ARCHIV - 15.08.2022, Berlin: Das beleuchtete Logo des Senders Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) ist an der Fassade am Sitz des Senders an der Masurenallee angebracht. (zu dpa «RBB-Rundfunkratschef: Keine Wahl von Interims-Chef am Mittwoch») Foto: Carsten Koall/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After its waste affair, the RBB is now getting mail from the Berlin and Brandenburg audit offices. “The broadcaster will be sent a corresponding test notification in the next few days,” both authorities said on Monday.

They also presented a list that specified what exactly several teams of auditors from both courts of auditors should examine in the public broadcaster, which is financed by broadcasting contributions.

According to this, the organization and the performance of tasks by the supervisory bodies, the overall economic situation of the RBB, the remuneration system and contracts for executive employees and the preparations for the construction of the digital media house, which has now been put on hold due to high costs and allegations of fraud, are to be checked.

On the other hand, all those complexes that are criminally investigated by the public prosecutor’s office are not examined.

Investigators only searched the management floor of the RBB on Saturday. Proceedings for infidelity and the acceptance of benefits are currently underway, suspects are the director Patricia Schlesinger, who was fired without notice, her husband Gerhard Spörl and the previous chief inspector Wolf-Dieter Wolf.

The courts of auditors now called on the broadcasters to cooperate and be as transparent as possible and announced intensive investigations. Karin Klingen, President of the Berlin Court of Auditors, and her counterpart in Brandenburg, Christoph Weiser, said they are counting on the RBB’s willingness to cooperate that goes beyond the normal auditing reality of audited bodies.

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The courts of auditors want to derive recommendations for those responsible for politics from the results of the audit – and also consider this to be necessary in view of the ongoing crisis.

On the basis of their recommendations, not only better legal framework conditions could be created for the RBB, but also for other broadcasters in Germany. This could prevent “crises in public service broadcasting and a loss of trust among the population” in the future, the two courts of auditors explained.

The auditors had already explained this at the beginning of July in a statement on the RBB state contract from the Berlin Senate and the Potsdam State Chancellery. The first thing to do before the full extent of the affair became known was to amend the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty. As a result, President Klingen and President Weiser have agreed to immediately subject the RBB to a comprehensive review.

The Berlin CDU parliamentary group leader Kai Wegner welcomed the announced audit by the audit offices. “The audit offices will make an important contribution so that such scandals will not be repeated,” said Wegner. “I expect that the RBB will now work fully with the auditors and then make fundamental structural changes.”

The CDU politician also calls for “permanent monitoring by the audit offices” and a “separate control and investigation group” to investigate the processes within the immediate management level.