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[Video] Member of the STA Supervisory Board Cerjak: “There Will Come a Time When Everyone Finds Out How Some Members of the STA Supervisory Board Were Elected!”

We have recently reported that on Tuesday, the 14th of June, Chairman of the Slovenian Press Agency Supervisory Board Mladen Terčelj wrote a letter to Prime Minister Janez Janša on behalf of all members of the board. The content is nothing new – the supervisors supposedly demanded that the government continue to finance the public service of the Slovenian Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – referred to as the STA). In the letter, Terčelj also raised the issue of finances and records, writing that the Government Communication Office has always had access to all of the data and is aware of the work of the STA Supervisory Board. However, on the show Tema dneva (Topic of the Day) with the host Luka Svetina, one of the members of the board, Radovan Cerjak, denied that all of the members agree with the content of the letter.

During the time of the Pahor government, the law was changed in a way that prevents the ruling government, which is the owner of the company, from making the majority decisions. The only member of the Supervisory Board who has publicly pointed out suspicious financial practices of the STA is Radovan Cerjak. The STA Supervisory Board allegedly also decided that the director of the STA, Bojan Veselinovič, will convene a general meeting of partners in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act; however, he did not review the documentation at the meeting.

Some time ago on the show Tema dneva, Cerjak already revealed that he was denied access to the business documentation. Prior to the announcement in the media, Cerjak commented on the letter of the STA Supervisory Board, stating that the situation was presented one-sidedly and that the key problem was not even mentioned in it – that is, that Veselinovič has not been fulfilling his obligations under the contract, signed during the government of Marjan Šarec, since last October.

Cerjak was the only one to comment on the letter
At the previous session of the Supervisory Board, at which Cerjak was not present, it was agreed, as he says, that the Supervisory Board would send a letter to the government, which was supposedly prepared by Igličar, M.Sc., who also prepared the first draft. “This letter circulated among the members of the Supervisory Board, so they could comment on it. As far as I know, I was the only person who actually commented on it. I wrote that this is not the right starting point, that this letter does not take the key problem which led to non-financing into account,” Cerjak said. This situation would not have happened if STA director Bojan Veselinovič had simply complied with and respected the contract he himself signed with the Government Communication Office in 2019. Namely, certain obligations of the owner, which is represented by the Government Communication Office, are written there, and it was also written that the STA is obliged to hand over certain documents at the request of the Government Communication Office. “This saga with the undelivered documentation has been dragging on since the middle of 2020. The Government Communication Office sent and requested certain documentation. Instead of handing it over, an option was sought, with the help of certain legal opinions, to circumvent this request.”

Cerjak wrote all of this in his draft and expected that his comments would be taken into account, but that did not happen. “I have written to the President of the Supervisory Board about this twice already, and I said that if my comments are not taken into account, I want them to clearly state that I do not agree with the content of this letter. That did not happen!” Cerjak also said that he did not know what happened to the documentation that was sent by the STA to the Prime Minister’s Office and not to the Government Communication Office. The Office returned it to the STA back then; however, the STA did not accept it. “I do not know what happened to the documentation, as the handover did not happen,” Cerjak was critical.

Why do the other members of the STA Supervisory Board support Veselinovič?
Cerjak also said that the remaining members of the Supervisory Board support Bojan Veselinovič’s policy and that “they know exactly why they are supporting it.” “But there will come a time when the citizens find out about how some members of the supervisory board were elected, who elected them personally, who conducted the interviews with them.”

The STA saga is not over yet
The government has recently adopted a new decree on public service, which should temporarily regulate the financing of the STA and which the STA is supposed to adhere to, but the saga is not over yet. The STA wants a payout for the year 2021, but how can this even end, since the Government Communication Office and Veselinovič have opposing views on the issue, and the Supervisory Board mostly supports Veselinovič. Cerjak said that “the law clearly stipulates that the owner provides adequate financing, which he can only do on the basis of the appropriate documentation, and until there are no documents to go over, no audits, it will be very difficult to get this financing.”

Anita Gužvič

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