ARCHIV - 16.11.2020, Brandenburg, Potsdam: Jan Redmann, CDU-Fraktionsvorsitzender, spricht während einer gemeinsamen Pressekonferenz mit den Fraktionsvorsitzenden von SPD und Bündnis 90/Die Grüne . (zu dpa «Früherer Kohleausstieg: Streit in der Brandenburger Kenia-Koalition») Foto: Soeren Stache/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Mr. Redmann, in order to clarify the allegations against RBB director Patricia Schlesinger and head of the board of directors Wolf-Dieter Wolf, the board of directors of Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg has agreed to the commissioning of an external law firm by the broadcaster’s audit and compliance officer. Is that enough? First of all, I agree with the demand of the RBB staff council, according to which Mr. Wolf, as chairman of the administrative board, should rest his office until the allegations have been finally clarified. Someone who is himself the object of accusations can hardly be an impartial enlightener on his own behalf.

The board of directors should then – without the chairperson concerned – ensure that external information is actually provided, which must have the appropriate powers.

They therefore recommend that the board of directors hire a law firm itself. What order should they receive? They should be given a comprehensive investigation order to determine the facts surrounding the allegations made. The necessary powers include being able to look into the files and question RBB employees. With these unrestricted investigative powers, the facts should be determined and evaluated. In addition, this law firm would only have to report to the board of directors without the chairman, but not to the directorate.

It is therefore imperative that Mr. Wolf lets his offices rest beforehand? This clarification cannot work credibly with Wolf in office, since he is not impartial in the matter. Just to remind you: the board of directors is the supreme control body for the directorship. It is therefore a prerequisite for a credible investigation that the incumbent chairman of the board of directors is not himself the object of criticism.

If Wolf-Dieter Wolf lets his office rest, but some allegations affect the director, doesn’t Patricia Schlesinger have to take this step too? At the moment it’s about creating the structure for a credible, transparent and comprehensive investigation of the allegations. So far, these are allegations, not proven facts. The role of the artistic director is to be assessed based on the results of the investigations.

The law firm currently commissioned anticipates that the review will take weeks rather than months. But even that can be a long time. What still needs to be done to restore RBB’s credibility as quickly as possible? The main point at the moment is the actually independent external audit. However, the station should be more transparent in its crisis management. The RBB is too isolated and is trying to build a wagon complex with the help of media lawyers. This is not appropriate for a public-law institution that is accountable to the contributors at all times. I would like to see significantly more transparency and participation. It must not be about defence, it has to be clarified.

What can politicians in Berlin and Brandenburg do to help? The members sent to the Broadcasting Council by the factions of the two state parliaments will ask the relevant questions in the special session on Friday.

Legal supervision is currently in the hands of the state of Brandenburg. And as the Tagesspiegel reported, the responsible media secretary Benjamin Grimm addressed a catalog of questions to the RBB management. It is therefore the responsibility of Brandenburg politics in particular to help clarify the matter. The main committee of the Brandenburg state parliament will also deal with the matter next Tuesday.