Many of these objects were not transferred to the BIG, but remained in the ownership of the Republic of Austria for a number of reasons, such as their limited scope of use (inter alia buildings with especially low or high ceilings, or monuments), existing international and legal provisions (e.g. with respect to church institutions, or international organisations), or their use for political or sovereign purposes by the supreme bodies of the Republic (including the buildings reserved for the Federal President and the Federal Chancellor as well as the Constitutional and Supreme Administrative Court).
Furthermore, due to strict regulations concerning monument protection and their structural particularities, these objects could not be transferred to the private sector and remained in the ownership of the Republic of Austria. Refinancing any construction works via rental agreements in line with market requirements or any profitable utilisation of these objects would simply not be possible.
Our experts at the BHÖ conserve the building structure as well as administer and protect the buildings in order to preserve this invaluable cultural heritage. Besides property management, the BHÖ also undertakes the entire construction management and a variety of extra services such as increased fire and object protection as well as administrative and cultural management (concerning inter alia protests, demonstrations in public places).Carrying out all these tasks alone, the BHÖ harnesses synergies and only by doing so can it ensure the best possible administration of these cultural assets.
Among the buildings and properties the BHÖ is in charge of, there are numerous objects housing former public departments and entities which are now no longer under federal administration (Federal Museums, Schönbrunn Zoo, Spanish Riding School etc.). Yet, as the new private companies lacked internal funding, the objects themselves were not transferred to their property. Instead, the companies were granted rights of use (rent, lease and usufruct). This allows the BHÖ to generate revenue for the Republic of Austria. However, given the restricted usability of these buildings, the revenue is fairly low and cannot be used to finance building rehabilitation. Furthermore, as such companies also generally lack the required knowledge and experience (especially in construction engineering), it would neither be possible nor reasonable to fully transfer the objects, inclusive of responsibilities in the field of building rehabilitation.
Affected by the federal government's strict budget policy and the cuts involved, the BHÖ found it necessary to introduce innovative measures to reduce the administrative burden (i.e. organisational change and the introduction of modern business methods) as well as modern funding models (including private-public-partnership).
Finally, it is not appropriate to apply free market principles to judge the BHÖ in terms of professional object and property management. Instead, macroeconomic viewpoints and common interests need to be considered. Accordingly, the following conclusions can be drawn: