Federal Performance Commissioner
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Status and Tasks

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According to tradition that dates back to the days of the Weimar Republic, the office of Federal Performance Commissioner is held by the President of the Bundesrechnungshof.

The Commissioner is designated by the Federal Government that has laid down the Commissioner’s duties and powers (Guidelines of 08 June of 2016 – Federal Government Gazette = BAnz AT 15.06.2016 B 1).

 

The Federal Performance Commissioner neither has staff nor budget funds of his/her own but relies on the findings and the resources of the Bundesrechnungshof. While he/she consults the audit panels, he/she is exclusively responsible for the decisions taken. In contrast, collegiate decision-making processes are in place in the Bundesrechnungshof, which means that at least two judicially independent Members of the Bundesrechnungshof must agree on a decision. In theory, the Federal Performance Commissioner and the Bundesrechnungshof may hold different views. In practice, however, this is not likely to occur because the two functions cooperate closely.

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The essential mandate held by the Commissioner has been outlined in the relevant Federal Government Guidelines for the Federal Performance Commissioner of 08 June 2016 (BAnz AT 15.06.2016 B1). It is the Federal Performance Commissioner’s task to put forward proposals, reports and opinions in order to enhance the efficiency of and accordingly organise the federal administration, including its off-budget funds and trading funds.

In addition, the Federal Performance Commissioner is involved in editing the drafts for federal legislation, ordinances and administrative regulations. According to the General Standing Orders for the Federal Government Departments (GGO), federal departments involve him/her at an early stage in working out the relevant drafts. Up to the time when the full Cabinet deals with the draft legislation or regulations in question, he/she may provide input for legislative or regulatory projects in the form of lessons learnt, assessments and findings generated by the Bundesrechnungshof’s audits (cf. Art. 21 para. 1, Art. 22 para. 1 sentence 2 item 6, Art. 23 para. 1 sentence 2, Art. 44 para. 6, Art. 45 para. 3, Art. 51 item 4).

Apart from the Federal Government and individual ministries, the Federal Performance Commissioner may also advise the two Houses of Parliament, the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat. He/she will do so at his/her own initiative or at the suggestion of the bodies to which relevant advice is addressed. The advisory functions of the Federal Performance Commissioner and the Bundesrechnungshof are mutually complementary.

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