In the scandal surrounding Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB), the state audit offices of Berlin and Brandenburg will soon start checking the broadcaster, according to information from the Tagesspiegel. A spokesman for the Berlin State Audit Office confirmed this on request.
Accordingly, there is now a specific test order after the authorities had initially declared in June that they wanted to investigate the processes at RBB. The public broadcaster has been criticized for weeks.
The scandal that has plunged the public ARD broadcaster into a deep crisis is about questionable consulting contracts for a controversial RBB construction project, a hefty salary increase for Schlesinger, a questionable bonus system for executives, the settlement of Essen with invited guests in her private apartment at the expense of the RBB, controversial trips and coaching assignments for Schlesinger’s husband at the state-owned Messe Berlin.
The public prosecutor’s office has also been investigating for some time against the RBB director, who was fired without notice, her husband Gerhard Spörl and the resigned station chief controller Wolf-Dieter Wolf on suspicion of infidelity and accepting benefits.
Investigators had searched the station’s rooms on Saturday. A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said in the evening of the German Press Agency that they were limited to the area of directorship at the station’s main location in Berlin and documents were confiscated.
In the meantime, it has become known that RBB pays significantly more executives salaries than other broadcasters in comparison to other broadcasters. There are currently 40 employment contracts in the broadcaster that provide for remuneration via the collective agreement, as the RBB research team writes on the broadcaster’s website.
Significantly fewer of these contracts exist in other broadcasters. At Hessischer Rundfunk, for example, with a similarly large transmission area, only four people from the management level are given contracts that exceed collective bargaining agreements.