Cyprus Mail

Cybc breaking civil service regulations, audit office says

The state broadcaster CyBC's main building dates back to the 1950s

The state broadcaster is breaking civil service regulations by automatically promoting temporary staff to management posts without issuing notices of invitation to tender, the audit office said on Thursday.

In a special report on CyBC’s budget for 2019, the government watchdog said vacant management positions must be advertised to all concerned. However, there have been instances where temporary workers or independent contractors were promoted to these positions, in breach of the relevant civil service rules.

The auditor-general was presenting to MPs an ad hoc report on the state broadcaster’s revised budget, which is to be voted on at the plenum on Friday.

The initial budget brought to parliament last week was rejected by ruling Disy and Diko – ostensibly on the grounds that the state broadcaster is not generating quality content.

The revised budget – drafted quickly in a week’s time – provides for €33,960,000 in expenditures compared to the initial balance sheet of €34,360,000.

In 2018, CyBC employed a total of 374 people, of which the majority (253) were staff on open-ended contracts.

Figures cited in the auditor-general’s report show that the annual earnings (salary plus benefits) of the eight most senior managers came to a combined €670,000.

The audit office also found CyBC at fault for hiring external content providers without going through tender.

The revised budget has an accompanying action plan to resolve chronic internal problems.

By September, CyBC must also prepare a study relating to its infrastructure and how to bring it up to date with current specifications.

As part of modernisation, the law must also change to free CyBC of the obligation to broadcast all party announcements or statements irrespective of news value.

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