News‎ > ‎

MediaSind's arguments for the urgent dismissal of the head of Romanian Television!

postat 7 iul. 2020, 07:26 de Office Mediasind   [ actualizat la 7 iul. 2020, 07:28 ]
http://www.mediasind.ro/comunicate-1/argumentelemediasindpentrudemitereadeurgentaasefeitvr
As our organization announced, despite the denials of the Communication Service led by the former star Mircea Radu,tomorrow, July 8, 2020, through a videoconference system, will take place the extraordinary meeting of the Board of Directors of the Romanian Television Corporation - SRTv, having on the agenda the analysis of the management of Doina Gradea, the President - Director General. This meeting was organized following the request of Karen Sebesi, representative of the employees on the Board of Directors, who, on the Board meeting of June 18, 2020, asked the head of TVR to step down, as our organization has reported before (Members of the Board of Directors have officially requested the withdrawal of Doina Gradea from the position of President-Director General of the National Television Company!)

The Romanian Journalists Union MediaSind together with its subsidiary MediaSind TVR, in accordance with the resolutions voted by affiliated members in the General Meetings, calls on the Board members to vote at this extraordinary meeting, sending to the Romanian Parliament a request for the application of Art. 20 (3) of Law No.41/1994 on the organisation of SRR and SRTV, for the purpose of dismissing the President – Director-General of SRTV, Doina Gradea, for improper activity: The joint specialized Permanent Committees of the two Chambers may propose, with a majority vote of the members of the plenary of Parliament, the dismissal of any member of the Board of Directors, whose activity is inadequate. Parliament shall decide by a majority vote. The seat which has become vacant in this way or for any other reason shall be filled by the holder's alternate.

 

If, for political or other reasons, the request does not meet the majority vote of the Board, SRJ MediaSind and MediaSind TVR propose to the members of the Board who consider, like most TVR employees, that the abuses and discretionary spending of public money to the detriment of the institution must cease at once, to send individually to Parliament's specialized committees the request for the dismissal of the head of TVR.

This signal that the Board members send to the public and the Romanian Parliament is important for the urgent dismissal of the President – Director General of the Romanian Television Corporation, Doina Gradea, who brought the institution and its employees into a dramatic situation.

Here are the arguments:

Public opinion in Romania has been able to see that, in recent years, during the term of the President – Director General Doina Gradea, the public institution recorded only negative records, due to its disastrous management, a fact confirmed by several controls of the Court of Auditors. The humiliations to which the employees of the National Television were subjected were unimaginable, because they were always treated by the head of TVR with arrogance and disrespect for their professionalism.

The current administration spends public funds on a discretionary basis, ignoring the legal norms of transparency, thus causing serious damage to the institution, while insecuring the income of SRTV employees. As MediaSind TVR presented in yesterday's press release, July 6, 2020, the TVR administration damaged the institution's budget by more than EUR 20 million by refusing to apply the measures imposed by the Court of Auditors following controls on the activity of TVR. (The Romanian Television Corporation has been harmed by more than 20 million euros, money that should have been recovered from those responsible as early as 2017!)

TVR ratings collapsed due to a chaotic editorial policy, often dictated by the centers of power in various parties. A number of aberrant decisions of the executive management also played a detrimental role in this regard. Even during the pandemic, for example, when TVR had the mission to inform the population about the effects of COVID 19 infection, the President – Director General decided to suppress TV production, a situation that, unfortunately, persists even today! (What is still the point of the Romanian Television Corporation? Doina Gradea is a sub-mediocre manager named by Dragnea and only 2 out of 100 Romanians who watch TV choose TVR)

Regional studios are underfunded. Only 4 percent of the total budget of SRTV is distributed to the 5 regional studios in Cluj, Craiova, Timisoara, Tirgu-Mures and Iasi. For 2020, the investment budget allocated to regional studios was zero lei. The same goes for TVR Chisinau!

Doina Gradea and her team violated both the Romanian Constitution, the Public Warning Law, but also the ILO Conventions and European directives in the field of labor relations, by imposing a Code of Ethics that suppresses freedom of expression and causes dismissal of employees and collaborators inconvenient to management.

The social dialogue in TVR has deteriorated considerably, and the representative trade union organization has not been recognized as a social partner, according to domestic law, to international directives and conventions in the field of labor relations. Our representatives were denied the right to be members of the employment commissions organized at the institution level. They were also denied the right to take part, as observers, in the meetings of the Steering Committee. Moreover, the President of TVR appealed to the gendarmes of the institution in order to restrict the access of the leadership of the trade union organization to participate in the meetings of the Board, although there was a Board decision voted by all its members, by which our representatives had the right to participate. MediaSind's court rulings and the legal capacity to represent its members are ignored, through all sorts of legal aberrations supported by campaigns paid for with public money.

Repeated violations of Law no. 544/2001 on information of public interest and of GD 714/2018 on internal travel were found in court. In this respect, the Bucharest Court annulled the agreement signed by the management of TVR and its house union – SPUSTv reducing the delegation rights of the company's employees provided for in GD 714/2018.

Ignoring the rules of the democratic game of the rule of law, the Doina Gradea administration launched attacks, including in court, on the members of the Ethics and Arbitration Commission.

Due to the poor management, the institution lost extremely important contracts regarding the organization of standard events for the Romanian Television Corporation, in favor of some entities and private interest groups.

The employment in TVR was done by ignoring the legal procedures: regarding the  irregularities complained of at the meetings of the Board of Directors, the Legal Department delineated itself from any aspect related to the organization and validation of the vacancy contests. For example, in May 2019, three contests held simultaneously gave winners to three members of the Board of SRTV.

We point out the lack of transparency regarding the situation of the number of employments in the current term of the President- Director General Doina Gradea.

The current management of the institution is responsible for the discretionary spending of public funds at the level of SRTV structures, including TVR Moldova. 

The current President – Director General refused to assess the work of the executive management, maintained on an interim basis since her appointment until now.

By stopping the broadcasts from the current schedule, the Doina Gradea administration sabotaged the activity of TVR Moldova, in a period of strategic changes at the eastern border of Romania.

The same management of SRTV has repeatedly violated labor law, public information law, proving disregard and discrimination of the social partners.

SRJ MediaSind together with the affiliated members of TVR denounced the abuses and illegalities of the current management. In fact, there are over 20 lawsuits before the courts filed against the Gradea administration in relation to the discretionary way in which it intends to run the largest public media institution. Some of them have already been definitively won by our organization, which is why TVR management was obliged to make public the contracts and the names of the various collaborators, law firms etc., which benefited from millions of euros spent at discretion.

The illegalities discovered by the inspectors of the Court of Auditors are extremely serious, totally compromising the management of the institution. Here are the ones:

- The President - Director General of SRTv, Doina Gradea, had sufficient time from September 27, 2017, when she took over the management of TVR, and to this day, to take all necessary steps to recover more than EUR 20 million from the unfair dismissal of TVR employees and from the fraudulent execution of commercial contracts. Why only now - according to an address of the Court of Auditors sent to MediaSind TVR, has ordered the establishment of a verification committee, thus in breach of the Court of Auditors' Decision No 16/2016, Civil Sentence No. 2830/2017 of the Bucharest Court of Appeal (which also rejected the SRTv's request for suspension of the measures ordered by the inspectors of the control committee), as well as Judgment No. 1759/2020 of the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania - is a question that the head of TVR must answer before the criminal investigation bodies!

- From 2018 until now, the director general of SRTV has benefited from a gross salary income higher than the one established for the position of minister, as provided by Law no. 41/1994 on the organization and functioning of SRR and SRTV at art. 23 paragraphs 2 and 3: (2) The director general of the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as the director general of the Romanian Television Corporation receive a gross monthly salary, assimilated to the position of minister. (3) The other members of the Board of Directors of the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation and, respectively, of the Romanian Television Corporation shall receive, on a monthly basis, an allowance representing 25% of the gross monthly salary of the director general of the respective corporation.

The members of the Board of Directors have the right to the settlement, in accordance with the law, of the transport and accommodation expenses, occasioned by the participation in the meetings of the directors, which resulted in damage to the state budget by the amount of 237,800 lei, since it also influenced the amount of the allowance additionally granted to the members of the Board of Directors. Against this illegality, the Court of Auditors imposed a mandatory measure to recalculate the salary of the President – Director General of SRTV and the allowance received by the members of the Board, as well as the recovery of the damage from the guilty persons.

Although the deadline for the entry into legality expired on December 31, 2019, the situation was not remedied, which, according to the law, is a criminal offence.

-The Court of Auditors has referred since 2016 to the bankrupt way in which the TVR Production House operates, but the management of TVR has not taken any action in this regard.  On the contrary, the allocated budget has been substantially increased, reaching in 2020 to the amount of 3,071,474.34 lei! The Production House is headed by the ethics adviser of SRTV, Andras Istvan Demeter, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation, given that he was declared in conflict of interest by the High Court and Cassation and Justice of Romania and therefore no longer has the right to hold office for 3 years in public institutions!

http://www.scj.ro/1094/Detalii-dosar?customQuery%5B0%5D.Key=id&customQuery%5B0%5D.Value=200000000319954

At the same time, the Court of Auditors points out that the expenditure on the activity of the SRTV Production House is not justified by the results reflected in the indicators measuring the ratings of television stations, respectively the programs broadcast by public television station. For the 21 productions of the Production House, expenses were made in the amount of 347,456 lei, to which are added the salaries of the SRTV employees who participated in the necessary activities. The attracted income that these shows brought to the television company was 49,240 lei.

- Copyright and related rights contracts were concluded after the period in which the service representing them was to be performed, with delays of up to 70 and 89 days, respectively, which proves that the process of concluding these contracts is not regulated in properly and that the operations performed had a formal character, being meant to simulate only the appearance of legality.

- The Court of Auditors inspectors consider that the amount of 132,249.80 lei was illegally settled to the SRTV Branch from the Republic of Moldova for accommodation and utilities expenses for 4 employees, in the conditions in which the eligibility conditions established by GD 955/2014 were not met. Consequently, the State Budget was harmed by this amount, it is shown in the Decision.

- The legal provisions regarding the committment, liquidation, ordering and payment of expenses were not respected, the funds allocated from the state budget being used, thus, illegally, by exceeding the rules of expenses established for accommodation and per diem, in the statements of external expenses of the President – Director General of SRTV, with the amount of 15,798 lei.

- The Court of Auditors considers that in the case of some procurement procedures SRTV awarded contracts to ineligible suppliers, because their offers were non-compliant. It is about a contract worth 870,519 lei without VAT and another of 124,499.99 lei without VAT. For these irregularities, on 22.07.2019, SRTV paid to the state budget a fine in the total amount of 15,000 lei, applied through the Minutes of finding and sanctioning the contraventions no. 7/07.19.2019.

Until now, these amounts have not been recovered from the guilty persons, which is a criminal offence, according to Law No 94/1992.

- SRTV unlawfully awarded a number of procurement contracts to a tenderer who proposed that some of the equipment subject to them be refurbished, although the documentation for the award of the procurement procedures in question did not provide for the possibility of such goods. Thus, the contract no. 26856/12.11.2018 in the amount of 351,935.36 lei for the supply of graphics computers, contract no. 268367/9.11.2018 in the amount of 34,391 lei for the supply of workstations for video playback, contract no. 26840/9.11.2018 in the amount of 105,610 lei for the purchase of a storage system, contract no. 26876/16.11.2016 in the amount of 38,556 lei for the purchase of workstations for video wall monitors were unlawful concluded. The endorsements and the approvals from the collective management bodies of SRTV (the Steering Committee and the Board of Directors) for concluding the contracts in question were granted in the absence of information regarding the fact that the equipment to be purchased is not new. For this reason, on 22.07.2019, SRTV paid to the state budget a fine in the total amount of 15,000 lei applied through the Minutes of finding and sanctioning the contraventions no. 7 of 19.07.2019.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no decision has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

-The open tender procedure for the purchase of tanks, hydrophores, boilers and equipment was not sufficiently substantiated and the award of the contract to a specific company was made contrary to the provisions of Law No. 98/2016 on public procurement. For this, on 22.07.2019 SRTV paid to the State Budget a fine in the total amount of 15,000 lei, applied through the Minutes of finding and sanctioning the contraventions no. 7 of 19.07.2019.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no action has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Accounts no. 11/2019.

- SRTV proceeded to send to SICAP (the IT system for public procurement) the award notice related to the procurement procedure concerning the supply of supporting elements for production lighting equipment with a delay of 14 days from the legal deadline provided by the legislation on public procurement. Consequently, on 22.07.2019 SRTV paid to the state budget the fine in the total amount of 15,000 lei applied through the Minutes of finding and sanctioning the contraventions no. 7 of 19.07.2019.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no action has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

- Failure to submit for approval to the Board of Directors the proposals to start batch- organized procurement procedures, as well as to conclude contracts resulting from their implementation,even though the total value of procurement required this.

 - The state budget was damaged with the amount of 174,808.62 lei because SRTV illegally paid to a private provider certain services that it was obliged to support free of charge, according to the contract concluded with TVR management.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no decision has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

-Concluding contracts for the assignment of copyright and related rights for artists represented by a private agency, for the recitals within the Golden Stag Festival 2018, without the approval of the Steering Committee and without supporting documents attesting the reality of the performance, amounting to 11 365 lei.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no decision has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

-In 2018, a tank worth 831,616.03 lei was purchased from a private company without complying with legal procedures.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no decision has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

 - In 2018, SRTV did not execute the revenue and expenditure budget of the Golden Stag Festival according to the financing sources approved by the Decision of the Steering Committee no. 530/25.05.2018 and the Board of Directors Decision no. 66 from 20.05.2018. By changing the sources of financing and in the absence of the Steering Committee and the Board of Directors approvals, through the executive management, SRTV requested and improperly collected from the State Budget the amount of 1,548,146.96 lei, the Decision states.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no action has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

-Concluding contracts for the assignment of copyright and intellectual property rights for artists who performed recitals at the Golden Stag Contest Festival 2018, supported from public funds, given the lack of good financial management of those amounts.

Although the deadline for recovering the damage from the guilty persons was set for December 31, 2019, no action has been taken to date, which is a criminal offence, according to the decision of the Court of Auditors no. 11/2019.

These are some of the illegalities likely to be criminally sanctioned, discovered by the inspectors of the Court of Auditors at the Romanian Television Corporation.

Unfortunately, the complicity that exists between the executive management and some decision-makers in SRTV has caused the notifications, the alarm cries of SRTV employees, including those of our organization, to stop this robbery, to be blocked, which is why MediaSind has been forced to respond nationally and internationally:

Romanian television company has been harmed by more than 20 million euros, money that should have been recovered from those responsible as early as 2017!

The service led by the former star, Mircea Radu, "out of love" misinforms the public opinion: The TVR management claims that there will be no board meeting for the activity of the head of TVR, although it had already been convened for July 8!

The management of TVR made acquisitions of over one million lei, through direct entrustment, from a company from Calarasi. The head of the service that benefits from these acquisitions is a former employee of that company!

SRTV sued for suspicious contracts concluded by the head of TVR with a former business partner and personal advisor!  http://www.mediasind.ro/comunicate-1/srtvactionatainjudecatapentrucontractelesuspecteincheiatedesefatvrcuunfostpartenerdeafacerisiconsilierpersonal

The Bucharest Court annulled the reductions of rights negotiated by the TVR management with the house union against the employees!

SRTV management sued for hiding the result of radiation measurements from National Television Company!

The irresponsibility of the Gradea administration endangers the health of all TVR employees!

TVR management obliged by the court to make preferential employments public!

Citing ethical considerations, TVR management imposes an illegal and immoral procedure to fire uncomfortable employees!

The management of TVR obliged by the court to make public the list of collaborators for whom it paid more than 3 million euros!

TVR management has abusively spent approximately 1.3 million euros on legal aid contracts!

MediaSind TVR calls on political leaders to stop the disaster in TVR and to dismiss the current administration!

 The Bucharest Court obliges the Gradea administration to explain why it did not perform noxious determinations for all the risk factors from the National Television Company!

 Public warning to stop the adoption of the abusive Procedure regarding ethical conduct in TVR!

The Grade administration sued for secreting public spending during the state of emergency!

MediaSind asked TVR management in court to explain how it spent over one million euros on overtime pay!

How can TVR employees be fired if they violate the Ethical Conduct Procedure!

For the Gradea administration public expenditures in the state of emergency are a professional secrecy! The head of TVR invents a violation of correspondence to evade compliance with the law of information of public interest!

MediaSind TVR requested National Anti-Corruption Directorate, DNA, to investigate the robbery discovered by the Court of Auditors in the National Television Company!

SRJ MediaSind requested in court the annulment of the new Code of Ethics which, in fact, masks a procedure for dismissal of uncomfortable employees of TVR!

The CNSLR-Brotherhood Confederation supports protests against the abuses of the head of TVR! !

The International Federation of Journalists and UNI Global Union support all protests for the dismissal of the head of TVR!

The International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists have reported to the Council of Europe the abuses in the Romanian Television Corporation!


Specification: Romanian Journalists Union MediaSind, a Romanian legal entity established on the basis of the Civil Sentence no. 2782/2001, Tax Number 14196803, assumes legal responsibility for the published information. If you want more details/documents/other evidence regarding this press release, you can contact office@mediasind.ro and tvr@mediasind.ro .

 National Executive Bureau

Bucharest, July 7, 2020