STA staff: New regulation does not address key issues

Ljubljana – The new government regulation that details how the STA should perform its public service does not address the underlying issues relevant to the agency’s survival and development, it raises new questions, STA staff said after the government adopted the regulation.

The statement, signed by the editorial board and three bodies representing STA staff, says the agency had expected the regulation to urgently resolve public financing after a five-month suspension.

Instead, it raises new questions about the agency’s autonomy, the balance between public and commercial revenue, and reporting requirements – all of which are already dealt with in the law governing the agency’s operations.

Even though the STA has a supervisory board appointed by the National Assembly, compliance with legal obligations will de facto be verified by the director of the Government Communications Office (UKOM).

The agency has always performed its public service obligation in line with the law, the statement notes, adding that public service “is not measured merely by scope, but primarily by its quality”. “This regulation does nothing to raise the level of existing quality.”

Referring to provisions that in effect mean the more commercial revenue STA gets on the market, the less public funding it will be entitled to, the statement says that the agency will be “pushed into stagnation”.

STA director Bojan Veselinovič earlier this week described the regulation as “a new manoeuvre to bypass two laws that the government has been violating since the start of this year”.

Veselinovič announced legal action against the decree, saying the agency would “use all legal remedies” to challenge it in court.