Has nepotism taken hold at Romania’s National Radio?

Has nepotism taken hold at Romania’s National Radio?
(Image: Radiobroadcastcenter under a CC licence)

18 November 2016

The headquarters of Romanian Public Radio were subject to searches by the country's Economic Crime Directorate yesterday, amid suspicion of abuse of office by senior management.

According to sources at the Bucharest prosecutor's office, the investigation centres on contracts allegedly awarded by the state-owned broadcaster to companies owned by or linked to close relatives of members of its executive board. The approximate value of these contracts amounts to 90,000 euros ($95,500).

Romanian National Public Radio confirmed the searches, but omitted to comment on the accusations made against it.

“The prosecutors searched our offices, we fully cooperated and allowed access to all our documents,” the broadcaster wrote in a statement.

This is the latest in a string of controversies relating to nepotism, abuse of office or conflict of interest at the radio broadcaster.

Among other things, at the end of 2015 the manager of the Timișoara regional station made claims of illegal contracts and abuse of office, such as unexplained salary increases and the firing of several staff, some of whom won the right to be rehired. An audit in September 2016 revealed that the members of the administrative board were being paid through service contracts, which violates Romanian law.

Unlike Romania's state television broadcaster, TVR, which owes ten million euros (approx. US$11.3 million) in debt to the European Broadcasting Union, Romanian National Public Radio has reported a profit over the past five years — maybe these (alleged) tactics are working…

Source: Balkan Insight