Coalition for Media Freedom: Eighth day the deadline for making a decision on the projects of the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications has been exceeded

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Coalition for Media Freedom: Eighth day the deadline for making a decision on the projects of the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications has been exceeded

 

The Ministry of Information and Telecommunications in Serbia is more than a week late with making a decision regarding the results of the tender for co-financing the production of media content of interest to the public. We remind that all tenders were launched on March 7, 2023 by the Decisions on Calling for Tenders in 2023 for Co-financing Projects in the Field of Public Information, and published on March 13, 2023 on the website of the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications:

 

https://mit.gov.rs/vest/1608/raspisani-.konkursi-iz-oblastijavnog-informisanja-za-2023-godinu.php

 

According to the information from the published invitations, the tenders were open in the period from March 13, 2023 to April 12, 2023, and the decision on the distribution of funds was to be made no later than 90 days from the date of the conclusion of the Tender. The tenders were closed on April 12, and July 11 was the last day set as the deadline for making decisions. Given that the specified deadline from the call (which is regulated by Article 24 of the Rulebook on co-financing of projects for the realization of public interest in the field of public information, Official Gazette of the RS No. 16/2016, 8/2017 and 6/2023) has passed, the failure to make decisions is in violation of the Law on Public Information and Media and the Law on General Administrative Procedure.

 

Failure to make decisions within the deadlines specified in the regulations, in addition to entailing numerous consequences for the media that applied, also carries responsibility for the persons who made the failure to implement the applications.

 

The Coalition for Media Freedom sent a letter to the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications on July 15 in which it warned of the omissions that occurred and the consequences of those omissions. To this day, no response from the Ministry has arrived to the forwarded letter. 

 

On this occasion, we publicly call on the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications to make decisions on the distribution of funds as soon as possible and determine responsibility for the failure to complete the tenders in the rules and invitations by the established deadlines. 

 

In Belgrade,

19.07.2023

 

The Coalition for Media Freedom consists of the Association of Media, the Association of Online Media (AOM), the Independent Association of Journalists of Vojvodina (NDNV), the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), the Business Association of Local and Independent Media “Local Press” and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation.

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