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Transparency International checked expenses of state managers

TRANSPARENCY International Slovensko watchdog asked heads of state-owned companies about their expenses on phone calls and trips abroad. Many keep silent – thus violating the law – and out of those which informed, public TV RTVS and Transpetrol managers have the biggest expenses paid from taxpayers’ pockets.

Václav Mika of RTVS (Source: Sme)

The head of the public TV and radio RTVS, Václav Mika, travelled 13 times abroad in the course of 2014, which cost almost €15,000. He spoke, e.g., also at a congress in Cuba on “the impact of popular radio and TV products on forming ethical values”, the Denník N daily wrote on March 25.

Last November, RTVS paid more than a thousand euros for a phone call of one of its managers – allegedly due to his business trip in Serbia.

However, these numbers – highest in the case of RTVS and the oil company Transpetrol – are incomplete which may distort the overall image. Most of the addressed state companies did not answer, hiding the results while violating the law on information that stipulates the duty of state officials and authorities to state their expenses.

Transparency International Slovensko published the results of the inquiry on its blog. The requests were sent without specifying that they are made by TIS – as this is not an obligation required by the law. TIS employee called 80 big state companies asking for the biggest phone bill for November and the list of business trips of the CEO or general manager.  

The main fact resulting from the analysis is that state managers bypass the law on informing and are reluctant to reveal their expenses; a total of  21 companies did not answer at all, while more than  half of the 80 firms were looking for pretences for not to stating the information. In total, state companies manage €9.5 billion a year, with the bulk of the amount being hidden from public eyes and managed arbitrarily by public officials. 

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