District Commission

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Sign on the facade of the Steyr District Authority , Upper Austria, with the imperial-royal state coat of arms (photo 1984)
The district administration of Bruck an der Leitha

The Bezirkshauptmannschaft (often abbreviated to BH ) is a state authority in Austria that performs the tasks of the district administrative authority outside the statutory cities . Your district is called the political district , but in Lower Austria and Vorarlberg it is called the administrative district . Only in Vienna are there no district authorities.

The district authority is headed by the district captain , a state employee. Due to the organization of the district authority as a monocratic authority, the district captain himself is responsible for all the tasks of the district administration, which he can then delegate to the other employees. The authority is the district administration itself. The term district administration may be used for female officials .

Position of the district authorities

In federal matters (indirect federal administration) , the district authorities have to comply with instructions from the governor or the regional council commissioned by him, in state affairs instructions from the state government as a collegial body. In federal matters, the governor or the regional council is subject to the right of the responsible federal minister to give instructions.

The respective federal state has to determine which municipalities belong to a particular political district. Every municipality that has not been declared a city ​​with its own statute by state law belongs to a political district.

The district authority is headed as a state authority by a civil servant district captain or district captain appointed by the state government . The other employees are also state officials or employees.

As of 2017 there were 79 district authorities in Austria. These are responsible as district administrative authorities for around 98 percent of the Austrian territory with around two thirds of the population.


Although the state authority, the district administration fulfills tasks of both the indirect federal administration and the state administration. A wide variety of specialist areas are located here:

Issue and renewal of the following documents:

Outside the local area of ​​activity of the state police headquarters as security authorities of the first instance (there is currently one for the municipality of Leoben in the Leoben district and for the municipality of Schwechat including the airport in the Bruck an der Leitha district ), the security administration is the responsibility of the district authorities. The district police commanders and their police departments of the federal police guard are subordinate to them in the procurement of the security administration. For the district administrative authority, the organs of the public security service subordinate to them or assigned to them provide the executive service.

The district administration is not responsible for the judiciary. Therefore, the judicial districts do not always correspond to the political districts.

Political expositions, branch offices and administrative communities

In some districts there were so-called Political Exposituren as a branch (branch office) of a district administration, to which all responsibilities of the district administration are transferred for their district. Since 2013 there is only one more in the Styrian district of Liezen : the Political Expositur Gröbming . A political branch oversees part of the district. The political branch is headed by a branch manager. It is not an independent authority.

In some districts there are also branch offices that are to be regarded as branches. Often only the most important tasks such as issuing passports and driving licenses are performed there.

Furthermore, since 2016 there has been an administrative community for the first time between the district authorities for the districts of Eferding and Grieskirchen in Upper Austria, which is headed by a joint district captain. These are still two separate authorities that are only linked by personal union.


District authorities were established in the Austrian Empire from 1849 in all crown lands in order to be able to combine the autonomously established local communities of an area into the next largest administrative unit. (The next higher authority over the district authorities was the kk governor in matters of the state , and the state committee in matters of the state .) In 1854 there was talk of mixed district offices in which administration and justice were not yet separated.

In their current form they go back to the Cisleithan constitution of old Austria of 1867 , on the basis of which they were regulated by law in 1868. Sections 10 and 11 of the law stipulate that each country should be divided into political districts, headed by district captains appointed by the interior minister.

After the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy in 1918, district authorities were retained in the Republic of Austria and Czechoslovakia . In 1918/19, Karl Renner considered including democratically elected district heads and parliaments in the republican constitution of Austria, but did not succeed in doing so. (Only in the federal state of Vienna have there been elected district heads and district councils since 1920 who have municipal political, but no official authority.)

In the Transitional Act 1920, a constitutional law that was re-announced with the announcement of the Federal Chancellor on September 26, 1925, the district authorities were still declared to exist, since the relevant legal regulations did not conflict with the Federal Constitution adopted in 1920. Since 1925 they have been constitutionally defined as state authorities, but they also have to perform tasks of indirect federal administration. The dismissal of a district authority by the state requires the approval of the federal government with regard to its tasks in federal affairs in accordance with Article 15, Paragraph 10 of the Federal Constitutional Act.

In contrast to Germany , there were no territorial reforms ( district reform ) with the amalgamation of districts in Austria until 2011 . In 2011, the province of Styria , which is struggling with major budget problems, began to merge neighboring districts or district authorities for cost reasons.

District authorities released

The following district authorities have so far been abandoned and not re-established:

Newly established district authorities

District authorities newly established since 1868 (in today's Austria, no longer existing are in italics):


  • Kurt Hürbe: The district administration in Lower Austria. Competencies, functions, working methods . First edition. Scientific publication series Lower Austria, Volume 3/4, ZDB -ID 527774-7 . Verlag Niederösterreichisches Pressehaus, St. Pölten / Vienna 1974, ISBN 3-85326-503-0 .
  • Karl Gutkas , Josef Demmelbauer: The district administration yesterday and today. NÖ-Schriften, Volume 74, ZDB -ID 1056796-3 . Office of the Lower Austrian Provincial Government, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-85006-065-9 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Bezirkshauptmannschaft  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Bezirkshauptmannschaft  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Legal statement to the finding Ra 2016/17/0214 , Administrative Court
  2. RGBl. 295/1849. Imperial resolution, whereby the basic lines for the organization of the political administrative authorities are approved. In:  General Reich Law and Government Gazette for the Austrian Empire , year 1849, pp. 459–469. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / rgb.
  3. RGBl. 44/1868. Law of 19 May 1868 on the establishment of political administrative authorities (…). In:  Reichs-Gesetz-Blatt für das Kaiserthum Österreich , year 1868, pp. 76–81. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / rgb.
  4. Federal Law Gazette 1925/368. In:  Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria , year 1925, pp. 1412–1420. (Online at ANNO ). . Template: ANNO / Maintenance / bgb
  5. Opening of the BH branch Mureck on the website of the Styrian state government, accessed on January 3, 2017