Vienna Establishes "External Reporting Office for EU Infringements"

PeopleOther ♦ Published: January 10, 2023; 22:16 ♦ (Vindobona)

An External Reporting Office for EU Legal Violations, which was set up in Vienna at the beginning of 2023 following the requirements of the EU Whistleblowing Directive, is to make it possible to report violations of EU law. Marion Winkler took over the management of the External Reporting Office with an appointment decree.

Deputy Mayor Christoph Wiederkehr, Marion Winkler, Mayor Michael Ludwig, Magistrate Dietmar Griebler and Christian Meidlinger, Chairman of younion_The Existence Union (from left to right). / Picture: © C.Jobst/PID

The EU Directive on the Protection of Persons Reporting Breaches of EU Law ("EU Whistleblowing Directive") entered into force in December 2021 and was implemented in Vienna with the Vienna Whistleblower Protection Act. By the EU Directive, the Act provides for the establishment of two bodies for the confidential reporting of EU law violations: an internal and an external reporting office.

The tasks of the internal reporting office were already taken over by the Internal Audit and Compliance group of the Vienna Municipal Directorate in December 2021. As of January 1, 2023, the "External Reporting Office of the State of Vienna for EU Legal Violations" will now also be established. The management of this external office is independent in the performance of its duties and is not bound by any instructions.

Access to the external reporting office is open to all persons who have obtained information about violations in connection with their professional activities, especially whistleblowers who are professionally active in the private or public sector and have obtained information about a violation of the law within the meaning of this law in this context.

As the Vienna Chamber of Labor recently announced, it sees a need for action to protect employees who uncover wrongdoing in domestic companies. According to the current Whistleblower Protection Act, only those who report violations of EU law are currently protected.

The new external reporting office for EU law violations is located at 1080 Vienna, Auerspergstraße 15, 3rd floor.

Head of the external reporting office

Following a public call for applications, 12 persons applied for the position of head of the external reporting office. Marion Winkler emerged from the subsequent hearings as the most suitable person.

At its meeting on December 13, 2022, the Vienna Provincial Government appointed Marion Winkler to head the external reporting office as of January 1, 2023. She is independent and not bound by instructions in the performance of her duties. The appointment is for five years.

Marion Winkler graduated in law in 1993 and joined the City of Vienna as a legally qualified employee in 1995. Since then, Ms. Winkler has had a career as a civil servant with more than 25 years of service.

City of Vienna