The call for clarification and the greatest possible transparency after media reports about allegedly questionable consulting contracts, private dinners and any mutual favors at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) is not only getting louder at the RBB locations in Berlin and Babelsberg. Now politics has gotten involved. And the state audit offices of Berlin and Brandenburg will also deal with the ARD broadcaster.
“The Berlin Court of Auditors and the Brandenburg State Court of Auditors have informed the Senate and State Chancellery of their states on the occasion of the planned amendment of the RBB State Treaty that they intend to jointly examine the RBB,” said the two institutions on Tuesday in response to a corresponding request from the daily mirror.
Initially, the employees had demanded in a joint statement from the staff council, editorial committee and freelance representation that “all allegations in the room” had to be cleared up immediately in order to restore the shattered trust. “A purely legal review will not suffice,” says the fire letter.
“As employees, we are held jointly liable for incidents that have nothing to do with us, but which are likely to shake our credibility,” the statement continues, speaking of a “climate of fear and mistrust”. becomes.
Specifically, the employees demand, among other things, that during the construction of the digital media house there must be no suspicion that “the current plans are being adhered to because the consultants and/or their companies involved are to be supplied”. In addition, any doubts about the integrity of the head of the board of directors, Wolf-Dieter Wolf, must be dispelled.
From the law firm, which was called in by the RBB audit and the compliance officer, the employees expect “that this will be checked independently of the client and that the wording of the assignment and the test results will be made public within the RBB”.
RBB director Schlesinger responded to the statement with a letter to the employees, which was published on the station’s intranet. In it she writes that “RBB and I personally will support this process to the best of our ability”. As before, the broadcaster rejects the individual allegations. She is “very confident that the external audit that has now been initiated can confirm our current state of knowledge”.
The director wants to answer the demands made by the employees in the fire letter first of all to the employees themselves before going public with them.
This also applies to the clarification required by media supervision. As the newspaper “Die Welt” first reported, Brandenburg’s State Secretary for Media, Benjamin Grimm, as the responsible media supervisor, wrote to the RBB broadcaster responsible for “immediate information on the allegations”.
“We have asked the director and the chair of the RBB board of directors for a statement on the allegations made in the media. In order not to damage trust in the economical and correct use of contribution funds, we consider timely and comprehensive clarification to be necessary,” explained government spokesman Florian Engels. The RBB received the letters and will reply within the required period, a spokesman confirmed on request.
Before that, Artistic Director Schlesinger and Chairman of the Board of Directors Wolf will answer questions from the members of the Board of Directors in an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday. The special session also deals with the allegations against the broadcaster boss and the chief controller of the RBB.
It is still unclear whether there will also be a special session of the Broadcasting Council. Staff have appealed to Council to “play its role actively, regardless of the frequency of meetings.” The Broadcasting Council should ensure that the public accusations can quickly be publicly refuted through an impartial review.