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RAEM reports – what is their legal obligation

Council of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media, or person who writes press releases on their behalf and answers to media (CINS, Politika, Danas) tried hard in the past few days to prove that no secret reports on monitoring of broadcasters, during the election campaign in 2016, existed.

When we exclude literary, political and other digressions that make the most of these articles, it brings us to conclusion that main argument of denying recent CINS article is of formal nature – what was prepared by the professional services, and not adopted by theCouncil of REM hasn’t adopted, „is not the report“.

However, following claim from the last announcement (answer to „Danas“) is more interesting: „there are laws in this country, that we comply to, and that obviously neither SzS nor you are interested in, and in compliance with those laws, the only report RAEM has to adopt is the one on extent of advertising (commercial content), of the political parties in their campaigns.

That report is forwarded to the Anticorruption Agency by RAEM, which then checks based on it how much money has each of the party spent, ant other services then, whether the tax has been paid,and we did that in respect to the law.“

RAEM in deed delivers data about commercial advertising to the Anticorruption Agency, and Agency than uses these data in a certain way. Question remains on how the received data are usable for controlling of the financing of the campaign, as well as to which extent Agency performs such control.

Namely, the report of RAEM,shows the scope of advertising but not the price, which is the key data necessary forcontrolling. However, problem in press release of RAEM is the claim which reports RAEM is obliged to prepare in compliance with the law, and which not, is false. Namely, neither in media laws, nor in the Law on Financing of Political Activities there is no such obligation of RAEM to create or adopt the report on commercials that parties broadcasted during the campaign.

Therefore, RAEM sometimes prepares these reports and sometimes not, sometimes they are with more details and sometimes not, and the only reason for that is the fact that obligation of preparation and publishing as well as the content of these reports is not defined by the law. Having that in mind, even the potential personal changes in the Council of RAEM could not resolve essential problem – which is lack of precisely defined obligation of supervising over the work of broadcasters.