Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Resolution on Forming of an Ad Hoc Investigation Commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and Assigning It to Carry out a Parliamentary Investigation into the Management and Financial and Economic Activiti


Published: 2018-12-01

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SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
 
RESOLUTION
ON FORMING OF AN AD HOC INVESTIGATION COMMISSION OF THE SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND ASSIGNING IT TO CARRY OUT A PARLIAMENTARY INVESTIGATION INTO THE MANAGEMENT AND FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES OF THE LITHUANIAN NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION
 
12 January 2018 No XIII-1022
Vilnius
 
 
 
 
The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania,
having received the annual activity report for 2016 submitted by the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (hereinafter: the ‘LRT’) Council and the responses provided in Letter No 4RA-1222-(A1) of 28 November 2017 and Letter No S6-01 of 2 January 2018 to the questions posed by a group of Members of the Seimas;
recognising that the above-mentioned responses by the LRT require detailed analysis and there is a necessity to carry out parliamentary scrutiny of the LRT activities whose details were sought by the inquiries of Members of the Seimas, with an assessment of the implementation of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (hereinafter: the ‘Law’) as well as other legal acts regulating the management and financial and economic activities of the LRT;
drawing attention to the fact that even after the repeated referral of the group of Members of the Seimas, not all the requested information related to the management and financial and economic activities of the LRT has been provided by the LRT on the grounds of confidentiality;
emphasising that Article 2(1) of the Law stipulates that the LRT is a public institution which belongs to the State by the right of ownership while Article 15(3) of the Law ensures that the LRT is financed with the funds of the State Budget – the funds allocated to the LRT are indicated on a separate line in the State Budget;
respecting the principles of independence, transparency and accountability of public media enshrined in international and Lithuania’s legal acts, with Great Britain’s public broadcaster, the BBC, to be considered as an example of best practice in terms of practical implementation of these principles;
stating that Article 67(14) of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania sets out the task of the Seimas to approve the State Budget and supervise its execution;
noting that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania established in its Ruling of 21 December 2006 on the Status, Management and Rights of the National Broadcaster that the control over the national broadcaster comprises not only financial or property audit, but also other forms of control defined in laws; therefore, a conclusion can be drawn that such control also includes parliamentary scrutiny which, inter alia, is exercised by the Seimas for the assessment of compliance with the laws, resolutions of the Seimas and proposals and recommendations of the committees of the Seimas;
noting that the above-mentioned Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania also states that the scrutiny exercised in respect of the LRT must, inter alia, ensure that the national public broadcaster does not abuse its special legal status and the opportunities granted by this status (also, those that are granted in the radio and television services market), that in its activity it does not deviate from the constitutional imperatives of fair competition and that the funds, which are allocated (not only from the State Budget) to the national public broadcaster so that it could carry out its special constitutional mission, are used precisely for this purpose;
having regard to the fact that the performance and financial audits carried out by the National Audit Office of Lithuania only partially cover the control areas indicated in the above-mentioned Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania;
having assessed the content of the concept of commercial secret stipulated in the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania, Article 10(6) of the Law and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania;
pursuant to Article 71 of the Statute of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, hereby resolves:
 
Article 1.
To form an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter: the ‘Commission’) comprising 13 Members of the Seimas who are, under the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on State Secrets and Official Secrets, authorised to handle or familiarise with the information classified ‘Secret’ and to assign it to carry out a parliamentary investigation into the management and financial and economic activities of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
 
Article 2.
To approve the following members of the Commission:
1) Rimas Andrikis;
2) Agnė Bilotaitė;
3) Petras Čimbaras;
4) Dainius Gaižauskas;
5) Vanda Kravčionok;
6) Kęstutis Mažeika;
7) Andrius Navickas;
8) Arvydas Nekrošius;
9) Žygimantas Pavilionis;
10) Virgilijus Poderys;
11) Agnė Širinskienė;
12) member to be assigned;
13) member to be assigned.
 
Article 3.
To appoint Arvydas Nekrošius as chair of the Commission.
 
Article 4.
To place the Commission under the obligation to assess the annual activity report for 2016 submitted by the LRT Council, the responses provided by LRT in Letter No 4RA-1222-(A1) of 28 November 2017 and Letter No S6-01 of 2 January 2018 to the questions posed by a group of Members of the Seimas and, by carrying out a parliamentary investigation:
1) to assess whether the management structure of the LRT, the number of employees, the employees’ wages, the ratio of the broadcasts created by the LRT itself, by the LRT together with the companies providing production services or independent producers and exclusively by the companies providing production services or independent producers allow for the rational use of the funds of the State Budget and are consistent with the Lithuanian market conditions;
2) to assess whether the management structure specified in and the functions and the sharing of competences defined by legal acts, inter alia, the internal legal acts of the LRT, are in line with the European practice for national broadcasters, ensure the transparency of activities of the LRT and create appropriate conditions for the implementation of the mission of the LRT as a national broadcaster;
3) to assess European experience in ensuring the publicity and accountability of the activities of national broadcasters and to determine the changes in the regulation of activities of the LRT which would help to ensure greater publicity and accountability of activities of the LRT to the public;
4) to assess whether the methods of public dissemination of cultural, social and educational information (for remuneration, for any other consideration, free of charge) defined in Article 6(3) of the Law are applied by the LRT in a transparent manner and are subject to adequate control. If it is established that in selecting the methods of dissemination of information, there is the lack of adequate transparency and/or control, the persons liable are to be identified. If the lack of transparency and control has been caused by flawed regulation, gaps in legislation are to be identified;
5) to assess whether Resolution No 1264 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 9 October 2003 on Approval of the Description of the Procedure for Procuring the Services of Creation of Radio and Television Programmes, their Preparation for Broadcasting and Time of Broadcasting of Prepared Programmes and Radio and Television Broadcasts, which has not been updated since 1 February 2009 (in view of changes in the legal regulation of public procurement at national and European Union levels during the period 2009-2017) creates preconditions for contracting authorities to carry out non-transparent procurement procedures or whether it allows for uncompetitive conduct of the contracting authorities, taking into account corruption-related issues, the corruption risk factors identified in corruption risk analyses by the Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Lithuania. If the above-mentioned circumstances are established, the reasons why the LRT Council has not raised this issue and has not referred to the Government initiating necessary legislative amendments are to be determined and the persons liable are to be identified;
6) to investigate and to assess whether the application of Resolution No 1264 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 9 October 2003 on Approval of the Description of the Procedure for Procuring the Services of Creation of Radio and Television Programmes, their Preparation for Broadcasting and Time of Broadcasting of Prepared Programmes and Radio and Television Broadcasts creates, in certain cases, preconditions for the emergence of corruption environment and/or avoidance by the LRT of public procurement procedures (for example, carrying out of procurement via the Central Portal of Public Procurement, selection of methods of procurement in accordance with strict legal requirements, etc.), which are established by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Public Procurement, orders of the Director of Public Procurement Office, Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council;
7) to assess whether the LRT, in carrying procurement procedures pursuant to Resolution No 1264 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 9 October 2003 on Approval of the Description of the Procedure for Procuring the Services of Creation of Radio and Television Programmes, their Preparation for Broadcasting and Time of Broadcasting of Prepared Programmes and Radio and Television Broadcasts and the Law on Public Procurement, acts in a transparent manner, without creating restrictions on the competition of suppliers, and timely and comprehensive supervision and control mechanisms are in place for the monitoring of ongoing procedures;
8) to determine whether the supervisory authorities and other public administration entities have identified with regards to the LRT any violations of the Law on Public Procurement and/or certain weaknesses in the procurement procedures organised by the LRT; also to evaluate what organisational or other measures have been undertaken by the LRT in the cases when the weaknesses have been identified. If the violations have not been eliminated, the persons liable and/or weaknesses in legal regulation are to be identified;
9) to investigate and to assess whether the LRT has in place an adequate mechanism for organising, monitoring and exercising internal control of all ongoing public procurement procedures. If issues regarding the application of legal acts and/or other weaknesses in procurement organisation and/or internal control are established, the persons liable are to be identified. If the identified weaknesses have been caused by flawed regulation, gaps in legislation are to be identified;
10) to investigate and to assess whether the prices of the services purchased by LRT from producers and/or from the companies providing production services are consistent with market conditions. If the prices indicated in the transactions concluded by the LRT are to be regarded as unreasonable, the transaction prices to be regarded as reasonable, considering the market conditions, are to be determined;
11) to investigate and to assess whether the prices of rent or other use of the assets managed by the LRT (for example, premises) are consistent with market conditions. If the prices indicated in the transactions concluded by the LRT are to be regarded as unreasonable, the transaction prices to be regarded as reasonable, considering the market conditions, are to be determined;
12) to investigate and to assess whether the programmes provided by the LRT, as adapted for persons with hearing or visual impairments, ensure the needs of the disabled. If the proportion of the programmes adapted for the persons with hearing or visual impairments is small (i.e., it does not ensure their needs), the reasons for the small proportion of the LRT programmes adapted for the persons with hearing or visual impairments (as required by Article 5(9) of the Law) are to be determined and, upon identifying weaknesses, the persons liable are to be identified. If the identified weaknesses have been caused by flawed regulation, gaps in legislation are to be identified.
 
Article 5.
To assign the Commission to complete the investigation and to submit a conclusion to the Seimas by 1 June 2018.
 
 
 
Speaker of the Seimas                                                                                        Viktoras Pranckietis