District Office

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District office describes presently and historically different administrative authorities.



A district office is one of the city administration ( Senate ) subordinate administrative authority in big cities like Berlin , Hamburg (both Germany ) at the level of districts .

There is a district office in each district . The following applies:

  1. for the supreme body of the district, i.e. the district government (name, function and composition may differ in other cities):
  2. for the administrative authority of the district:
    • The district office independently carries out the administrative tasks to be carried out locally, unless reasons of economic viability or expediency require a different assignment.
    • District tasks are all administrative tasks, unless, in exceptional cases, they require uniform implementation due to their overriding importance or their peculiarity. Such tasks are performed by the city administration (e.g. the Senate) or assigned to special specialist authorities.
    • The district office performs administrative tasks vis-à-vis the citizens in almost all specialist areas.
  3. There is an administrative building where the district authorities can be found. Since many large cities from formerly independent places have been amalgamated, it is often the former town hall .


In some German states, the district office was the designation of the lower state administrative level, e.g. B. from 1862 to 1939 in the Kingdom or Free State of Bavaria including the Palatinate . District office meant both the authority in the administrative sense and the official district (district) in the geographical sense. The head of the authority bore the title of district officer (from April 1, 1920, the official title was district chief officer ). The same applied to the district office in Baden , the head of which, however, was referred to as the bailiff or senior bailiff .

In the course of bringing the federal states into line during the National Socialist era , on January 1, 1939, the designations of the lower state administrative level were aligned across the empire to the structures that had been common in Prussia since the beginning of the 19th century ( administrative district , district and district administrator ). The standardization of the designations affected all municipal associations in non-Prussian Germany (it applied in Anhalt , Baden , Bavaria, Braunschweig , in Hesse , in Oldenburg , Saxony , Thuringia and Württemberg .

There were also district offices in the German colonies .


In Austria there are authorities named district office only in Vienna for the 23 districts of  Vienna , each with a district head .

The offices of the political districts (administrative structure below the state level in the other eight federal states) are called district administration .

However, between 1853 and 1867 there were district offices as administrative authorities for the administrative districts created in 1849 .


In Switzerland , district offices in some cantons perform tasks in the administration of criminal justice as well as complaints authorities and supervisory and licensing authorities. The districts each form the administrative level between the canton and the communes . The head of a district office is called Bezirksammann, Bezirksamtmann or Stadthalter ( government governor ).

Web links

Wiktionary: District Office  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Wilhelm Volkert (Ed.): Handbook of Bavarian Offices, Municipalities and Courts 1799–1980, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-09669-7
  • The German Empire until the end of the monarchy (= German administrative history, on behalf of the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gesellschaft e.V. edited by Kurt G. A. Jeserich , vol. 3), Stuttgart 1984
  • The Reich as a republic and in the time of National Socialism (= German administrative history / on behalf of the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Gesellschaft e.V. edited by Kurt G. A. Jeserich, vol. 4), Stuttgart 1985

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bavarian regional history. (PDF; 4.37 MB) (No longer available online.) Hanns Seidel Foundation / Reinhard Heydenreuter , Birgit Strobl , September 2009, archived from the original on May 3, 2014 ; accessed on August 31, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.hss.de
  2. Section 1, Paragraph 3 of the Third Ordinance on the Rebuilding of the Reich of November 28, 1938, (Reichsgesetzblatt) RGBl. 1938 I p. 1675 )