Preface The international version of the 2014 annual report of the Austrian Ombudsman Board (AOB) for the first time includes both, the AOB’s expost investigative proceedings relevant to human rights as well as the AOB’s mandate as the Austrian National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). Chapter I of this report provides general information on the structure of the AOB, its public relations work and international activities, as well as a brief summary of each member on the accomplishments and key areas for the reporting period. Chapter II presents the key figures for 2014 and outlines the performance records and most important results of the AOB’s traditional role of expost control of public administration. This part of the report focuses on fundamental rights cases of the AOB’s ex-post control and illustrates structural weaknesses by examples. The number of citizens approaching the AOB with their concerns and complaints once again increased significantly compared to the previous year. Chapter III equals the annual report on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), which is delivered to the UN-Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture on a yearly basis. This very broad mandate as National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) according to the OPCAT includes a mandate as independent monitoring authority according to Article 16.3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as a mandate to monitor and concomitantly examine the behavior of organs authorized to carry out coercive measures. In its preventive work, the AOB focuses on finding ways to make progress towards lasting, highlevel solutions. In this area, perseverance and tenacity are key to achieving sustainable improvements. We would like to thank the Federal Ministries and other federal, regional and municipal bodies for their willingness to cooperate during the past year. We also thank the commissions for their commitment and the Human Rights Advisory Council for its on-going support. Our particular thanks go to all the employees of the AOB, who contribute significantly to the fulfilment of our constitutional mandate. Günther Kräuter Vienna, July 2015 Gertrude Brinek Peter Fichtenbauer

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