2002: Disincorporation from Federal Administration
The Federal Museum Act passed in 2002 and the Austrian National Library’s statute based on it brought a major and the as yet final change in terms of the library’s legal basis and organisation. An institution hitherto dependent on the federal administration and limited in its legal capacity, it was now given complete legal independence and received the status of a federal academic institution according to public law, which had shortly before also been granted, among others, to the Art History Museum (1999) and the Vienna Technical Museum (2000). This involved the complete shift to an independent business organisation, more flexibility with regard to human resources and budget, and, in general, the library administration’s professionalisation. The subsidies to be provided by the federal government for the Austrian National Library to fulfil its legal mission have ever since been enshrined in law in the form of a basic remuneration, which allows for longer-term and more goal-oriented budgetary planning. However, the Republic of Austria remains the legal owner of the real estate and collections entrusted to the Austrian National Library for utilisation.