80 MPs ask additional questions to national broadcaster LRT

Eighty Lithuanian parliamentarians asked additional questions to the council of the national broadcaster LRT, asking for more information about employee salaries, contracts with producer companies and lease of property.

Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Arvydas Nekrošius of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, one of the persons behind the address, says that the answers provided by LRT two weeks ago were not thorough enough.

"We asked the LRT council to provide more information to the answers to the questions it already answered. Many of the questions asked earlier were not answered or answered insufficiently. The questions were this time signed by representatives of nearly all political groups," Nekrošius told BNS on Wednesday.

A few weeks ago, LRT answered questions submitted by 66 parliamentarians about the national broadcaster's public procurement, selection of content created by producer companies, employee salaries and the work specifics of the LRT council. LRT said it could not provide some of the information in connection to producer companies and LRT audit results due to confidentiality requirements.

With the new inquiry, the parliamentarians advise the LRT Council to turn to the producer companies and the audit company for a sanction to disclose the information.

LRT Council chairman Žygintas Pečiulis told BNS on Wednesday he had not yet received the questions, therefore, could not comment on them.

LRT currently operates three television channels, three radio channels and a news portal. State allocations to the national broadcaster stood at nearly 33.7 million euros in 2016 and at 36.5 million euros this year, which makes the bulk of the national broadcaster's budget. Commercial advertisement, excluding cultural and education information, is banned on LRT since January of 2015, the date LRT receives funding from the national budget only.

LRT CEO Audrius Siaurusevičius has told Žinių Radijas radio channel that the politicians questioning the transparency of LRT operations and finances could be unhappy with the work of the national broadcaster's journalists.

Source: BNS
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