THE CABINET on May 28 agreed a draft bill transforming the state-run TASR news agency from a partly state-subsidised institution into a public service, a national and independent information institution, the SITA newswire wrote. The bill needs to be adopted by parliament to become law.
According to the new legislation, TASR will be financed based on a contract with the state, and also from commercial activities. It will also be eligible to draw on state funds for investment projects, EU structural funds and also to sell and rent assets and provide audio and multi-media services. TASR will be headed by a five-member administrative board and a director-general.
Parliament will elect four members to the board, while the fifth will be chosen by agency employees.
The Culture Ministry tailored the draft legislation mainly to put an end to accusations of political influence and restriction of competition. The Antitrust Office (PMÚ) has expressed concerns that the submitted proposal could have a negative impact by restricting competition in the news market.
The PMÚ has repeatedly criticised the Culture Ministry for breaching competition rules over the course of several years by its funding of TASR.
2. Jun 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports