Public Broadcaster should ensure transparency of salaries of its employees
The request for information on total funding of individual programs, as well as on salaries of employees, by Ninia Kakabadze, a newly elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster, has been followed by a sharp response on the part of several employees who criticized the said request. Ms. Kakabadze has yet to receive the information from the broadcaster’s management.
Powers of the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster:
Article 30 of the Law on Broadcasting establishes the powers of the Board of Trustees, which include the rights to:
adopt the budget of the Public Broadcaster upon the recommendation of the Director General;
hear a quarterly performance report of the Public Broadcaster, including a financial report (in accordance with the international financial accounting standards), within one month after the end of a quarter;
determine the conditions and amount of remuneration of the Director General;
approve the staff list, salaries of employees, and the wage fund, including the bonus fund and maximum amounts of bonuses, of the Public Broadcaster upon the recommendation of the Director General.
The law directly entitles the Board of Trustees not only to have access to the remuneration of employees but also to approve the staff list (which the broadcaster has yet to adopt) and to determine the salaries of employees, the wage fund, the amounts of bonuses, etc. The legislator attaches a great importance to the monitoring of the execution of the budget by the Board of Trustees, because the Parliament might express its non-confidence to the entire Board if the adopted budget is not executed and if the Board fails to take effective measures to have it executed (Subparagraph B, Paragraph 7, Article 27).
The Board of Trustees and the management of the Public Broadcaster have been criticized on several occasions due to vague and unsubstantiated expenses incurred by the broadcaster, including a case when compliance auditing was carried out by the State Audit Office revealed significant financial and managerial violations.
The experience of leading European public broadcasters demonstrates that the broadcasters attach enormous importance to financial transparency and accountability. European broadcasters proactively publish detailed information on the salaries of employees and budgets of individual programs.
The official website of BBC contains the salaries of the senior employees of the broadcaster in alphabetical order, including those of former employees. BBC not only publishes statistical information but also covers the information about the employees with the highest remuneration.
The information on the amounts of salaries of employees of the public broadcaster of Finland (Yleisradio Oy) is also available for the public.