Austria’s Federal Computing Centre – the BRZ (Federal Computing Centre) is the market leading ICT e-government partner of the federal administration in Austria. The BRZ runs Austria’s largest computing centre for the public administration, as well as, its own parallel computing centre and ensures one of the most reliable infrastructures available.
The establishment of Austria’s Computing centre
The history of the BRZ dates back to 1971, when Austria’s government agreed on an ICT concept for the administration: “To implement the required structural improvements we will have to concentrate on developing our ICT infrastructure.”
As a result the federation founded a computing office that focused on their domestic allocations and finances. The Federal Computing Office enabled an advance in efficiency and productivity in the 70s and 80s.
In 1992 the federal government defined three key factors within the federal ICT concept: the interaction between citizens and the economy, a focus on business management and the standardisation of ICT. Subsequently, a computing centre for ICT services and administrative know-how was developed.
In 1997, Austria’s Federal Computing Centre Ltd. (BRZ GmbH) was founded and all of the Federal Computing Office’s ICT processes were referred to the BRZ. In fact, the company is still owned by the Republic of Austria and represented by the Ministry of Finance. The BRZ (formerly the Federal Computing Office) was outsourced from the Federal Ministry of Finance with the following aims: resource pooling, the modernisation of the administration, head-count reduction and a more flexible salary scheme. From the beginning, the BRZ has been a full-service provider for the Ministries of Finance and Justice. Gradually from 1998 – 2006, the Computing Centres of the Education Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection were integrated into the BRZ.
The BRZ-Law as a foundation
As a private company, the BRZ’s duties, market and position are regulated by the ‘BRZ law’. According to the law the BRZ is obligated to administrate legally assigned ICT tasks, as well as briefs that are won in public bids – in particular the development, servicing and operating of ICT applications and infrastructure and the provision and supply of ICT resources. The core market is made up of the federal ministries and subordinate offices, as well as other legal entities, e.g. the Arbeiterkammer (official representative of employees), universities and the Federal Accounting Agency. In addition, the servicing and operating of federal applications is agreed to, made available and secured.
The BRZ today
In the past 15 years the BRZ has initiated and accomplished several successful projects. The BRZ established itself as the federation’s most important e-government partner. The partnership with the Austrian ICT industry was crucial for the success of the BRZ, in fact, the ICT market makes up two-thirds of the BRZ’s profit. The company has established a cooperative platform between the private sector and public administration.
Thanks to our employees’ ICT skills and management process know-how our company is the market leading ICT service provider within the federal administration, with a market share of 55%.
Standardisation, consolidation, automation and reuse are essential factors that ensure cost efficiency and service. The aim is to use scale and synergy effects to coordinate the use of ICT experts efficiently. By implementing these measures the BRZ was able to save their clients 226,3 million euros since 2008.