We consider living democracy, federalism based on responsibility for expenditure, tasks and financing bundled in one hand as well as the pronounced autonomy of municipalities, to be the basis for a well-functioning state.
In our understanding, an efficient and effective state requires a public administration that is based on the principles of democracy, ethics, quality, transparency, participation, impact orientation, responsibility, sustainability, and economic efficiency.
Cooperation between politics and administration is the basis for a capable and functioning state that is committed to the added value of the public sector.
The KDZ is a competence Centre and knowledge platform for Public Management Consulting, European Governance and Urban policy and Public Finance and Federalism.
We are a non-profit association and offer applied research, consulting, and training to the public sector.
We think and act holistically and in interdisciplinary terms. Our perspective encompasses cities and municipalities, federal states, the federal government, and the European level.
We are committed to a modern public sector that provides high quality services to citizens, clients, and society at reasonable cost and that is oriented towards the common good.
Principles & values
We are a strong and loyal partner for the further development of administrative reform and the financing of public services.
We work for the quality of the public sector, recognising the high value of the employees.
We support our members and clients in a spirit of partnership and with regard for the specific situation of the organisation and its employees.
We are a platform for networking and cooperation.
We are independent in thinking and finding solutions. We act solution oriented.
We make use of the synergy of research, consulting, and training.
We are prepared to address sensitive issues. We show new perspectives and give impulses for practice.
KDZ annual reports
Get to know our main areas of work and read our current annual report:
The KDZ was founded in 1969 at the initiative of the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns by the City of Vienna and the Central Savings Bank of the City of Vienna (today Bank Austria), as the association "Research and Documentation Centre for Municipalities”. The aim was to not only set up a documentation centre but also to create an association that would conduct research on public tasks and their financing and act as a "mediator" between science and municipal practice as well as other public bodies. The KDZ placed the economic perspective in the foreground as opposed to the legal explanation of the phenomena.
Under the leadership of Prof. Egon Matzner, the focus was placed on financial analyses of public budgets in the early 1970s. Reform proposals for the task planning of state and municipal budgets were developed. The KDZ was also engaged with the search for and preparation of planning and analysis instruments for the developing, dynamic welfare state. Data on the public sector and urban economy were collected and strategies for urban development and urban renewal were discussed. Then as now, the central problems of the system of financial equalisation were examined and useful proposals were developed. From 1973 onwards, Dr. Helfried Bauer was head of the association.
50 years of KDZ - a chronology
In addition to finance-related topics, papers on urban renewal, regional policy, transport policy and transport economics as well as on new public accounting instruments and management control were published. The KDZ participated at the international level in expert groups of the Council of Europe, the OECD, and the Municipal Community Centre for Administrative Management (KGSt in Cologne).
Despite a stagnation of funding in the late 1980s, the KDZ intensively dealt with two new focal points in its fundamental work. This resulted in studies on the welfare state of tomorrow and the specific role of the municipalities as well as on reforms of public tasks by adopting concepts of public business administration and finance.
New Public Management - the 1990s
Reformed service provision through modernisation of politics and administration as well as quality management was the credo at the KDZ. The concept of "New Public Management" was developed at the KDZ as a comprehensive reform strategy that included both functional reforms in individual areas of activity as well as methodological modernisation in the sense of leadership by objectives and delegation of the responsibility for results to the basic level.
In the course of the preparations for Austria's accession to the EU, the KDZ's task was to assess the effects of European integration on Austrian local governments and to develop strategies for the compatibility of the Maastricht criteria with those of the sub-national budget system.
Reorganisation of the association
In 1999, the KDZ was reformed as the KDZ - Centre for Public Administration Research. It continues to be a non-profit association, which pursues its goals without profit intent, and is dedicated to fundamental work on various economic points of focus of the fulfilment of public tasks. In addition, the "KDZ - Management Consultancy and Professional Training Corporation”, which is fully owned by the association, was founded under the leadership of Mag. Peter Biwald. Through this subsidiary management and organisational consulting, continuing education events and the production of publications are carried out.
50 years of KDZ - a chronology
Read our story in a short summary: KDZ chronology