Section VIII: Finance

Article 85

(1) All revenue and expenditure shall be assessed in the budget for every fiscal year; it shall be determined by a law (the Budget Act). An assessment and determination for a longer period of time and, in specific exceptional cases, proof of extrabudgetary revenue and expenditure may be admitted by law.

(2) Each borough shall be allocated a lump sum to fulfil its tasks in the framework of the Budget Act. When determining these lump sums for the borough budget plans, a fair balance must be achieved among the boroughs. At the end of each year, the final results obtained shall be added to the lump sum for the following year’s borough budgets.

Article 86

(1) The Budget Act shall form the basis for the administration of all revenue and expenditure.

(2) Budget funds must only be used insofar as this is required by economical administration.

(3) Budget management must be based on a five-year financial plan. The financial plan shall be submitted to the House of Representatives at the latest together with the draft Budget Act for the following financial year.

Article 87

(1) The Senate may not impose either taxes or levies nor raise loans or provide securities without a legal basis.

(2) Loans may be raised only if other funds for cover are not available. Revenue from loans may not exceed the total investment expenditure provided for in the budget estimates; exceptions shall be permissible only to avert a disturbance of macroeconomic equilibrium. Details shall be the subject of law.

Article 88

(1) Extrabudgetary expenditure shall require the consent of the Senate in the case of an unforeseen and compelling necessity.

(2) The subsequent consent of the House of Representatives is to be obtained for extrabudgetary expenditure.

(3) A ruling of the House of Representatives is to be obtained in the event that the Senator in charge of finance raises an objection to an item of extrabudgetary expenditure.

(4) Corresponding regulations may be made by law concerning extrabudgetary expenditure in the boroughs.

Article 89

(1) In the event that the budget estimates have not yet been determined by the beginning of the new financial year, the Senate shall be authorised to set up provisional regulations so that indispensable expenditure can be effected to maintain existing institutions, to comply with statutory tasks and legal obligations, to continue building projects and maintain the proper functioning of the administrative apparatus. The Borough Office shall be authorised to issue supplementary regulations in respect of the borough budget.

(2) To the extent that revenue from taxes, charges and other sources based on specific legislation or the working capital reserves do not cover the expenditure referred to in para 1, the Senate may borrow the funds needed to sustain budget management, up to a maximum of one quarter of the total amount of the preceding budget estimates.

Article 90

(1) Bills and motions relating to measures which entail a reduction of revenue or an increase of expenditure with respect to the budget shall be debated in the House of Representatives in two readings with, as a rule, an interval of 48 hours.

(2) The resolutions shall contain regulations regarding cover.

Article 91

The members of the Senate and of the Borough Offices, as well as other members of the public service who violate the financial provisions contained in the Constitution, and in doing so incur guilt, shall be held liable for the damage resulting therefrom. There shall, however, be no obligation to pay damages if the action was carried out to avert an unforeseeable imminent danger, and provided the violation of the provisions did not exceed the extent required by the emergency.

Article 92

The organisation, administration, economic management and accounts of those Berlin-owned corporations without legal capacity (Eigenbetriebe) shall be the subject of a law. Accounting shall be organised in such a way that current management and its results can be clearly understood.

Article 93

(1) The conversion of Berlin-owned corporations and of individual plants of unimpaired value to judicial entities shall require a decision to be taken by the House of Representatives.

(2) The sale of property shall be regulated by law.

Article 94

(1) In the course of the first nine months of the following fiscal year, the Senate shall submit a statement of accounts to the House of Representatives covering all revenue and expenditure of the budgetary management, as well as assets and debts.

(2) After the audit of the budget and the assets accounts by the Court of Audit, the House of Representatives shall vote on the discharge of the Senate. It shall decide on measures to be initiated, and may expressly voice its disapproval of certain circumstances.

Article 95

(1) The Court of Audit is an independent supreme Land authority subject only to the law. Its members shall enjoy the same independence as judges.

(2) The Court of Audit shall be chaired by a president. He/she shall be elected by the House of Representatives with the majority of its members at the proposal of the Senate and appointed for life by the President of the House of Representatives. The President of the Court of Audit shall be subject to the service supervision of the President of the Berlin House of Representatives.

(3) The Court of Audit shall review the accounts (Article 94) and determine whether Berlin’s public finances as a whole have been properly and efficiently administered. It shall submit an annual report on this to the House of Representatives, and shall inform the Senate at the same time.

(4) The House of Representatives and the Senate may request the Court of Audit to investigate matters of particular importance and report on them.

(5) Details shall be the subject of a law.