Report says Serbian institutions, state companies paying media huge amounts

NEWS 20.10.2021 17:16
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Source: N1

A report published on Wednesday said that Serbian state institutions and state-owned companies paid 83 million Dinars for media services procured without going through public procurement procedures in 2020.

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) said in their report that even more money was paid taking into account services procured from marketing agencies, independent production companies and others. The report said that the Tanjug news agency got 8,689,080 Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars), TV Kopernikus Nis 8,606,288, Sat TV 6,048,800 and RTV Sabac 5,999,999 Dinars. Print media which provided services include Srpski Telegraf with 5,848,033 Dinars, Dnevnik 5,360,000 Dinars, Blic 5,040,000, Alo 3,837,0000 and Politika 3,829,236. Marketing agencies have been paid 258,528,634 Dinars or about four times more than media outlets.

Report co-author NUNS lawyer Rade Djuric said that local authorities and state companies are securing media services without following public procurement procedures by directly requesting offers from media outlets. He warned that the actual amount of money spent is very often kept hidden.

The Serbian opposition and media organizations have been saying for years that state institutions are paying huge amounts of money to pro-regime media either through tenders or contracts signed without going through public procurement procedures.