STA gets overdue funds for public service for 2021

Slovenska tiskovna agencija (STA) - Slovenian Press Agency.

Ljubljana – The Slovenian Press Agency (STA) has received EUR 676,000 from the Government Communication Office (UKOM) for public services performed between January and April, as part of a broader deal on the restoration of public funding for this year, the STA management said.

The amount had been disputed by UKOM for months and the STA sought recourse in court. Just before the court of first instance was expected to reach a decision, STA director Igor Kadunc and UKOM director Uroš Urbanija hammered out a far-reaching agreement on financing for 2021.

The deal also covers claims to UKOM worth EUR 507,000 that the STA had sold to keep itself afloat. UKOM will settle the outstanding amount directly with the buyers of the claims.

“The State Attorney’s Office proposed a settlement and the buyers [of the claims] accepted it,” Kadunc said.

Once this transaction is completed, UKOM will have settled all outstanding liabilities for the year as demanded by the STA based on the law governing the STA and the 7th anti-corona law.

Ongoing financing for the year has been restored as well, the STA having already received EUR 140,000 for August in line with a government decree that took effect in June and sets down a new system for the calculation of the public service fee based on the actual amount of content the STA produces.

The STA is challenging the decree in court but is complying with its provisions pending a final decision from the court.

The STA and UKOM are now gearing up for negotiations for a public service contract for 2021. Kadunc has indicated he will seek to change the terms of the deal, particularly for photos, a portion of which the STA is now required to disseminate free of charge.