The State parliament of Lower Austria determines – within the framework of its budgetary sovereignity – how much the state government shall raise and how much it is allowed to spend. Financial audit therefore is a key function exercised by the State parliament in addition to its legislative function. Therefore the Court of Audit is set up since 1 July 1998 as the independent audit body of the State parliament. In the chapter “financial audit” articles 51 to 56 of the Lower Austrian State Constitution of 1979 which were extended several times govern the tasks, management, organisation, reporting and procedures of the Court of Audit.
Moreover, the standing orders of the Lower Austrian state parliament contain provisions governing the Court of Audit, particularly as far as the submission and deliberation of reports and opinions is concerned, via State parliament’s Public Accounts Committee and via Inquiry Committees which can task the Court of Audit with an opinion on questions relating to financial management.
Precursor institution of the Court of Audit was the “control office” (Kontrollamt), which was founded on 27 November 1925 and assisted the then financial control committee in exercising its audit function.