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Courts of Auditors complain about numerous deficiencies in rbb


The Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) is said to have spent more money than it had available for years – according to the criticism from the Berlin and Brandenburg Courts of Auditors. The top salaries are also criticized.

The Courts of Audit of Berlin and Brandenburg have identified numerous deficiencies in the rbb.

At the end of their examination procedure, the President of the Berlin Court of Audit, Karin Klingen, and the President of the Brandenburg Court of Audit, Christoph Weiser, declared on Friday that rbb had spent more money over the years than it had available.

“The station pushed a liquidity deficit like a bow wave in front of it,” said Klingen. The insolvency could only be averted by the initiated savings program.

Some payments arranged without four-eyes principle

When examining sub-areas of the rbb in the period examined since 2017, deficiencies in the documentation, organization and archiving of documents and contracts as well as the recording of payments have occurred. According to the examiners, it was sometimes difficult to find documents.

In addition, the broadcaster concluded consultancy contracts without checking whether the sums agreed therein were usual or appropriate. Payments were made by employees in some cases without a four-eyes principle, and individual officials even concluded contracts on their own.

In some cases it could not be determined whether a service had been provided for the payments. Neither Klingen nor Weiser wanted to comment on whether this also applies to consulting contracts for former senior employees. However, references were made to individual contracts that were viewed as critical; According to Klingen, rbb has now stopped some of the payments that were criticized.

Courts of Auditors suggest ceiling for top salaries before

It is also proposed to cap the top salaries in rbb at around 180,000 euros for directors and 140,000 to 180,000 euros for directors.

The examiners justify this with the lower risk of liability for top executives in public service broadcasting compared to the private sector or other top positions.

A review of the salaries for employees who are paid outside of the collective bargaining agreement must also be discussed with a view to growing pensions.

Brandenburg recommends fundamental reform of supervisory bodies

In addition, the Brandenburg State Audit Office recommends a fundamental reform of the supervisory bodies. These should be better qualified and more responsible: For example, about attendance requirements at meetings, agreements on due diligence and the possibility of claims for damages by the broadcaster in the event of breaches of duty by members of the broadcasting or administrative board.

The auditors have in mind a scope of 40 hours per month for the board of directors. In return, the work on the committee should no longer only be remunerated with expense allowances, but with 2,000 to 3,000 euros.

In return, the committees should be given greater rights to information from everyone who works at rbb – without this information being given through the directorship. In addition, according to the ideas of the audit offices, representatives of the state governments should not only be able to take part in every meeting, but also be given the right to speak there.

If Klingen und Weiser had their way, there should be higher transparency requirements for management positions in the broadcaster and for members of both supervisory bodies: Party offices, consultancy contracts and participation in meetings should be published more frequently, as should meeting results and minutes of consultations. The directorship’s ability to exert influence itself – for example, on inquiries from the audit offices, the legal supervisory authority or when appointing the auditor for the annual financial statements – should be restricted in favor of the supervisory bodies.

The results of the test will now be sent to rbb for a new statement. They are then to be included in the work on a new state treaty between Berlin and Brandenburg and are expected to be published in a report in autumn.