Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "BAK" stand for?

BAK is the acronym for "Bundesamt zur Korruptionsprävention und Korruptionsbekämpfung", the German name of the Austrian Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption.

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What is the BAK?

The BAK is an institution of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. In accordance with the law on the BAK, it is, from the organizational point of view, set up outside the Directorate-General for Public Security.

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Which law provides for the establishment and organization of the BAK?

The Law on the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAK-G; BGBl. [Federal Law Gazette] I, no. 72/2009) provides the legal basis for the BAK.

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What are the BAK's areas of responsibility?

In accordance with § 4, para. 1, of the BAK-G, the BAK has nationwide jurisdiction over security police and criminal police matters concerning the following criminal offences:

  1. abuse of official authority (§ 302 of the Austrian Penal Code (StGB)),
  2. corruptibility (§ 304 StGB),
  3. acceptance of advantages (§ 305 StGB),
  4. acceptance of an advantage for the purpose of exerting influence (§ 306 StGB),
  5. bribery (§ 307 StGB),
  6. offering an advantage (§ 307a StGB),
  7. offering an advantage for the purpose of exerting influence (§ 307b StGB),
  8. illicit intervention (§ 308 StGB), 8a. breach of official secrecy (§ 310 StGB),
  9. breach of trust due to abuse of an official function or due to involvement of an office holder (§§ 153 para. 2 case 2, 313 or in connection with § 74 para. 1 no. 4a StGB),
  10. acceptance of gifts by rulers (§ 153a StGB),
  11. agreements restricting competition in procurement procedures (§ 168b StGB) as well as serious fraud (§ 147 StGB) and commercial fraud (§ 148 StGB) on the basis of such agreement,
  12. acceptance of gifts and bribery of employees or agents (§ 309 StGB),
  13. money laundering (§ 165 StGB), provided that the assets arise from the offences 1 to 8, 9, 11 (second and third case) or 12; criminal associations or organizations (§§ 278 and 278a StGB), provided that they intend to commit the offences 1 to 9 or 11 (second and third case),
  14. acts punishable pursuant to the StGB and supplementary laws, provided that they are related to the offences 1 to 13 and have to be prosecuted by the BAK by written order of a court or a public prosecutor’s office,
  15. acts punishable pursuant to the StGB and supplementary laws that are committed by public employees of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, provided that they have to be prosecuted by the BAK by written order of a court or a public prosecutor’s office.

If in the cases defined in § 4, para. 1, nos. 11 to 13, of the BAK-G other criminal offences are involved, the BAK may only be responsible if the extent of the punishment depends, pursuant to § 28, para. 1, sent. 2, StGB, on the above mentioned criminal offences.
Pursuant to § 4, para. 2, of the BAK-G, the BAK has jurisdiction over investigations within the framework of international police cooperation and administrative assistance as well as for cooperation with the corresponding institutions of the European Union and the investigating authorities of the EU Member States in the above mentioned cases. Regarding international police cooperation in the cases 1 to 13, the Bureau acts as point of contact for OLAF, Interpol, Europol and other comparable international institutions.
The Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption shall, pursuant to § 4, para. 3, of the BAK-G, analyse corruption phenomena, gather information on preventing and combating them and develop appropriate preventive measures.

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Does the BAK also investigate against those persons involved in criminal proceedings who are not employed with the Ministry of the Interior or other territorial authorities, neither under private nor under public law?

As a rule, in cases under its responsibility (in particular bribery, abuse of authority, etc.) the BAK also investigates against this group of persons.

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How can I get in contact with the BAK?

You can contact the BAK at any time by telephone, mail, fax or email:

Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption
Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior
Herrengasse 7
1014 Vienna
Tel.: +43 1 53 126-906800
Fax: +43 1 53 126-108583
E-mail: BMI-III-BAK-SPOC@bak.gv.at

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Do I have to go through the official channels when reporting a case to the BAK?

Pursuant to § 5 BAK-G, federal employees must not be prevented from reporting allegations or suspicious circumstances concerning the above mentioned criminal offences directly to the BAK without going through the official channels (right to report)!

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I am afraid of repressive measures if I report irregularities. Will my identity be protected or kept secret by the BAK?

The BAK guarantees to treat data of people reporting suspicious circumstances as confidentially as possible. In this regard, the BAK strives, of course, for cooperation with the competent judicial authorities. In some cases, in particular when suspicion is based on information of an informer only, it may be imperative, due to the relevant criminal law provisions, to reveal the source of suspicion to court. Pursuant to § 53a BDG (Civil Servants’ Employment Act), all civil servants and contract staff members are afforded special protection.

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I would like to apply for the BAK. What do I have to do?

Employees of the Ministry of the Interior as well as of subordinate departments and authorities who are interested in working at the BAK can address themselves to the Bureau by mail or email at any time. Applications for employment with the BAK are based on the principle of voluntariness. It is not necessary to go through the official channels since the employee simply shows his/her interest in an informal and non-binding way. However, this is why we ask for understanding that a possible job interview would take place out of office hours. Applicants from outside the Ministry of the Interior are also welcome.

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Does the BAK have regional offices?

No. The BAK conducts its nationwide investigations from Vienna. Thus, Vienna is the place of employment for all personnel.

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Does employment at the BAK imply being transferred to the Ministry of the Interior?

Normally, personnel are temporarily assigned to the BAK (or employed on a permanent basis). Temporary assignments allow the employees from all over Austria to maintain their centre of life and both employees and BAK to mutually benefit from good technical knowledge on a broad geographical basis. Furthermore, personnel returning to their former offices at the end of their assignment are important disseminators of sustained anti-corruption policy.

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Do the BAK or its employees have special rights?

The BAK does not have any privileges and is, similar to any criminal police authority, bound by the relevant criminal law provisions. Hence, the BAK does not dispose of special security police rights, nor do its staff members receive bonuses or other special payments.

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Is the BAK an authority?

The BAK is an organizational unit of the supreme security authority, the Federal Minister of the Interior, set up outside the Directorate-General for Public Security.

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Does the BAK also investigate disciplinary issues?

No. The BAK only investigates suspicious circumstances possibly constituting a criminal offence.

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Which international contacts and relations does the BAK have?

The BAK’s professional networking activities include international and strategic cooperation with European authorities and important institutions of other world regions, but also an increasing number of transnational investigations. The Bureau is legally obliged and, in accordance with its future-oriented approach, highly committed to cooperate with the corresponding EU and international organizations and agencies.
By creating and enhancing national and foreign anti-corruption capacities, i.e. in particular the international exchange of experts and joint educational projects, the BAK aims to contribute considerably to so-called capacity building and good governance as well as to strengthening the rule of law at regional, national and international levels. Last but not least, the Federal Bureau of Anti-Corruption, in the framework of international conventions and mechanisms, in particular of the UN, OECD and Council of Europe, actively supports the further development and effective implementation of the necessary regional and global rules and standards.

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