According to the Audit Office (EA), the weaknesses and/or omissions mainly concern issues of staff and members of the Authority, in procedures of concluding contracts, in invoicing and collection of fees and fines, in delays in the collection of debts and in the housing of its offices.
The Audit Office emphasizes that the Authority “should make every effort to safeguard its interests and always act within the framework of legality, by applying the good practices and procedures required by the rules of good administration and sound financial management”. Citing data provided by the Authority, EV states that for 91 cases in 2019, until September 2020, 43 administrative fines totaling € 227,700 were imposed, of which, for four cases, administrative fines were imposed , totaling € 48,400 in 2019 and for the remaining 39 cases administrative fines totaling € 179,300 were imposed in the period January-September 2020.
“From the audit we noticed that in some cases there did not seem to be equal treatment between the Organizations”, he underlines.
Indicatively, EV states that in the violation of the category of cases “Advertising/telemarketing – frequency, duration, individual advertisements, ratio, without being clearly distinguished” it noticed that the following sanctions were imposed on two Organizations: (a) Organization T2 was fined € 34,400 and (b) to the T8 Agency a fine of € 7,750 (the fine also applied to T8 infringements in the same category.
For the purposes of enhancing transparency and equal treatment, the Audit Office suggests “again”, since a relevant report was made in the Special Report no. ARK/01/2019, as the Authority proceeds to amend article 41B (1) of the Law on Radio and Television Organizations, “so that the imposition of administrative sanctions, including the imposition of an administrative fine, is more specific, depending on the nature, the gravity, duration and significance of the infringement “.
“To design a procedure for the examination of infringements, which will determine the criteria for the amount/extent of the administrative fines that will be imposed, for the purposes of reliability, impartiality and uniformity of decisions, which on the one hand will not be an obstacle to the exercise of discretion of the Authority. but on the other hand it will be an insurance valve for the members of the Authority and will reduce the risks of unequal treatment of the supervised “, he underlines.
the Authority 's decisions would be treated unfairly and unequally if they were taken on the basis of standard allegations of infringement, without taking into account the specific, specific and unique facts and legal circumstances surrounding each case & # 8221 ;.
< p>He also adds that it is impossible and legally unorthodox for an article of a Law to be expected to be able to anticipate all cases of violations or all possible events or all the “criteria” that will arise in the future, in order to provide a specific sanction by law. for specific facts and infringements.
Finally, the President of the Authority states that the Organizations can appeal to the Administrative Court, which, if it deems that the Authority has exceeded its discretion or has erred in matters or the Law, can annul the contested decision.
In relation to data provided by the Authority for its debtors, the Audit Office states that the total debtors at the time of 31.12.2019 amounted to € 714,008, of which € 31,675 related to license fees, € 155,408 to advertising fees and € 526,925 to administrative fines.
He notes that out of the total of the administrative fines due on 31.12.2019, an amount of € 191,880 is due from the TV Organization T13, an amount of € 123,645 from the TV Organization T2 and an amount of € 81,450 from the TV Organization T8.
Regarding the T13 agency, in its report the Audit Office states that the Agency started in December 2020 to pay the agreed amount of € 2,500 per month for its debts and notes that the Authority is studying ways to collect the remaining amount, while all The debts are in the process of lawsuits and for many decisions amounting to € 104,314 have been issued.
In relation to the T8 agency, the EV states that the Agency paid the agreed amount of € 1,800 per month until < br /> In February 2021, in March it paid € 10,000 and from April it pays € 2,000 monthly.
In relation to the organization T2, it is mentioned in the report that the Organization pays from October 2020 the agreed amount of € 5,000 per month, while the Authority is studying ways to collect the remaining amount.
Notes that for the amount of € 21,439, the Authority has not filed a lawsuit for its collection.
Also states that the debts of the organization T1 are in the process of recovery through lawsuits.
Regarding debts of organizations that have ceased their operation, EV states that they are in the process of recovery through lawsuits and adds that the decisions of the lawsuits are expected for further measures for the recovery of the amounts due.