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TRM as Seen by the Court of Accounts: Lost Income, Spaces Rented with Deviations, and Irregularly Adopted Budgets

28 July 2020
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In 2017-2019, free spaces from Teleradio-Moldova continued to be rented with deviations from the standards, as the Court of Accounts concludes after a new audit mission at the company. The CA experts have also detected errors in adopted budgets and salaries, as well as non-execution of obligations of transmitting the audiovisual fund to the National Archive. The conclusions were discussed by the members of the Court on 27 July, during an online public meeting also attended by TRM representatives.
 
According to the Court of Accounts auditors, as to deficiencies in renting vacant spaces, eight lease agreements were submitted without issuing receipt and delivery documents or issuing them with a delay, whereas in other cases, documents lacked necessary data. In addition, in two cases in 2017, lease relationships were maintained on the basis of expired agreements.
 
At the same time, the CA experts draw attention to the fact that almost 70% of the free space available at TRM has not been rented, which results in lost revenue. “Out of the total free spaces unused by TRM, only about 31.3% are leased, which diminishes the prospects for revenue accumulation from that source, which, for 2017-2019, according to the audit estimates for unused free spaces which could be leased (513 m2) could amount at least to 711.8 thousand lei”, the report states.
 
Sursa: Curtea de Conturi

The CA experts have also revealed shortcomings in budget planning and staff remuneration. Moreover, the public broadcaster has not fully complied with the provisions on proper preservation and protection of radio and TV recordings. They have not been sent for storage to the National Archive or included in the Register of National Mobile Cultural Heritage.
 
“PROBLEMATIC TENANTS” AND INCREASING THE SALARY GRID
 
During the meeting held for discussing the report, Viorel Chetraru, Vice-President of the Court of Accounts, was particularly interested in the issues regarding leased premises.

 

Olga Bordeianu, TRM General Director, has explained that, currently, the spaces Teleradio-Moldova can offer are in a poor condition and could compete with the owners who offer premises for rent in the center of the capital. “Contracts for more than a year are no longer being signed by TRM. Everything signed for 3-20 years has remained from the past”, Bordeianu says. According to her, currently, only two economic entities renting the company’s premises are “the most problematic ones” and have already been sued.
 
In addition, the decision to increase salaries which was not implemented has sparked discussions. “It was a conscious decision, because the Code of Audiovisual Media Services for the previous years provided very clearly that TRM would be financed from the state budget in the amount to be requested upon approving the specifications. Respectively, we decided to approve the increased salary grid and then address the Ministry of Finance and request an increase in the company’s budget with the amount that was required for it, yet it did not happen. Presently, we have a new Code which changes such issues a bit and does not provide for such thing anymore”, Bordeianu explains.
 
“I will not comment on the past, but I would like to recommend you, no matter what the relevant legislation may stipulate, to always apply the rules of mere logic, because it seems illogical to me to prepare a salary grid first, whatever it may be, before making sure that your financial resources are sufficient. How can one proceed like that? (...) I would do it a little differently: to start with, I would make sure we have financial resources to be shared, are after that, I would consider how they could be divided; otherwise, it looks like counting your chickens before they hatch”, Marian Lupu, CA President, states.
 
CC member Violeta Andries asked why the TRM archive fund was not sent for further storage. According to Olga Bordeianu, the company almost completed digitization of the radio fund, but it still had to work on TV shows recorded on magnetic tape.
 
Media Azi has previously written that the audit mission to Teleradio-Moldova was initiated in mid-January. Among other issues, the auditors intended to check how the recommendations from the last report issued in 2018 were being implemented. In the last ten years, three other Court audits detected several problems regarding unjustified expenses and lost income equal to millions of lei. Meanwhile, a criminal case initiated in 2015 based on the audit report has not yet been clarified in court.

Sursa Foto: Media-Azi