
Bezirksvertretung Innere Stadt
Location
1010Wien. Wipplingerstraße 6-8
Participants
Mag. Isabelle Jungnickel , Bezirksvorsteher-Stellvertreterin (ÖVP)

The Budget of the Inner City is presented

On 13th October 2016 an innovative event took place on the premises of the local administration of Vienna’s first district: at the instigation of the NEOS and with a unanimous decision of all local councils, the district’s budget for 2017 was presented to the public.

Admittedly, not too many interested citizens (more than half of those present were district politicians, all parties were represented) attended the event, which could be due to the fact that an event initiated by a NEOS district councilor did not receive much publicity. According to an employee of the district council, the event was announced in the Kronenzeitung and in the Wiener Zeitung. Or perhaps it was simply due to the dry material which – despite being important – did not appeal to too many people.

Together with a colleague from the city council, Mag. Isabelle Jungnickel, the deputy district leader, presented the budget in figures and concrete projects, ranging from the renovation of kindergartens to car parks, road cleaning measures (95% of the budget is allocated to snow removal – an interesting post since, in the case of little snow, this results in a significant return of the resources for the coming year), to road maintenance (the inner city devotes approx 800,000 Euro for the damage caused by “Fiaker”, horse drawn carriages) and the largest project for 2016/17: the renovation of St. Stephan’s Square.

The latter is responsible for the increase of the budget from 4.2 million € in 2016 to 14.5 million in € 2017. The 10 million Euro in expenses for the renovation, however, will for the most part be returned to the district via grants from the city and federal government.

After the presentation, one could ask the district councillors present further questions or make contact with the lowest level political representatives to make proposals and discuss matters regarding the budget.

A chance which hopefully more citizens will grasp in the future. Ultimately transparency is demanded – always and everywhere.

If transparency is indeed offered, one should also accept it. And if you present your concerns directly to the appropriate politician in a group setting, then perhaps the chances that these are heard and realized are higher. The direct participation of citizens is the long-term goal of the organisers of this initiative – even if it will take some time before more citizens attend a district authorities’ meeting than an information evening.

Similar events also took place in the districts of Wieden and Mariahilf. Further districts should follow suit in the coming years. Since several parties (e.g. the FPÖ which is strongly represented in many districts in Vienna) advocate greater transparency, it should actually be quite easy to achieve the required majority in a vote.

For those interested, an overview can be accessed at: budget-2017-innere-stadt
An interesting point: at the district level, debts are called “Vorgriffe” – to be anticipated.

Translation into English: Donna Stockenhuber

Credits

Image Title Author License
Bezirksbudget 13.10.2016 Bezirksbudget 13.10.2016 Christian Janisch CC BY-SA 4.0