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Rada TV channel did not provide information in response to IMI's request

17.01.2022, 18:06
RAda TV channel
RAda TV channel

The state enterprise Rada Parliamentary TV Channel did not respond to IMI's request for information regarding the use of budget funds for full-time and freelance journalists, as well as regarding the channel's management.

On December 17, IMI sent a request to Rada TV channel regarding staffing, use of budget funds, remuneration to management and involvement of external specialists. Rada TV requested additional time to process the request, and on January 17 provided a "response" to IMI's request, which did not contain the requested information.

In particular, the Rada TV channel informed IMI that there was no separate document approving the staff list (“schedule”). "No such information is in the process of performing their duties by the TV channel is not presumed," - said in response.

However, according to the lawyer Ali Safarov, in accordance with Article 64 of the Commercial Code of Ukraine, the company independently determines its organizational structure, sets the number of employees and staffing. The form of staff list for enterprises financed from the state budget (which includes the Rada TV channel) was approved by the Order of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine of 28.01.2002 N57 "On approval of documents used in the budget execution process". Thus, the lawyer added, either the Rada TV channel violates the legislation of Ukraine on labor and use of budget funds by not drawing up and approving the staff list, or the Rada TV channel violates the law on access to public information by hiding this document from the public.

The Rada TV channel also refused to provide IMI with a biographical profile of the head, copies of the minutes of the competition commission and the director's order to approve the results of art competitions. The Rada channel told IMI that "the requested documents do not contain information on budget commitments and the use of budget funds, or the disposal of budget funds in any other way." "As providing information on copies of the minutes of the competition commission and the director's order approving the results of art competitions does not provide information on the use of budget funds, we ask you, if necessary, to clarify the request in this part," - said in response. 

However, IMI lawyer Ali Safarov notes that the channel's refusal to provide these documents is a violation of the law on access to public information, because these protocols directly determine the use of budget funds . The only way to spend budget funds bypassing the statutory public procurement procedure is to hold an "art competition", the lawyer added. The document, which is posted on the Rada TV channel's website, mentions several art competitions, where budget funds were distributed by the decision of the competition commission. In particular, the funds were received by Kinokit LLC and Darya Litvinova.

In addition, in response to IMI's request, Rada TV channel did not provide information on the amount of the channel manager's remuneration, including compensation packages and additional benefits they receive (or are entitled to) in the performance of their duties, as well as in connection with the release. Instead, the channel reported only general information that “for the performance of duties under the contract, the director is charged a salary based on the established: salary; allowances for years of service ”.  

Rada TV Channel is a state unitary enterprise, and thus, in accordance with part eight of Article 74 of the Commercial Code of Ukraine, it is obliged to publish certain information on its website. In particular, a biographical profile (including professional characteristics) of the head of the state unitary enterprise (taking into account the requirements of the legislation on personal data protection); structure, principles of formation and amount of remuneration of the head and members of the supervisory board of a state unitary enterprise, including compensation packages and additional benefits they receive (or are entitled to receive) in the performance of official duties, as well as in connection with dismissal (the term "additional benefit" is used in the meaning defined in the Tax Code of Ukraine), ie the information for which IMI submitted a request.  

IMI lawyer Ali Safarov noted that Rada TV channel not only did not make public the above-mentioned requested information on its website, but also refused to provide it at IMI's request. "Such a refusal is a violation of the law on access to public information," the lawyer said.

IMI sent a request on December 17, 2021 with a list of seven questions. The NGO requested the following public information:

1.copy of the document approving the staffing schedule of the Rada TV channel;

2.information on the number of freelance journalists and other specialists involved, the amount of costs for their services (labor) during 2021;

3.biographical profile (including professional characteristics) of the head of Rada TV channel;

4.structure, principles of formation and amount of remuneration of the head of the Rada TV channel, including compensation packages and additional benefits that they receive (or are entitled to receive) during the performance of official duties, as well as in connection with dismissal.

5.copy of the minutes of the meeting of the competition commission for organizing and conducting an art competition to develop a creative concept, production of studio design elements and their installation in the state enterprise "Parliamentary TV Channel" Rada "№6 / 1 from 03.12.2021.

6.copy of the minutes of the meeting of the tender commission for organizing and conducting an art competition to develop a creative concept and create cyclical informational, analytical television programs (programs) and talk shows for the state enterprise "Parliamentary TV Channel" Rada "№ 10/5 from 06.12.2021.

7.copy of the order of the director of the state enterprise "Parliamentary TV Channel" Rada from 07.12.2021 №106 "On approval of the results and determination of the winners of art competitions in the state enterprise" Parliamentary TV Channel "Rada".

It will be recalled that on December 15, 2021, the state parliamentary channel Rada updated its format. The channel's studios were set up in the buildings of the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers.

Producer Oleksiy Semenov has confirmed his participation in the update of the Rada TV channel.

Political technologist Volodymyr Petrov, blogger Serhiy Ivanov, and a number of former journalists from 112 Ukraine, NewsOne, and ZIK were featured in the promo.

The Rada TV channel later stated that it had nothing to do with the promo video with the new presenters, who started working on the updated broadcaster on December 15.

At the request of the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Olena Kondratyuk, the Verkhovna Rada held a meeting to discuss the situation with the Rada channel. The participants of the meeting agreed that political technologist Volodymyr Petrov should not be on the parliamentary TV channel. However, Petrov , who was soon suspended from the Rada TV channel, returned to the channel as an expert.

Volodymyr Petrov is a Ukrainian political technologist, media consultant, founder of the Lumpeni production site, owner and TV presenter of the Iceland channel.

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