Technical supervision

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The technical supervision in Germany is the supervision of the legality and expediency of administrative acts .


Legal supervision

In contrast to technical supervision, legal supervision restricts the authority of the supervisory authority to reviewing the legality of the administrative act. It focuses on compliance with laws and other legal norms . Legal supervision is characteristic of self-administration , whereas in order administration the authorities are subject to specialist supervision.

Service supervision

Supervision refers to employees, organizational units or structure and processes. It aims in particular at the personal fulfillment of duties by the employees, the associated internal order and the service operations of the subordinate organizational unit. Supervision describes the possibilities of controlling and influencing employees and includes the authority to decide on legal matters relating to public service employees working there .


To ensure the legal and appropriate administrative action include quite accurate and uniform application of law and discretion slenkung; the maintenance of high quality and economic efficiency , the traceability of the content and form and the smooth running of internal processes as well as the strengthening of personal responsibility . Here are decision sspielräume the subordinate authorities clearly defined and transfers are limited to what is necessary. In addition, there are goals that result from the special tasks of the authorities, e.g. B. the guarantee and optimization of a good cooperation with national and international authorities. The technical supervision not only has a controlling, but also a steering and coordinating function. The responsibilities for each area of technical supervision in the context of the allocation of possible clear and complete to be clarified. The exercise of technical supervision should - if necessary - be coordinated within the supervisory authorities between the supervisory organizational units (e.g. units).


Various instruments are available for exercising technical supervision . This includes information, intervention and cooperation instruments. In detail, these are strategy and program planning , target agreements , directives and decrees , reports , service meetings (especially on site in the authorities), training measures , business reviews and the so-called self - entry . The choice of instrument is at the discretion of the supervisory authority. The instruments are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other, taking into account the end-means relationship.

The classic supervisory instrument is the instructions . It has a regulatory character and sets an internally binding legal consequence for the subordinate authority. You do a specific case or transfer to an authority or granted a working there as well as administrative regulation general and abstract are designed to achieve a similar administrative practice. Instructions are not limited to specific regulatory content. They can issue orders for action, provide interpretative provisions for laws and jurisdiction , pursue controlling and corrective goals and open up scope for action. The technical supervisory authority issues instructions if it does not consider official measures to be technically or objectively justified. It issues a complaint and requests that the deficiencies be remedied. This means that an administrative decision can be changed, withdrawn or prohibited.

Another instrument are reservations of approval, e.g. B. in personnel decisions or when sending files to courts .

Agreements come into consideration if goals can be defined thematically and in terms of time, for example in the area of ​​personnel recruitment, when planning specialist conferences or to regulate the exchange of personnel. As a cooperation instrument, agreements can strengthen the result orientation and personal responsibility of the supervised authorities.

The exercise of technical supervision through their instruments moves in the area of ​​tension between “long leash” and micromanagement . The latter can lead to an unwanted and inexpedient shifting of decisions to the technical supervisory authority.

The supervisory authorities only have limited personal control capacities and are dependent on the information and its processing by the controlled for their supervisory activities.

Notification obligation

The instruction is of fundamental importance for the technical supervision in order to get an exact picture of the technical, human resources and organizational current state. Instructions are not tied to any form. They can be made orally or in writing, on a case-by-case basis or on a regular basis, through status and evaluation reports, in service meetings or informal discussions. The supervisory authorities have the right to inspect the original files and files of the subordinate authorities regardless of confidentiality or data protection regulations. The initiative for information can come from the supervisory authorities as well as from the subordinate area.

The responsibility of the federal ministries for their area of ​​responsibility is derived from the constitutionally enshrined departmental principle and the principle of democracy . The ministries also take responsibility towards the German Bundestag . Accordingly, the technical supervisory authorities not only have a right to information, but also an obligation to obtain information as required. The right and duty of the supervisory authorities to provide information correlate with the information requirements of the subordinate authorities. These have to inform the supervisory authorities promptly and on their own initiative in the event of politically explosive processes and in questions of the authorities' ability to act, e.g. B. through references to deficits and the need for personnel and technical equipment.

Areas not subject to supervision

In principle, there are no areas that are not subject to specialist supervision, derived from responsibility. Exceptions are zones that are not subject to instructions, such as examination commissions or the executive branch, which is protected by the freedom of science , research and teaching , e.g. B. State universities and schools, but only in relation to the activities specifically protected by the constitution .

Relationship to parliamentary control

As a result, parliamentary control can only make determinations and communicate these to the public and the executive. It is the responsibility of the technical supervisory authority to implement deficits and recommendations for action in their area of ​​responsibility. The parliamentary control is basically limited to an ex-post perspective, whereas the technical supervision already controls ex-ante in many areas by being involved in decision-making processes . In contrast to parliamentary control, technical supervision is designed as a “full control”.

Federal administration

In the federal administration, technical supervision is not a legal institution with a legal definition . The status and content-related standards for the exercise of technical supervision are laid down in the joint rules of procedure of the federal ministries . Accordingly, the technical supervision is one of the essential elements of the management and control of the federal administration . The primary objective of technical supervision is lawful and appropriate administrative action. Technical supervision is a core task of federal ministries .

Country administrations

Similar to the federal government , the technical supervision is organized in the federal states . For example, Section 13 (1) of the LOG NRW stipulates that the highest state authorities, within the scope of their area of responsibility, carry out technical supervision via the higher state authorities and state middle authorities and the higher state authorities and the state middle authorities through the lower state authorities subordinate to them.

The school system is basically a matter for the federal states. In the case of teachers , for example, the school principal may intervene within the framework of technical supervision if he considers the conduct of teachers to be unlawful or if he has doubts about the educational expediency of a measure.

Term outside of public administration

Occasionally the term technical supervision is also used outside of public administration. In organizational theory , technical supervision is the most important function of line managers . The task of technical supervision is organized down to the lowest organizational units and their positions . In the economy , either the disciplinary superiors also exercise technical supervision over their employees or it is carried out by specific technical superiors. Line managers have the task of supervising the personnel they report. In this sense, the technical supervision includes the control of the legal, content-related and appropriate performance of the tasks by the subordinate employees. If there are no specialist superiors, the disciplinary superiors also take on the task of technical supervision. It relates to the technical content of the work and although it takes the form of technical advice , it is determined by organizational interests . The technical supervision, support and relief of employees can only be perceived by the line manager if they inform him about essential processes. Technical supervision also includes questions of economic efficiency and the error-free use of existing discretionary leeway and reveals error clusters , error risks and error causes (such as incorrect application of the law , inadequate clarification of facts or calculation errors ) through an error-cause analysis . In this way, the technical supervision makes a decisive contribution to improving product quality .

See also

Web links


  • Günter Heiß: Interfaces between supervision and parliamentary control of intelligence services . In: Jan-Hendrik Dietrich et al. (Ed.): Intelligence services in the democratic constitutional state . tape 1 . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-16-155923-5 , p. 45-53 .
  • Christian Jock: The instrument of technical supervision - legal and administrative problems and potential further developments . Optimus, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-941274-98-3 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Principles for exercising the technical supervision of the federal ministries over the business area. In: . Federal Ministry of the Interior, May 2, 2008, accessed on January 18, 2019 .
  2. ^ A b c d e Günter Heiss: Interfaces between supervision and parliamentary control of intelligence services . In: Jan-Hendrik Dietrich et al. (Ed.): Intelligence services in the democratic constitutional state . tape 1 . Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-16-155923-5 .
  3. Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries. In: . September 1, 2011, accessed on January 18, 2019 (Section 3 Paragraph 1).
  4. Johannes Rux, Actively dealing with school law , 2008, p. 145
  5. Uwe Bekemann, Communal anti-corruption , 2007, p. 42
  6. Harald Pühl (Ed.), Supervision and Organizational Development , Handbook 3, 1999, p. 131