Transparent - KDZ Annual Report 2023

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ANNUAL REPORT 2023

TRANSPARENT

KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

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* Student assistants, Erasmus internships, staff exchange as part of the LOGOV project Elisabeth Apl Siegfried Fritz Clemens Hödl Wolfgang Oberascher Anna Schubert Mohammed Dejen Assen* Walter Giebhart Maximilian Hrazdil Philip Parzer Miriam Taumberger Eva Wiesinger Peter Biwald Victoria Hein* Marion Jonas Dalilah Pichler Bernadette Tropper-Malz Klaus Wirth Sofia Calzola Martina Henickl * Mierna Mahmud* Thomas Prorok Verena Weixlbraun Kesira Yildirim-Metz Birgit Frank Lieselotte Henning Karima Rothensteiner Klaus Friedrich Nikola Hochholdinger Karoline Mitterer Alexandra Schantl Alexander Maimer
INSIGHTS 04 FACTS 2023 06 INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT 08 VISION 11 AREAS OF COMPETENCE 12 PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 16 EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE & URBAN POLICY 22 PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM 28 TRAINING 34 CAF CENTRE 40 MEMBERS 42 NETWORKS 44 BOARD OF TRUSTEES 45 INNOVATIONS 46 PUBLICATIONS & STUDIES 48 CONTACT 50 FIRST STOP 51 TRANS PARENT 3 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 LEGAL NOTICE Published, edited, and owned by: KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research Editor: Siegfried Fritz Proofreading: Birgit Frank und Marion Jonas Information in accordance with sec. 25 Austrian Media Act KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research 1110 Vienna · Guglgasse 13 Phone: +43 1 892 34 92-0 E-mail: institut@kdz.or.at Internet: www.kdz.eu Managing Directors: Peter Biwald, Thomas Prorok Management Board: Tina Blöchl, Wolfgang Figl, Angelika Flatz, Christian Kemperle, Martin Pospischill, Matthias Tschirf, Thomas Weninger The annual report reflects the activities of KDZ in 2023. It serves as an overview of KDZ’s activities and services to the Management Board, the members, and interested individuals. Copyright: All rights reserved by the publisher. Any form of reproduction, publication, provision to others, distribution or inclusion in electronic databases of the contents or parts thereof is prohibited. Photo credits: The rights to the images are held by KDZ –Centre for Public Administration Research, unless explicitly stated otherwise. Graphic design: Martin Renner, www.rgd.at Printed by: Facultas
4 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 INSIGHTS
PETER BIWALD Managing Director THOMAS PROROK Managing Director

was the year of transparency. As one of the last countries in Europe, Austria agreed on a freedom of information law that significantly limits official secrecy. This is undoubtedly a milestone on the path to open administration, even though the new law comes with years of delay.

At KDZ, we dedicated the year 2023 to transparency as well. Our strategy, developed with the entire team, maps out the way: We stand for bringing transparency to public finances, structures, and processes. A central role in this is played by the Open Spending Austria internet platform (Offener Haushalt), which grew to include 1,491 municipalities in 2023 and now also covers the budgets of municipal associations.

But transparency means more to us: We see it as an obligation to make complex issues understandable and comprehensible. Our fact sheets on public finances, fiscal equalisation, and issues surrounding services of general interest provide interested parties with new insights into these important topics. Our publications – such as Österreichs Städte in Zahlen (Austrian cities in numbers), Finanzausgleich (fiscal equalisation), Kontierungsleitfaden (public accounting guide), Gebührenkalkulation (fee calculation), and the Fiscal Decentralisation Report – address aspects of state governance that are often taken for granted. Yet, understanding of these aspects is limited and mostly confined to a relatively small circle of experts and practitioners. This is where we generate added value through knowledge.

Our consulting projects rely on transparency, too. Shrinking room for manoeuvre due to tight public budgets requires new strategies. Comparisons are used to show alternative design options, e.g. with regard to the financial performance of regional centres compared to surrounding and peripheral municipalities. With municipal budget projects too, the initial task is always to establish transparency among all stakeholders regarding the current financial status.

We are particularly pleased to be able to share KDZ’s experience and knowledge with a growing number of people. In 2023, we significantly increased engagement with our members, clients, and interested parties. Alongside our 6,147 newsletter subscribers, this interaction occurred through numerous events and was particularly evident in 476 media releases and in our presence on LinkedIn, currently our fastest-growing social media platform, with 1,802 followers. This, too, is an important contribution towards enhancing transparency in administration and the public sector, a goal we are committed to further amplifying in 2024.

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INSIGHTS
PETER BIWALD THOMAS PROROK
2023

FACTS 2023

90 EXTERNAL CONSULTANTS

157 SEMINARS & WEBINARS HELD

2,848 PARTICIPANTS TRAINED IN SEMINARS

73,665 VISITS ON KDZ.EU

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317 NEW M E M BER S 8 MEMBERS 2008 150
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PROJECTS WERE COMPLETED TO THE FULLEST SATISFACTION 2012 180 2017 256 2019 277 2020 283 2023 317
PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 32 PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM 40 EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE & URBAN POLICYK
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SINCE 2010, WE HAVE BEEN PRODUCING THE KDZ INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT WHICH MEASURES OUR INTELLECTUAL ASSETS, GROUPED INTO HUMAN, STRUCTURAL, AND RELATIONAL RESOURCES.

HUMAN RESOURCES

8 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT Ø 2010–23 2023 Staff structure Total headcount 24 27 Consultants and external experts 92 90 Number of members in the Scientific Board 39 38 Qualification Share of employees with more than 5 years of professional experience 86% 81% Employees with teaching assignments at universities and universities of applied sciences 4 3 Number of teaching assignments 5 4 Share of employees who spoke at symposiums 48% 26% Theme leadership Share of employees who publish in relevant specialised media 62% 53% Number of articles in external journals & books 33 48 Number of presentations 43 34 Interdisciplinarity (share of employees who are active in multiple areas of expertise) 75% 58% Number of employees who are active on social media 12 13 Number of KDZ blog posts 40 44 KDZ Intellectual Capital Report Indicators

STRUCTURAL RESOURCES

9 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 Ø 2010–23 2023 Members and supporters 239 317 New members 12 8 Library materials 49,810 51,994 Consulting projects (number) 59 67 Research projects (number) 29 50 Number of jour fixes for internal knowledge sharing 10 11 Proportion of jour fixes with external speakers 14% 0% Number of innovations 7 2 Number of media reports 226 476 Share of total revenue Seminars 27% 26% Consulting projects 37% 31% Research projects 37% 43% Number of research projects conducted Public management & consulting 8 4 Public finance and federalism 11 26 European governance and urban policy 10 20 Number of consulting projects conducted Public management & consulting 18 41 Public finance and federalism 4 6 European governance and urban policy 14 20 Training Number of seminars and courses 122 157 Share of webinars (online seminars/courses) 58% 43% Training days 131 138 Service Centre Number of digital platforms 10 11 Number of FPM issues 3 2 Number of events conducted for members (Round Table, Regional conference, KDZ in dialogue) 5 6 Publications 1 1
INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT © Shutterstock

RELATIONAL RESOURCES

10 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 Ø 2010–23 2023 Members and clients Seminar participants 2,118 2,848 Participants in expert lectures 2,044 1,327 Share of participants who were very satisfied or satisfied with the seminars 96% 96% KDZ Network Twitter followers 1,224 1,306 Facebook followers 1,041 1,078 LinkedIn followers 1,391 1,802 Number of newsletter subscribers German 7,037 6,147 Number of newsletter subscribers English 317 318 Number of newly participating municipalities on www.offenerhaushalt.at 100 73 Number of newly participating municipalities on Digital Funding Report 11 2 Number of visits on KDZ homepage and platforms 126,876 284.282 Number of participants at member events 133 555
SHARE OF 2023 TOTAL REVENUE Seminars Consulting projects Research projects INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT © Shutterstock 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 26% 31% 31 35 34 35 31 34 28 33 40 29 33 39 24 40 36 43%

VISION

WE WANT SUSTAINABLE PUBLIC SECTOR MODERNISATION

The KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research is a non-profit association headquartered in Vienna. We are a competence centre and knowledge platform for the public sector, in particular for cities and municipalities, federal states, central government, and the European level. We think and act in a holistic and interdisciplinary fashion.

In the realms of public management consulting, European governance & urban policy, public finances and federalism, and training, we strive for a high-quality public sector, crafting tailored concepts and solutions to achieve excellence.

Our range of services includes applied research, consulting, and training, and our expertise has been in demand since 1969.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

RESEARCH

CONSULTING TRAINING

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1969
EXPERIENCE NATIONAL
INTERNATIONAL 2023

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSULTING

We support cities and municipalities and their companies, states, the federal government, associations, and NGOs with various issues related to organisational and administrative development, governance and management systems, citizen and customer services, human resources management as well as strategy and innovation development.

Individual, factor made, and needs-oriented solutions help our clients harness their potential. A solution-driven approach, accuracy of fit, and feasibility are important benchmarks for us. A collaborative partnership as well as transparent and professional project management are the vital basics of sustainable, trustful, and reliable cooperation.

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PROJECTS IN 2023

ORGANISATIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE DEVELOPMENT

CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

CITIZEN AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

STRATEGY AND INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT

HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

12 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 AREAS OF COMPETENCE
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EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE AND URBAN POLICY

We stand for good governance, transparency, and open government in Europe. Good cooperation of central government, federal states, and municipalities as part of national governance is particularly important to us.

Our projects contribute to the continued development of federal structures and multi-level governance architectures, and in doing so, we also highlight public value.

As part of our focus on urban and city-region policy, we promote the intensive exchange of knowledge beyond Austria’s national borders, on the one hand.

On the other hand, we support city-regional initiatives, recognising that cities are inherently interconnected with the regions that surround them. Sustainability, participation, and quality in the public sector drive our actions.

This is particularly evident in our commitment to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).

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AREAS OF COMPETENCE 40 PROJECTS IN 2023

PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM

We are a strong and steadfast partner in advancing the governance and financing of public services within the framework of multilevel governance.

Our objective is to enhance transparency concerning intricate matters pertaining to federal-state relations. In this capacity, we illuminate the financial dynamics and collaborations among the players involved. Drawing upon this insight, we devise forward-looking models aimed at optimising governance and improving collaboration within federalism.

Our efforts contribute to achieving equitable and progressive fiscal equalisation, alongside strategically advancing key task areas such as nursing, education, childcare, public transport, or climate protection.

Another of our key priorities is to provide transparent insights into Austrian municipal finances and to contribute to their sustainability.

• 28 lectures

• 14 interviews/broadcasts (TV and radio)

• 39 expert papers in internal KDZ formats

• 41 expert papers in external formats

• 13 published studies/publications

All studies can be found at: www.kdz.eu/de/wissen/studien

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Fiscal equalisation 10 Financing and governance of public services 9 Municipal finances 8 Fee financing 5 32 PROJECTS PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM

TRAINING

We have been a competent training partner for the public sector for many years. With appropriate concepts, methods, and always keeping pace with the times, our education and training work addresses the specific requirements of public administration.

The foundation of our very practically oriented training is provided by a comprehensive network of experts and a pool of highly professional lecturers, trainers, and experienced practitioners from a wide range of different administrative units.

After the restricted pandemic years, we successfully managed to compensate for the quite substantial demand for in-person training in 2023. With a well-structured programme tailored to the needs of administrative practice, we were able to offer our clients numerous face-to-face training opportunities directly on site.

We are particularly pleased that our digital live learning offerings (webinars via Zoom) were again very well received. As a result, all throughout 2023, our clients were able to choose from a balanced mix of online and in-presence formats. Overall, we look back on a successful year of training with numerous specialist seminars, innovative approaches to vital transformation-related topics like leadership and employees, digitalisation, artificial intelligence, etc., and practical forums & networking events that were very well attended and in which practical experience and specific knowledge were jointly contributed and shared.

DIVERSITY OF TOPICS: WWW.KDZ.EU

• Economic efficiency & financial management

• Municipal budget reform (VRV 2015)

• Public management & governance

• Legal update

• Taxes and duties

• Leadership

• Communication and client management

• Innovation & digital competences

• KDZ practice forums & networks

The KDZ 2023 training year in numbers

2,848 PEOPLE PARTICIPATED IN OUR 157 SEMINARS

15 IN-HOUSE SEMINARS WERE TAILORED TO INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS

57% OF ALL THE TRAINING OFFERS WERE HELD IN PERSON AND 43% WERE HELD ONLINE

34 EXPERTS WERE INVITED TO GIVE LECTURES ON SPECIFIC TOPICS

96% VERY SATISFIED AND SATISFIED SEMINAR CLIENTS

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AREAS OF COMPETENCE

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSULTING

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Clemens Hödl Maximilian Hrazdil Peter Biwald Wolfgang Oberascher Philip Parzer Dalilah Pichler Klaus Wirth Verena Weixlbraun Alexander Maimer
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THE NEW WORK LAB A GLIMPSE INTO KDZ’S PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

What will Austria’s public administration of the future look like? Naturally, we do not yet have a comprehensive answer to this question today. But: We are working on methods and solutions to empower the administration to address changing conditions through creative innovations and to shape the transformation within their own domain. One of the big topics in the coming years is the question of how work will be structured in the future: What form should collaboration take? What tasks will AI take over from humans? How can work be designed to be more people-oriented in the future?

Since summer 2023, we at KDZ have once again delved deeper into the issues surrounding New Work. In this context, we were able to develop two innovations. The first innovation is of a conceptual nature. Nowadays, ‘New Work’ is commonly understood to signify moving away from the notion of employment as a job and embracing the renaissance of ‘vocation’ and ‘calling’.

If public administration wants to remain an attractive and contemporary employer in the future, it must know how to effectively utilise and promote the talents and enthusiasm of its employees for the meaningful tasks it offers, particularly in terms of services of general interest.

The second innovation builds on the above: How can we make these considerations fruitful for Austria’s municipalities? Due to the complex nature of the issue, it is clear that there cannot be a one-size-fitsall solution for all municipalities and institutions. Therefore, a tailor-made and innovative solution will be needed for each of its aspects. From 2024 onwards, we will offer such solutions as part of KDZ’s New Work Lab. In an innovation lab setting, municipal employees and managers, supported by KDZ consultants, can develop effective and purposeful measures that have the potential to fundamentally shift work culture towards embracing the principles of New Work. With KDZ’s New Work Lab, you will learn in three steps how to maintain your position as an attractive employer in the future. •

• Where do we stand?

• What are the challenges we face?

• What does New Work mean for our administration?

• What is our vision of New Work?

• How can we implement our vision?

• Findings

• Possible courses of action

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SUCCESS STORY CITIZENS’ SERVICE

Who could imagine today what town halls/municipal offices were like before citizen service centres existed, without a central point where citizens can experience their city’s/municipality’s customer orientation up close and personally, where accomplishing paperwork no longer involves the physical exertions of running up and down the corridors and staircases of administrative buildings. Although the design of citizen service centres can vary quite significantly from municipality to municipality, from city to city – in terms of space, organisation, and the services provided –today, these citizen service centres are a municipality’s friendly face and are considered practically standard in modern and service-oriented municipal administration.

Citizen service centres have evolved continuously over more than 30 years since the discussion about them began in Austria. They have improved and continue to improve, partly due to the ‘Netzwerk Bürgerservice’ (citizen service network) initiated by KDZ, which has facilitated an intense exchange of learning and experience among cities and municipalities for almost 15 years. Most recently, this network convened in Linz in October 2023, at the invitation of the regional capital Linz, to discuss the possible use of artificial intelligence in citizen ser vice. This technology will also sustainably transform citizen service in the coming years. However, as yet it is still difficult to imagine the full extent of what lies ahead. But one thing seems clear: AI opens up entirely new possibilities for the provision and processing of information as well as for interaction between administrations and citizens. Solutions that are already familiar today, such as chatbots (or phonebots), will acquire entirely new qualities through AI. In addition, an increasing number of services in the citizen service area will be delivered with the help of technology (e.g., general information or

individual administrative procedures such as in registration law).

Nevertheless, at its core, citizen service will continue to be a service for and by people in the future as well. From our perspective, the need for personal encounters is growing. Citizen service centres are assuming an ever-increasing social role as social

meeting points or places of personal interaction. Since, over the years, many traditional meeting places (pubs, small convenience stores, etc.) have disappeared, especially in small municipalities, citizen service projects are increasingly addressing this issue by integrating administrative services whenever they create social meeting points (village/ cultural centres). But similar projects exist in large cities as well, such as the internationally famous DOK 1 in Aarhus1, which has also inspired cities in Austria to rethink citizen service.

In the fall of 2024, the city of Tulln will host a network meeting. Then we will probably experience again, as we did this year, how ideas from a previous network meeting become completely new and useful services for citizens. •

1 www.visitaarhus.de/region-aarhus/reiseplanung/kulturhaus-und-staatsbibliothek-dokk1-gdk1077504

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ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATIVE ADMINISTRATION

Over the past few years, there has been a significant shift in how administrative tasks are performed. Digital work has become commonplace in administrations. Digitalisation encompasses both interactions with customers and internal processes.

At the same time, the nature of work itself has undergone changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work arrangements are becoming more common in administrations as well. This necessitates new ways of collaboration and new leadership approaches. Additionally, many experienced, long-serving employees are currently retiring, posing challenges in the recruitment of new staff and in knowledge transfer and retention.

Given these issues and challenges, it is essential to regularly evaluate and develop the organisational and procedural structures within one’s own admin-

istration. In 2023, we assisted several cities and municipalities in advancing their administration, preparing them for the challenges of the years to come. Based on an analysis of performance, structures, and key processes, we adjusted organisational frameworks to align with modern leadership practices, and we modernised task distribution, harmonising it with the evolving work environment. At the same time, central processes were oriented towards digital operations, thus promoting cross-departmental collaboration.

Many of the participating cities and municipalities engaged in the substantive and organisational development of their administration for the first time in 2023. This process was worthwhile for them, as only a modern, innovative administration can successfully and joyfully meet the challenges of a continuously evolving environment. •

PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
© Shutterstock (2) 20 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

OUTLOOK 2024

Balancing the budget

The municipal finance forecast and the budget estimates prepared for 2024 at the end of 2023 indicate that expenditures are growing significantly more dynamically than revenues. This will require cities and municipalities to intensively address financial development in 2024. To sustainably balance the budget, it is crucial to scrutinise the tasks, services, and processes of service provision within the municipality. KDZ offers a proven methodology for service review, which we can provide to municipalities. For a comprehensive review focusing on total revenues and expenditures, municipal services, and service provision processes, we recommend an extensive budget consolidation process. We have supported such processes on multiple occasions and will be happy to assist you in restoring financial balance to your municipalities budget.

Embracing comprehensive digitalisation

Transitioning to digital municipalities requires a new way of thinking. More particularly, this

involves redesigning internal and external processes with a focus on digitalisation. We provide support in reimagining your administration digitally and aligning all processes with digital work practices because merely acquiring an ELAK tool is insufficient for sustainable success in this regard.

New Work

The future of work is a current megatrend that impacts municipalities profoundly, posing significant challenges. How can we provide our employees with contemporary working conditions? How do we attract the workforce we need to propel our city or municipality forward, and how do we retain them? What jobs will we have in the future –with a view to AI – and what will they look like?

With this set of questions in mind, we aim to support you even more effectively and innovatively with our new product, the KDZ New Work Lab, in preparing your municipality for future challenges, particularly in terms of staff development and management. •

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22 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 © Shutterstock
GOVERNANCE

EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE & URBAN POLICY

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Walter Giebhart Philip Parzer Marion Jonas Dalilah Pichler Bernadette Tropper-Malz Sofia Calzola Thomas Prorok Verena Weixlbraun Kesira Yildirim-Metz Klaus Friedrich Nikola Hochholdinger Alexandra Schantl

ON THE ROAD TO A COMMON EUROPEAN ADMINISTRATIVE SPACE

After decades of dormancy in European administrative development, the European Commission is increasingly taking the lead. In October 2023, it published the communication ‘Enhancing the European Administrative Space (ComPAct)’, becoming a dominant actor in administrative and structural reforms. This is particularly noteworthy as the European Union does not have primary legal competences for this, and the responsibility for the organisation and operation of public administration, as well as domestic structures, lies solely with the Member States.

The EUPACK (European Public Administration Country Knowledge) project initiated in 2018 marked a significant milestone. With EUPACK, the European Commission assesses the status quo and reforms of public administrations in EU Member States. In 2023, KDZ contributed to the new edition of EUPACK for the first time and was responsible for the Austrian Country Report.

In 2023, we also contributed to the new ‘Principles of Public Administration’. OECD-SIGMA and the European Commission released the new version of the ‘Principles of Public Administration’ in November. These are seen as European standards for public administration in Europe and consist of six thematic areas: ‘Strategy’, ‘Policy development and coordination’, ‘Public service and human resource management’, ‘Organisation, accountability, and oversight’, ‘Service delivery and digitalisation’, and ‘Public financial management’. These Principles primarily serve to monitor and support administrative reforms in EU accession candidates on their way to membership in the European Union.

Of particular importance are the standards for multi-level governance defined for the first time in Europe, which the KDZ was involved in developing. These are set out in Principles 14 (Subsidiarity) and 32 (Fiscal autonomy) of the ‘Principles of Public Administration’. They cover areas such as the division of competences, autonomy in the performance of competences, coordination structures, distribution of finances, local borrowing, fiscal equalisation mechanisms, local taxes, and fees.

Remarkably, the ComPAct announces that the ‘Principles of Public Administration’, developed for EU accession countries, will also be relevant for Member States in the future. They are expected to gradually be included in the European Commission’s reports under the European Semester. We will keep up the momentum and step up our engagement in the European Administrative Space with its ongoing reforms. •

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NALAS FISCAL DECENTRALISATION REPORT –

MUNICIPAL

FINANCE AUTONOMY

ALSO AN ISSUE IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE

In 2023, the ninth NALAS report on the state of fiscal decentralisation in South East Europe was developed, with Austria being considered, analysed, and placed in an international context for the first time. Alongside an overview of the current state of municipal finances, the focus was primarily on the (late) consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like in other parts of Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic had comprehensive and profound effects on municipal finances in South East Europe. A ‘scissors effect’ was observed: while expenditures increased (for temporary bridging measures, for example), revenues decreased (from taxes and fees related to the local economy). On a national level, it can be observed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a greater decline in gross domestic product (from 2019 to 2020) in the region than did the global financial crisis (from 2008 to 2009).

While a certain degree of normalisation has occurred in South East Europe today, not all areas have returned to their pre-COVID state. For example, the share of local revenues in municipal finances in 2021 was still slightly lower than in 2019 (33% vs. 35%). It is therefore important to consider longer

term trends when analysing the region. Taking such a long-term perspective reveals that the share of local revenues has remained relatively stable since the financial crisis (ranging from 32% to 36% from 2010 to 2021).

Just as in the relevant discussions in other parts of Europe, property tax plays a significant role in South East Europe. While the share of property tax in local revenues in Austria is declining, it is increasing significantly in South East Europe. Between 2006 to 2021, for example, this share nearly doubled in the region, going from around 5% to 9% of local revenues. In South East Europe, as well in Austria, discussions are ongoing about the assessment bases and assessment frequency related to property tax.

Looking ahead, despite existing differences, demographic trends stand out as a persistent challenge and as a challenge for sustainability across the entire region. This concerns both an aging population, on the one hand, and migration from rural municipalities to urban areas as well as emigration on the other hand, which in some cases leads to significant population declines. •

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A FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE URBAN SPACES

Environmentally friendly, green, resource-efficient, liveable, smart, socially acceptable, or resilient are attributes that spontaneously come to mind when discussing sustainable urban spaces. In addition to these attributes, which almost read like the fundamental principles of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, it is also the sense of community that ultimately determines whether urban spaces are sustainable or not.

Speaking of Agenda 2030: Together with our partners, the Institute for Environment, Peace and Development (Institut für Umwelt, Friede und Ent-

wicklung, IUFE) and the Vienna Ecosocial Forum, we released two new SDG municipal checklists for investment projects in 2023: In addition to planning/building and operating a kindergarten, municipalities can now also plan and align their projects for the design of public spaces and the purchase of utility vehicles for the municipal fleet in accordance with the SDGs. Furthermore, with the new platform for municipal sustainability of the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns managed by KDZ, there is now a forum for cities and municipalities in which to network, exchange ideas, and showcase their own SDG initiatives.

Speaking of a sense of community: Under the motto ‘Designing urban regions to be climate-friendly’, the City Region Day took place in Salzburg in 2023. Incidentally, this event was held for the first time exactly ten years ago. Anniversaries not only provide a compelling reason to celebrate, but they also serve as an opportunity to look back and to articulate hopes for the future. This was also the case in Salzburg, where it became evident that designing climate-friendly living spaces as a central guiding principle for municipalities reinforces interdisciplinar y and collaborative action. The practical showcases, with their multitude of good practices, have born impressive testimony to this. Nevertheless, much remains to be done, and the hopes primarily

26 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 EUROPEAN GOVERNANCE & URBAN POLICY
Buenos Aires alone has 20,000 Jacaranda trees, and as the city’s official symbol, the Jacaranda is the most planted tree in Buenos Aires after the plane tree, the lime tree, and the white ash.
© Shutterstock (3)

concerned ‘mandates’ for improved framework conditions to the federal government and federal states for the implementation and further development of Austrian city regions.

Speaking of green: The city of Buenos Aires stands out for its tree population. It is home to more than 430,000 trees of various species, which a KDZ staff member was able to personally verify during her two-month assignment as part of our international ‘Local Government and the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay’ (LoGov) project. By the way, LoGov is nearing the finish line next year. It will be interesting to see what solutions for sustainable urban-rural areas the project will bring about. •

OUTLOOK 2024

European municipal finances and structures, effective governance and European administrative reform as well as sustainable urban spaces are all topics that will remain with us in 2024.

As part of our BACID project, which is set to conclude in 2024, we will not only further develop the Regional Decentralisation Obser vatory and complement it with the findings of the 9th SEE Fiscal Decentralisation Report, but we will also continue to advance digitalisation in the Western Balkan. We will implement digital solutions for local residents in the cities of Sombor in Serbia, focusing on parking management, and Delčevo in Northern Macedonia, focusing on medical care of the elderly.

In the realm of effective governance and European administrative reform, we will continue to monitor relevant developments at the EU and OECD levels and incorporate them into our activities as appropriate. This particularly concerns the ‘European Administrative Space (ComPAct)’, the ‘Principles of Public Administration’, the ‘European Public Administration Country Knowledge’ (EUPACK), and the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) of the DG Reform. We will utilise the latter within our CSPF network (CSPF.eu) jointly with the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Hamburg, the City of London Corporation, and Trondheim, to conduct a project on ‘SDG/Green Budgeting’. This will also create exciting synergies with our initiatives on Green Budgeting for Austrian cities.

Regarding sustainable urban spaces, we will continue to support the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns in revising the Park&Ride guidelines and showcase the results of our international LoGov project – Local Government and the Changing Urban Rural Interplay (www.logov-rise.eu) during the final conference in Vienna on 12 and 13 September.

Last but not least, we are planning a project on Multilevel Governance in the areas of climate change and digital transformation, with a focus on public transportation, in collaboration with Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, Poland, and France. This is also a topic with many points of connection within KDZ. •

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PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM

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Clemens Hödl Peter Biwald Marion Jonas Dalilah Pichler Kesira Yildirim-Metz Klaus Friedrich Nikola Hochholdinger Karoline Mitterer
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FISCAL EQUALISATION –FACTS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

In November 2023, the Fiscal Equalisation Act 2024 was negotiated. The negotiation process was particularly challenging as the positions of the federal government on the one side and the states and municipalities on the other side were far apart. In 2023, KDZ contributed expertise to this process in various ways.

Analysing Facts

One of our main concerns was to explain the complex issues surrounding fiscal equalisation in an understandable manner and to develop objective foundations for relevant negotiation topics. To this end, we published various materials and a total of eight fact checks related to fiscal equalisation on our website. These materials addressed questions such as: ‘Can cities and municipalities finance the planned expansion of childcare with existing resources?’ or ‘Does hospital funding rely solely on the federal states?’ In early 2023, we presented an updated version of our classic ‘Factsheets: Finanzausgleich kompakt’ (Fiscal equalisation at a glance), complemented by webinars.

Recommendations and Assessments on Negotiations

In our KDZ blog, we regularly published articles with recommendations and assessments of the fiscal equalisation negotiations. The need for a clear explanation of fiscal equalisation became very apparent throughout the year. As many as 14 interviews and other formats broadcast on TV and radio

MILESTONES 2023

Factsheets

‘Soziales und Pflege’ (fact sheets: social and care issues)

I

Studie Personalknappheit Elementarpädagogik (study on employee shortages in early childhood education) V

V

Factsheets: ‘Finanzausgleich kompakt 2023’ (fact sheets: fiscal equalisation at a glance 2023)

and featuring KDZ experts strengthen our conviction that fiscal equalisation is highly relevant not only among experts but also for the general public.

Is all well for the Future Fund?

A significant contribution to the ultimate success of the fiscal equalisation negotiations was the newly established Future Fund. This was a recognition on the part of the federal government that tasks have been shifting towards states and municipalities and that more resources need to be made available to deal with this. However, many questions remain unanswered, and many steps still need to be taken to achieve the Future Fund’s intended objectives. As things stand, the financing provided for childcare, building renovation, and climate protection will not be sufficient to achieve the set goals under the current conditions.

Challenges Remain

There is still much to be done. We will be happy to continue providing our expertise in this area in the years to come. •

V Gemeindefinanzbericht (municipal financial report)

Studie Auswirkungen der Teuerung auf Gemeindefinanzen (study on the impact of price hikes on municipal finances)

KDZ-Vorhabensund Investitionsplaner (KDZ project and investment planner)

VI Municipal financial forecast

30 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM
II
V

CLIMATE PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION

Climate fines and high climate adaptation costs seem inevitable. And this despite the fact that it would be crucial to invest in climate protection as quickly as possible to prevent the worst. Cities and municipalities, in particular, are still not sufficiently in focus, despite their significant potential to contribute to addressing the climate crisis.

Expertise in high demand

In this context, KDZ embarked on an exciting journey in 2023. KDZ was consulted for its expertise at various events, including the Austrian Conference of Cities (Städtetag), events organised by Erneuerbare Energie Österreich (Renewable energy Austria), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), the Technical University (TU), and the Younion. The KDZ blog increasingly addressed climate-related topics, such as the feasibility of climate investments at the municipal level.

Facts and basic principles

KDZ also carried out intensive work on a study level. As part of this, it created a study on the coordination of climate goals at federal states level, together with the Austrian Energy Agency. In further studies, we delved deeper into the city and municipal level. The question was: What role do cities and municipalities play in the fight against climate change, and how can they best fulfil this role? Public transport is a key element of climate transition. In 2023, we focused more on the financing of public transport in Austrian cities and highlighted the financial strain on the cities. The challenge of meeting the decarbonisation requirements for vehicles and expanding services simultaneously seems barely manageable.

Municipalities as a beacon of hope

There is much untapped potential in municipalities, such as thermal renovation, conversion of heating systems, alternative energies, mobility, and urban development. However, without suitable framework conditions, this potential cannot be realised. What is needed are sufficient financial resources and the development of HR and technical capacities. One crucial success factor became apparent: the financing of climate investments. The resources provided through the Future Fund as part of fiscal equalisation will not be sufficient on their own. The existing funding system with its many ‘flagship projects’ and sometimes difficult access needs to be more closely tailored to the needs.

A path for the future?

Now is the time to consider how coordination on a federal level can be further developed to create good framework conditions. Important governance questions regarding cooperation and financing need to be addressed. In light of this, there is still much left to accomplish! •

VI

Studie Finanzierung des städtischen ÖPNV (study on the financing of urban public transport)

VII

Tagungsband ‘Klimaschutz und Klimawandelanpassung im Bundesstaat’ (convention book on federal-level climate protection and climate change adaptation)

VII

Bonitätsranking Gemeinden (credit rating of municipalities) IX

Start Gemeindeverbände auf offenerhaushalt.at (municipal associations join offenerhaushalt.at) X

10-year anniversary of offenerhaushalt.at

Schwerpunktthema Klimaschutz und Klimawandelanpassung (focus climate protection and climate change adaptation)

XI

Gemeindefinanzprognose (municipal financial forecast)

31 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
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IX

ENSURING THE FINANCING OF SERVICES OF GENERAL INTEREST

In municipal services of general interest, developments are emerging that continuously constrain affordability. If no changes are made to the framework conditions, the financing of municipal services of general interest will be increasingly at risk.

Municipal services of general interest can be understood as the basic provision for residents. In a broader sense, they range from education and culture to road, traffic, and communication infrastructure. They also encompass leisure and sports infrastructure, including swimming pools, sports fields and centres as well as parks and green areas. Water supply

and disposal, wastewater treatment, and waste disposal represent an important core of services of general interest. Services of general interest are financed partly through user fees, partly through transfers from other federal, federal states, or municipal authorities, and partly through general tax revenues.

Unfavourable conditions are increasingly reducing financial feasibility.

There is a strong dependence on the development of tax revenues. In 2024, revenue shares will be at the same level as in 2022. At the same time, inflation is putting pressure on

municipal services of general interest. Should the increased costs be passed on to citizens through fees and service charges or not? If municipalities do not increase fees, this could further jeopardise the financial feasibility of municipal services. Also noteworthy is a trend towards a decline of user financing. If revenues from users decrease, an increasing share will have to be financed through general tax revenues.

Transfer dynamics are intensifying the competition for expenditure between municipal services of general interest and co-financing obligations for social and health services.

The financial capacity for funding services of general interest is diminishing – leaving scarcely any funds for investments.

FC = financial capacity; upfront deduction = 12.7% of the revenue shares;

NetSP = net spending operational management; Group 0–9 = municipal service areas:

0 – politics & administration, 1 – security, 2 – education, 3 – culture, 4 – social affairs, 5 – health, 6 – infrastructure, 7 – economic development, 8 – services, 9 – finances

32 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 PUBLIC FINANCE AND FEDERALISM

Already, more than 60 percent of municipal revenue shares go directly to the federal states through this channel and are therefore not available for municipal services of general interest.

Fiscal autonomy is also increasingly under pressure. In the absence of a property tax reform, the significance of this levy is diminishing from year to year.

The increased demands and transfers of tasks are other important aspects. Examples include the quantitative and qualitative improvement of childcare and all-day schools, or investment obligations in public transport.

Securing services of general interest requires financial capacity Tax revenues from fiscal equalisation (revenue shares and municipal taxes) must be sufficient to cover tax-funded services of general interest. A dwindling scope for manoeuvre for reasons already mentioned increasingly jeopardises this, as demonstrated by our analysis in 2023, using the example of the city of Graz and its financial capacity compared to other Styrian municipalities and state capitals. Countermeasures are needed: strengthening fiscal autonomy, decoupling transfers – reducing co-financing, and increasing efficiency in municipalities. •

www.kdz.eu/de/wissen/studien/ finanzielle-ausstattung-undleistungsfaehigkeit-der-stadt-grazim-vergleich

OUTLOOK 2024

2024 will be a financially challenging year for subnational levels. KDZ will contribute its expertise to offer solutions on various levels. Specifically, particular emphasis will be on highlighting options for municipal financing with a view to enhancing the financial flexibility of municipalities.

The focus will be on national-level solutions, on the hand, such as improving the financing of municipal services of general interest. Specific topics in this context include property tax reform and the advancement of intra-state fiscal equalisation. On the other hand, potential solutions for municipalities in consolidation issues will be emphasised to strengthen the resilience of municipal finances in the medium term – for example, in the area of fee calculation or through inter-municipal cooperation.

In addition to financing issues, governance questions will also be addressed, such as in childcare or climate protection and adaptation to climate change. How can the three levels of government – central, federal states and local –collaborate effectively to achieve the set objectives within their areas of competence?

The platform www.offenerhaushalt.at celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2023. We can proudly call it a success story. Even though over 70% of municipalities were already participating in 2023, we will continue our efforts in 2024 to convince more municipalities to come on board.

Last but not least, the matter of fiscal equalisation will remain on our agenda in 2024. The follow-up will mainly take place during the impulse conference ‘Finanzausgleich 2024 – Gestärkt in die Zukunft?’ (Fiscal equalisation 2024 –stronger into the future?) as well as with the ‘Handbuch zum Finanzausgleich’ (handbook on fiscal equalisation). •

WORK PRIORITIES 2024

• Increasing the resilience of municipal finances in the medium term

• National-level financing and governance of services of general interest

• Contribution to reforms of fiscal equalisation and financing of public services – with a focus on highlighting the consequences of the Fiscal Equalisation Act 2024

• Impact of climate protection and adaptation to climate change on public budgets and multi-level governance, as well as developing action options

• Transparent fiscal equalisation, such as the Fiscal Equalisation Impulse Conference and ‘Handbuch zum Finanzausgleich’ (handbook on fiscal equalisation 2024, in German)

• Transparent municipal finances, for example by development of www.offenerhaushalt.at

• Fee budgets

© Shutterstock (2) 33 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
34 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
35 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
© Shutterstock
TRAINING
Elisabeth Apl Siegfried Fritz Anna Schubert Walter Giebhart Eva Wiesinger Martina Henickl Lieselotte Henning Karima Rothensteiner

RESETTING AND SHAPING ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING – NEW AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IS IN DEMAND!

Leadership 4.0 requires lifelong and continuous learning and considering staff development as a whole to enable further development, innovation, resilience, and future viability for the entire organisation.

At KDZ, leadership means organising internal training for employees in a contemporary manner. As a centre of competence and knowledge platform for the public sector, we have high standards for continuous learning. Because often, the knowledge acquired through academic and professional qualifications quickly becomes outdated, not least due to the shortened half-life of knowledge. Additionally, we work extensively in an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary manner, which requires both collaboration on an equal footing and learning with and from each other.

Last but not least, we also embrace the challenges of the digital workplace. Here too, it is necessary to continuously acquire and sharpen required and individual skills. Digitalisation and learning reinforce and depend on each other. In other words, work and learning have become inseparable, blending together into one.

How do we do this at KDZ?

We identify internal training needs that may be relevant to multiple individuals. These needs can be raised by management, the works council, or even by the employees themselves. Afterwards, we organise the corresponding training design and setting with external or internal experts. We emphasise integrating the competences acquired through this process directly into internal work areas to ensure optimal knowledge transfer. Collaborative group learning fosters an atmosphere of openness, transparency, and trust, thereby establishing the foundation for sharing knowledge rather than hoarding it and making it available for our entire organisation. And one more thing, training should also be enjoyable, create joy, and motivation. We conclude each workshop with a brief reflection and feedback session as well as light refreshments.

In 2023, we were able to conduct four internal training initiatives in key areas:

• personal resilience & burnout prevention

• tasks & structures of municipal bodies

• artificial intelligence – basics and applications in public administration

• KNIME – free software for interactive data analysis

Furthermore, we ensure the preservation of our collective knowledge for the entire organisation by actively participating in conferences, workshops, committees, expert groups, and networks (CAF expert groups, KDZ expert forums, KDZ network meetings, etc.). Participation in internal technical Jour Fixe meetings and learning by doing in collaborative projects are also central elements of continuous mutual learning. Individual agreements related to further developing employee capabilities are made during employee evaluation interviews. •

TRAINING
36 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

CRASH COURSE IN LEADERSHIP COMPACT AND PRACTICAL INSIGHTS INTO LEADERSHIP TOPICS

Imagine the following fictional scenario:

You are the new department head of the social services department in a medium-sized municipality. In one of your first meetings, soon after assuming your position, the mayor and department head express their concerns about the situation in the department you are to lead, indicating that you should establish functioning structures and processes there as quickly as possible. How would you respond to this task?

Leadership under the challenging conditions of public administration has always been a central theme in the work of KDZ. In the fall of 2023, we began to shift our attention to this topic. With the new format ‘Crash Course Leadership’, we are specifically targeting managers who are new to leadership roles and employees who are expected to take on a (new) leadership position in the near future. The goal of this crash course is to quickly impart to participants the necessary awareness for leadership issues, to provide suitable methods for a successful start in the leadership role, and to instil the courage to pioneer new initiatives within the teams they lead.

The first run of this new seminar format has already been very well received. A dynamic learning group embraced the intensive format and reflected on their own understanding of leadership. Individual solutions were developed based on case studies from the participants’ everyday leadership experiences, opening up new perspectives. At the same time, we became aware that the dense program is quite demanding. More time is needed for reflection, group discussions, and the development of a leadership strategy that aligns with each individual. Therefore, we will be expanding this offering in 2024 and developing it in line with our clients’ needs.

Leadership is its own craft and can be learned. For us, the guiding principle is ‘prioritising people over tasks’. The Crash Course in Leadership and the other leadership seminars offered by KDZ will teach you what this principle entails and how to apply it to resolve the problem presented at the outset. •

37 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

KDZ MUNICIPAL MAINTENANCE YARD DAY 2023 FULL HOUSE AT THE ASCHACHTAL MUNICIPAL MAINTENANCE YARD

This year again, 44 municipal maintenance yard managers from all over Austria accepted KDZ’s invitation to the 2023 Municipal Maintenance Yard Day, the exchange and networking forum for executives in municipal infrastructure operations. This year’s Municipal Maintenance Yard Day was themed ‘Organising Municipal Maintenance Yards Safely and Well’.

As experience shows, this is no easy task. In addition to complying with a multitude of legal regulations such as those related to working hours and occupational safety, it is essential to establish operational structures and processes effectively, foster strong teamwork, and also ensure a service-oriented citizen-centric approach across all interactions with the municipality.

Day 1 focused on the following topics:

• Why is a well-structured maintenance yard organisation essential for performing the often very diverse maintenance yard services, and how can a reform process succeed?

• What are the current applicable regulations regarding the location and the extent of working hours, driving times, rest periods, and deployment times, and how can I implement them in my own organisation?

• How can we ensure that safety instructions are effectively put into practice and embraced by employees?

• Where do liability potentials often arise, and how can they be avoided?

On the second day, participants had the opportunity to experience effective operational organisation in action firsthand by visiting the Aschachtal Municipal Maintenance Yard.

Since 2020, the Aschachtal Municipal Maintenance Yard has been the central service provider for four municipalities. This cooperation led to a complete overhaul of not only the structural measures but also the work and operational organisation, including order management, work scheduling, shift patterns, winter maintenance, communication structures, etc.

There was much to hear and see. A particular highlight was the tour of the new municipal maintenance yard location together with the entire maintenance yard team, experiencing firsthand that effective management of construction and maintenance yards is a central success factor for meeting the diverse requirements safely and efficiently.

We look forward to an exciting and inspiring Municipal Maintenance Yard Day in 2024! •

TRAINING 38 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

OUTLOOK 2024 DEVELOPING SKILLS AND BEING PREPARED FOR THE DIGITAL WORKING WORLD OF TOMORROW!

Our ways of working and opportunities for collaboration have undergone significant changes, especially since the pandemic years. The speed and complexity of these changes, as well as the opportunities presented by digitalisation, are increasing. Not only is artificial intelligence (AI) currently a hot topic and gaining momentum, but the potential of a wide range of digital applications is likewise growing and becoming increasingly important in public administration. The numerous innovations and best practices are testimony to the ongoing process of modernisation that public institutions are undergoing and the consistent drive towards (creation of) a Digitales Amt (Digital Office).

So, change in general, and digitalisation in particular, also serve as drivers for training and the ongoing acquisition of new skills because the success of organisations depends significantly on the resources available to them. Hence, recognising the value of development and enabling employees to invest in their own future-proof skills is an obvious step towards confidently facing the challenges of tomorrow.

KDZ Training –Your Partner and Learning Companion

As a provider of training, we aim to support our clients in the public sector as best as possible in their modernisation efforts and training initiatives. Therefore, our claim in training is to offer continuously updated topics in addition to our proven basic programs, keeping pace with the times.

Stay connected with us and take advantage of our practice-oriented seminars, courses, and seminar series in 2024. Whether in face-to-face sessions on-site or live & interactive as webinars in the cost-effective online learning format. We are steadily expanding our diverse and long-standing learning networks for you.

In 2024, we will also offer a wide range of training events and newly developed, innovative programs. Take a look at our Spring 2024 Programme.

www.kdz.eu/de/seminare

39 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 © Shutterstock

CAF CENTRE – ADMINISTRATIVE INNOVATION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN 2023

The CAF Centre2 of KDZ has evolved into an internationally sought-after and recognised point of contact in recent years, and in 2023, it further strengthened its position as the ‘FirstContact-Point’ for all questions related to CAF, Good Governance, and administrative innovation. In 2023, CAF was increasingly positioned as a tool for innovation and change in public administrations and implemented in several projects at the national and international levels.

We have been working on new methods and made the CAF process even faster, more efficient, and more agile. CAF is also available in an online, hybrid, or in-person format, supported by CAF online and the corresponding collaboration tools. CAF Compact introduces a new workshop design for leadership teams, allowing for quick situational assessment and alignment, as well as the definition of the appropriate measures for the further development of their own organisation. In addition to actively participating in national and international events on administrative innovation and Good Governance, we were able to promote the CAF method to the

German-speaking world through the Let’s Staat3 podcast, together with the city of Starnberg and Dorit Bosch. This resulted in increased visibility of the Austrian CAF Centre, particularly within the German-speaking region.

Another one of this year’s highlights was the CAF Centre’s participation in Innovate 2023, the public sector conference on innovation management. With the workshop ‘Common Assessment What – Shaping the

Organisation from Within with CAF’, we were able to demonstrate, together with experienced CAF users, how innovations and changes can be initiated and implemented in public administrations using CAF.

Furthermore, the CAF Centre at KDZ is a sought-after expert in the advancement of CAF. Collaborating with the European Institute of Public

Administration (EIPA) and other partners of the European CAF network, the CAF Centre works to drive forward the refinement of the CAF Effective User Label procedure.

Another significant milestone was achieved as part of the BACID III programme. Building on the successes of BACID II, the CAF Centre of KDZ supports the Regional School of Public Administration in establishing a Regional Quality Management Centre

(RQMC), thereby strengthening CAF’s presence in the Western Balkans. In 2023, in addition to numerous CAF implementations, the network of CAF evaluators (EFAC) was further developed, and public administrations were recognised and made visible for their special efforts towards greater efficiency, quality, and good governance through the CAF Effective User Label. •

40 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 CAF CENTRE
2 CAF is the European guide for better quality and governance in public administration. KDZ is the first point of contact for all questions regarding the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and acts as the CAF Centre nominated by the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport. 3 Link to the podcast: https://letsstaat.podigee.io/s1e59-good-governance-mit-caf-methode (19.12.2023) CAF-TEAM Walter Giebhart Philip Parzer Bernadette Tropper-Malz Thomas Prorok Verena Weixlbraun Alexandra Schantl

OUR ACTIVITIES IN 2023

The CAF Centre leverages the potential of digitalisation and was able to continue its activities in 2023 very Successfully, also virtually, thereby expanding its international network and collaboration with organisations in Austria and Germany.

CAF Network Germany-Austria

314 ORGANISATIONS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND NPOS IN AUSTRIA USE CAF

15 CAF PROJECTS 2023

26 ORGANISATIONS IN AUSTRIA HAVE BEEN AWARDED CAF EFFECTIVE USER LABEL

4,160 ORGANISATIONS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR IN EUROPE ARE REGISTERED CAF USERS.

244 ORGANISATIONS IN EUROPE HAVE BEEN AWARDED CAF EFFECTIVE USER LABEL SINCE 2015.

The CAF Network Germany-Austria and the cooperation of CAF partners locally were progressively expanded. Shared activities and offers in CAF webinars as well as the CAFFEX exchange between the countries were established and further developed.

EFAC Training

KDZ had the opportunity to train 11 quality managers and administrative managers from four CEE countries as part of a certified EFAC programme. This helped grow the existing community of qualified CAF feedback experts (EFAC). Additionally, a tailored training program for 15 quality managers, EFAC Starter and EFAC Advanced, was developed and implemented for Slovenia.

CAF Facilitator Training

A customised training programme for quality managers was provided through development of the Certified CAF Facilitator Training. In addition to offerings in the open seminar programme, in-house CAF trainings were also implemented on an international level (e.g., Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, etc.)

CAF Practitioners Network

With the CAF Practitioners Network, the CAF Centre at KDZ has launched the first international CAF network, inviting CAF users from around the world to regular moderated exchanges and to further develop their skills. In a total of five online events, the international CAF community was expanded to approximately 100 participants from 16 different countries.

CAF implementations

CAF was implemented successfully in a total of 15 Austrian and international projects.

41 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
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MEMBERS

SPONSORING KDZ MEMBERS

CITIES/MUNICIPALITIES

Abtenau

Adnet

Altach

Altlengbach

Altenberg bei Linz

Altmünster

Amaliendorf-Aalfang

Ampflwang i.H.

Amstetten

Ansfelden

Arnoldstein

Aschach an der Donau

Asperhofen

Asten

Atzenbrugg

Au am Leithaberge

Bad Aussee

Bad Goisern

Bad Ischl

Bad Radkersburg

Bad Vigaun

Bad Vöslau

Baden

Bad Pirawarth

Bärnbach

Berg

Bergheim

Berndorf

Biedermannsdorf

Bludenz

Böheimkirchen

Brand-Laaben

Braunau

Bregenz

Brixlegg

Bruck/Mur

Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße

Brunn/Gebirge

Buchkirchen

Bürmoos

Deutschfeistritz

Dornbirn

Ebenau

Ebreichsdorf

Eferding

Eisenstadt

Elixhausen

Engerwitzdorf

Enns

Erlauf

Eugendorf

Fehring

Feldbach

Feldkirch

Fischamend

Fohnsdorf

Frankenburg a. HR.

Frastanz

Frauenkirchen

Freistadt

Frohnleiten

Fürstenfeld

Gablitz

Gänserndorf

Gallneukirchen

Gaming

Gampern

Gars/Kamp

Gaschurn

Gattendorf

Gerasdorf b. Wien

Gloggnitz Gmünd

Gmunden

Goldegg

Gols

Gratkorn

Gratwein-Straßengel

Graz

Gröbming

Grödig

Grosshöflein

Gumpoldskirchen

Gunskirchen

Guntramsdorf

Güssing

Hallein

Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitztal

Henndorf am Wallersee

Hernstein

Hinterbrühl

Hofamt Priel

Hof bei Salzburg

Hohenems

Hopfgarten

Hofstetten-Grünau

Hornstein

Innsbruck

Irdning-Donnersbachtal

Judenburg

Kaltenleutgeben

Kapfenberg

Kennelbach

Kirchberg-Thening

Kirchdorf a.d. Krems

Klagenfurt

Klausen-Leopoldsdorf

Klosterneuburg

Knittelfeld

Köflach

Korneuburg

Kottingbrunn

Krems

Kremsmünster

Krumbach

Kufstein

Kumberg

Laakirchen

Lamprechtshausen

Landeck

Längenfeld/Tirol

Langenlois

Langenzersdorf

Lassee

Laxenburg

Lanzenkirchen

Leibnitz

Lendorf

Leoben

Leobendorf

Leobersdorf

Leonding

Lichtenau im Waldviertel

Lienz

Liezen

Linz

Loipersdorf

Loosdorf

Lustenau

Magdalensberg

Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge

Maria Enzersdorf

Maria Saal

Mariazell

Markt Allhau

Mattersburg

Mattighofen

Mattsee

Mauthausen

Micheldorf in Oberösterreich

Mistelbach

Mitterndorf an der Fischa

Mittersill

Mödling

Mörbisch

Mürzzuschlag

Nenzing

Neudörfl

Neufeld an der Leitha

Neuhofen/Krems

Neuhofen/Ybbs

Neulengbach

Neunkirchen

Neusiedl/See

Nickelsdorf

Niederndorf

Nußdorf-Debant

Oberalm

Ober-Grafendorf

Oberndorf in Tirol

Oberpullendorf

Oberwaltersdorf

Oberwart

Olbendorf

Ossiach

Pasching

Passail

Perchtoldsdorf

Persenbeug-Gottsdorf

Perg

Pfaffstätten

Pöchlarn

Pregarten

Prellenkirchen

Pressbaum

Puch bei Hallein

Puchenau

Pupping

Purkersdorf

Rankweil

Regau

Reutte

Rohrbach in Oberösterreich

Rosegg

Rum

Rust/Neusiedler See Saalfelden am Steinernen Meer

Salzburg

Schärding

Scharnstein

Scheibbs

Schladming

Schwadorf

Schwechat

Seekirchen

Semriach

Sieghartskirchen

Spittal/Drau

Sankt Andrä/Lavanttal

Sankt Andrä-Wördern

Sankt Barbara im Mürztal

Sankt Florian am Inn

Sankt Georgen

Sankt Jakob im Rosental

Sankt Johann i.d.Haide

Sankt Johann/Tirol

Sankt Peter am Kammersberg

Sankt Peter in der Au

Sankt Pölten

Sankt Thomas am Blasenstein

Sankt Ulrich bei Steyr

Sankt Valentin

Seiersberg-Pirka

Stadl-Paura

Stanz im Mürztal

Stetten

42
ANNUAL REPORT 2023
KDZ

Steyr

Steyregg

Stockerau

Straß in der Steiermark

Straßwalchen

Strobl am Wolfgangsee

Schwertberg

Tamsweg

Teesdorf

Telfs

Ternitz

Thal

Thalheim/Wels

Traisen

Traiskirchen

Traismauer

Traun

Traunkirchen

Trieben

Trofaiach

Tulln

Tullnerbach

Uttendorf

Villach

Vöcklabruck

Vöcklamarkt

Voitsberg

Vösendorf

Waidhofen/Thaya

Waidhofen/Ybbs

Waidmannsfeld

Wald im Pinzgau

Waldhausen im Strudengau

Walding

Wallern im Burgenland

Wartberg ob der Aist

Weissenbach/Tr.

Wels

Werfenweng

Weyer

Wiener Neudorf

Wiener Neustadt

Wieselburg

Wieselburg-Land

Wilhelmsburg

Wolfsberg

Wolfurt

Wolkersdorf i. Weinv.

Wörgl

Zell am See

Zeltweg

Zwentendorf an der Donau

Zwettl

INSTITUTIONS

ARGE der Stadtamtsdirektoren, Lower Austria

BANK AUSTRIA

Federal Chamber of Labour

Erste Bank Sparkassen AG

EURAC Research

GBV – Austrian Federation of Limited-Profit Housing Associations Krems Municipal Association (Gemeindeverband Krems)

Municipal Association for Waste Management in the Schwechat area (Gemeindeverband für Abfallwirtschaft im Raum Schwechat)

Zwettl Municipal Association (Gemeindeverband Zwettl)

Federation of Austrian Industry

Carinthian Fire Fighter Association (Kärntner Landesfeuerwehrverband)

Community Management Academy of Lower Austria

Communal Joint Office for Administrative Management (KGSt)

Land Carinthia, Dpt. 3 Municipalities and Disaster Management

Land Styria, Dpt. 17 Land and regional development

Land Salzburg, Dpt. 1 Economy, Tourism and Municipalities Department

Land Vorarlberg, IIIa Financial Issues and IIIc Auditing

Vorarlberg Court of Audit

Lebenshilfe Bruck – Kapfenberg gemeinnützige GmbH

Lebenshilfe Ennstal

Lebenshilfe Leoben

Lebenshilfe Mürztal

Upper Austrian Court of Audit

Association of Austrian Cities and Towns

Raiffeisenlandesbank Burgenland und Revisionsverband eGen

Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederösterreich-Wien AG

Regional Planning Association Großes Walsertal

Salzburg Court of Audit

Tyrol Court of Audit

Association of Social Democrats Community Representatives in Lower Austria (Verband sozialdemokratischer Gemeindevertreter in NÖ)

Verein Region Vorderland Feldkirch

Vorarlberg Association of Municipalities (Vorarlberger Gemeindeverband)

Wiener Städtische Versicherung

PRESIDENCY OF KDZ

Matthias Stadler, Mayor of St. Pölten (President)

Stefan Schmuckenschlager, Mayor of Klosterneuburg (Vice President)

MANAGEMENT BOARD

Wolfgang Figl, UniCredit Bank Austria AG

Angelika Flatz, CEO Wiener Wohnen Kundenservice GmbH, City of Vienna

Christian Kemperle, Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport (until 15 February 2023)

Tina Blöchl, Vice Mayor of the City of Linz

Martin Pospischill, Municipal Department of the City of Vienna

Matthias Tschirf

Thomas Weninger, Association of Austrian Cities and Towns

New members 2023

43 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023
WE PROMOTE THE SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE AS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF COOPERATION

ADA – Austrian Development Agency

CAF – European Experts Group

CEMR – Council of European Municipalities and Regions

CEP – European Policy Centre

Cooperation OGD Austria

Council of Europe – Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Fiscal Advisory Council Austria

Management Forum for Innovative Public Service

Foster Europe

IDM – Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe

IFIP – Department of Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy of TU Wien

KGSt – Communal Joint Office for Administrative Management

KMA – Knowledge Management Austria

Kompetenzzentrum für Alltagsökonomie (Competence Centre for Foundational Economy)

NALAS – Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe

OECD – Sigma

ÖVG – Österreichische Verwaltungswissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (Austrian Administrative Society)

PA 10 – EU Strategy for the Danube Region

RESPA – Regional School of Public Administration

UCLG – CIB – Capacity and Institutions Building (United Cities and Local Governance)

VÖWG – Austrian Association for Public and Social Economy, Vienna

WIFO – Austrian Institute for Economic Research

44 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 NETWORKS

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2021–2024

Elisabeth ALBER, EURAC Research, Bolzano

Peter BIEGELBAUER, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Professor Geert BOUCKAERT, Public Governance Institute of KU Leuven

Stefan BRUCKBAUER, Bank Austria

Professor Peter BUSSJÄGER, University of Innsbruck, Institute for Public Law, Constitutional and Administrative Studies; Institute for Federalism

Professor Franziska CECON, University of Applied Sciences, Linz

Professor Thomas DÖRING, University of Darmstadt

Professor Michael GETZNER, TU Wien, Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy

Marc GROSS, KGST Cologne

Peter GRÜNENFELDER, auto-schweiz

Chief Executive Director Martin HAIDVOGL, City of Graz

Professor Gerhard HAMMERSCHMID, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin

Alfred HEITER, Federation of Austrian Industry

Professor Dennis HILGERS, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Institute of Public and Nonprofit Management

Klemens HIMPELE, CIO City of Vienna

Petra HIRSCHLER, TU Wien, Institute of Spatial Planning

Professor Michael HOLOUBEK, WU Vienna, Institute for Austrian and European Public Law

Mario HOLZNER, Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)

Thomas KOSTAL, WU Vienna, Institute for Public Sector Economics

Michael KREMSER, City of Vienna, Municipal Department 5 – Financial Affairs

Professor Andreas LADNER, University of Lausanne, Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration †

Stefan August LÜTGENAU, Foster Europe, Foundation for Strong European Regions, Eisenstadt

Professor Verena MADNER, WU Vienna, Department of Socioeconomics, Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance

Heidrun MAIER-DE KRUIJFF, Austrian Association for Public and Social Economy, Vienna

Chief Executive Director Markus MATSCHEK, Office of the Carinthian Government

Professor Ines MERGEL, University of Konstanz, Department of Politics and Public Administration

Professor Renate MEYER, WU Vienna, Institute for Organisation Studies

Professor Jan-Hinrik MEYER-SAHLING, PhD, University of Nottingham, School of Politics and International Relations

Bernhard MÜLLER, Urban Forum

Professor Ulf PAPENFUSS, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Chair of Public Management & Public Policy

Professor Marga PRÖHL, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Speyer University

Sebastian SCHÄFFER, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM)

Margit SCHRATZENSTALLER-ALTZINGER, WIFO Vienna

Tobias SCHWEITZER, Vienna Chamber of Labour

Professor Kathrin STAINER HÄMMERLE, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences

Professor Erich THÖNI, University of Innsbruck

Mario WIEDEMANN, Bertelsmann Foundation, Livable Communities

Professor Jurgen WILLEMS, WU Vienna, Institute for Public Management und Governance

45 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 © Shutterstock BOARD OF TRUSTEES

INNOVATIONS

10-YEAR MILESTONE FOR TRANSPARENCY PLATFORM WWW.OFFENERHAUSHALT.AT

In October 2023, the transparency platform www.offenerhaushalt.at celebrated its 10-year anniversary. With great pride, we look back on a decade that has passed swiftly by.

When the platform launched in October 2013, data from three municipalities was published. In the following months, this quickly changed, and by December 2013, we had already welcomed the 100th municipality on board our platform. The 500th municipality published its data in June 2014, and we welcomed the 1,000th municipality to the platform in June 2018.

Similarly in 2023, a number of municipalities made their data available on www.offenerhaushalt. at for the first time. These new municipalities numbered 74, bringing the total number of municipalities represented on the platform to 1,488 by the end of 2023. That translates to roughly 70 percent of all Austrian municipalities. In other words, some 7.7 million Austrians, or about 85 percent of all Austrian citizens, live in cities and municipalities with transparent data on www.offenerhaushalt.at.

Over the past 10 years, we have also received several awards for our transparency platform. For example, the Austrian national multimedia and e-business award (Staatspreis Multimedia und

e-Business), winning the e-Health, e-Government, Citizen Services, and Open Data category, or the World Summit Award, winning the government & citizen engagement category.

Over the years, numerous innovations have been introduced or implemented on the platform, such as the KDZ Quick Test. Furthermore, we were able to expand and enhance data upload options for cities and municipalities. One significant change we’ve had to implement on the platform in recent years was the transition in 2019 from the cash-based system of the Budgetary and Accounting Regulation 1997 (VRV 1997) to the three-component budget system of the VRV 2015.

Transparent Municipal Associations

In the anniversary year of 2023, the platform was expanded with the support of our project partners to include the large sector of municipal associations. With this expansion, a part of the outsourced municipal areas is now represented on www.offenerhaushalt.at, in addition to municipal financial data. Since the launch of the expansion in June 2023, 21 municipal associations have uploaded and unlocked their data on the platform.

As we enter 2024, we embark on the second decade of the www.offenerhaushalt.at platform. We are hopeful that the upcoming decade will be just as dynamic and exciting as the past 10 years have been, bringing plenty of new enhancements.

Come on board and publish your municipality’s or your municipal association’s financial data too, thus contributing to greater transparency.

46 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

KDZ WHITE PAPER ‘RESILIENT MUNICIPALITIES’

What tools do municipal decision-makers need to strengthen the resilience of their own municipality and region? Experts from KDZ and municipal practitioners examined this question thoroughly within the framework of the KDZ Competence Network ‘Resiliente Gemeinden’ (resilient municipalities). The findings have been compiled into a white paper, providing municipalities with a roadmap for reflecting on their own resilience.

The beginning of this publication highlights the greatest challenges that municipalities will face. These include demographic change, climate change, digitalisation, as well as unexpected acute stress situations (such as the pandemic or the energy crisis). It is intended as an initial guide to help municipalities identify their own weaknesses. The proposed measures are examined in the white paper from three perspectives.

The first perspective sheds light on municipal administration as an organisation. How can municipalities further enhance their organisational resilience for future crises? Areas such as sustainable staff management and a new understanding of leadership were addressed in this part. Processes in the public sector are becoming increasingly digital, leading to changes in the organisational and communication structures surrounding them.

It is important to proactively and holistically shape the organisation to keep up with these transformations.

The second perspective encompasses the consideration of municipalities as part of local government. It involves the targeted promotion of social capital as a crucial factor for the functioning and coexistence of local municipalities. There are various forms of citizen participation that lend themselves to crafting collectively endorsed solutions for the future. This can awaken potentials in society and build trust between stakeholders. In terms of resilience, the good relationship between administration, politics, and the local public is a central pillar of municipal action.

Resilience does not end at the municipal border either. People live and work in functional spaces. The actions of municipal players at the regional level are not only gaining importance but are indispensable for addressing the challenges of demographic development or climate change. Therefore, regionality and inter-municipal cooperation are seen as an opportunity to meet future challenges. Prerequisites for this are network orientation and multi-level coordination, to collectively enhance the robustness and resilience of the region.

Our thanks go to all the individuals who have shared and exchanged their knowledge within the competence network. In 2024, KDZ will continue to address topics through the competence network to strengthen municipal resilience.

Have we sparked your interest? The complete publication, including examples from practitioners in Austrian cities and municipalities can be found at https://www.kdz.eu/de/resiliente-gemeinden.

47 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

SELECTION OF PUBLICATIONS AND STUDIES

INFORMATION & ORDERING

Martina Henickl Anna Schubert bibliothek@kdz.or.at

Wirth, Klaus; Hochholdinger, Nikola; Jonas, Marion; Taumberger, Miriam: Österreichs Städte in Zahlen 2023 (Austria’s cities in numbers 2023). Vienna, 2023.

Rupp, Christian; Weixlbraun Verena; Jana Belcheva Andreevska: Empowering Progress with Digital Transition in Western Balkan and Moldova Local Governments. 2023.

Hochholdinger, Nikola; Jonas, Marion; Mitterer, Karoline; Yildirim-Metz, Kesira: Fact Sheets: Soziales und Pflege (fact sheets: social and care issues) Vienna, 2023.

Biwald, Peter; Maimer, Alexander; Pichler, Dalilah; Wirth, Klaus: Auswirkungen der Teuerung auf die Gemeindefinanzen (impact of price hikes on municipal finances). Vienna, 2023.

Mitterer, Karoline; Pichler, Dalilah: Fact Sheets: Finanzausgleich kompakt 2023 (fact sheets: fiscal equalisation 2023, compact). Vienna, 2023.

48 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023

Prorok, Thomas; Schantl, Alexandra; Hochholdinger, Nikola: Subnational Government in the Western Balkans. 2023.

Prorok, Thomas; Parzer, Philip; Schantl, Alexandra; Weixlbraun, Verena: More Resilient Public Administration after Covid-19 2023.

Wirth, Klaus; Weixlbraun, Verena; Taumberger, Miriam: Personalknappheit im Bereich der Elementarpädagogik (staff shortages in early childhood education). Vienna, 2023.

Stafa, Elton; Kelmend, Zajazi; Prorok, Thomas: Local Government Finance Indicators in South-East Europe. 2023.

Mitterer, Karoline; Biwald, Peter; Jonas, Marion; Pichler, Dalilah: Stadtdialog – Österreichische Gemeindefinanzen 2023 – Entwicklungen 2012 bis 2021 sowie Ausblick (urban dialogue – Austrian municipal finances 2023 – developments 2012 to 2021 and outlook). Vienna, 2023.

Hochholdinger, Nikola; Mitterer, Karoline; Yildirim-Metz, Kesira: Finanzierung des ÖPNV in österreichischen Städten (financing public transport in Austrian cities). Vienna, 2023.

49 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 © Shutterstock
PUBLICATIONS & STUDIES

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KDZ PLATFORMS

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FORUM PUBLIC MANAGEMENT

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Our professional journal ‘Forum Public Management’ covers key topics twice a year.

50 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 CONTACT

FIRST STOP

WE ARE YOUR FIRST CONTACT PARTNERS 51 KDZ ANNUAL REPORT 2023 © Shutterstock
Elisabeth Apl Siegfried Fritz Martina Henickl Birgit Frank Karima Rothensteiner Anna Schubert Miriam Taumberger Lieselotte Henning
www.kdz.eu
2023
ANNUAL REPORT
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