Audit announced of STA public service

Ljubljana – The Court of Audit will examine the performance of the STA’s public service, looking into actions by the STA as well as the government and such and the Government Communications Office (UKOM) in particular.

The decision on the audit became final on Friday and the review will cover the period between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2022, the court told the STA.

This means the auditors will look into the performance of public service across three different stages: when the agency was financed according to the law, when financing was suspended for almost a year, and the present, when financing is based on a government decree.

Igor Kadunc, who took over as STA director two months ago, says it is important that the audit will cover all three periods since auditors would look into the past and present models of financing.

He is convinced the court will not find that the STA has been receiving too much money given that it has always covered a portion of the cost of public service with commercial revenue.

“This is only about the compliance of the accounts with all the regulations governing this, and about appropriate reporting,” he said.

The government and the UKOM have not responded to a request for comment.

The audit comes after public financing of the STA’s public service resumed following a suspension of almost a year, during which time the agency survived with a combination of fundraising and sale of claims to the state.

Financing resumed in November based on a decree adopted by the government in the summer that the STA is challenging in court on the grounds that it circumvents the law governing the STA, which is above the regulation in the hierarchy of legal acts.

The STA and UKOM, which represents the state in matters concerning the STA’s public service, are currently in the midst of negotiations on a public service agreement for 2022.

Kadunc expects the agreement will be similar to this year’s, but noted that it was possible it would have to be amended depending on the Court of Audit’s findings or based on an ongoing review of the accounting basis that determines what share of STA’s total costs is attributable to public service.