Reports to the National and Federal Councils

Many Federal laws require the Federal Government or its member within whose competence the subject matter in hand falls to submit to the National and/or Federal Councils at regular intervals reports on a particular area in which it exercises its executive power (e. g. Security Report, Green Report). Other reports are submitted in answer to a request contained in a resolution.

National Council

In the National Council such reports are as a rule referred to a committee for what is called “final deliberation“, which means that they are not discussed by the plenary.

The debates and subsequent voting on the reports by the Federal Government and its members in the committee are open to the general public and, above all, media representatives provided that sufficient room is available.

The committee may, for important reasons, decide not to enter upon the final deliberation procedure, and also the parliamentary groups have the right do demand, in a limited number of cases, that the deliberation be not final.

In individual cases, for instance that of the Security Report, these reports provide an opportunity to take long-term political decisions by harmonising the views of the Federal Government and the National Council. This is invariably the case when matters of Austria’s security strategy are under discussion. The National Council then expresses its approval by taking note of the report in question.

In such cases the committee will proceed to a preliminary deliberation on the report, which will subsequently be submitted to the plenary for a debate and voting.

Federal Council

The Rules of Procedure of the Federal Council do not provide for a final deliberation of reports in committee. Accordingly, the committee will subject the report to a preliminary deliberation, and the report will subsequently be discussed and voted on in the plenary.