Why does not GNCC release information on the revenues of broadcasters?
The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) has not updated its information on the revenues of broadcasters since March 29, 2017 (as of September 26). The Commission violates the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting by not releasing the information about the revenues of broadcasters in the first and second quarters of 2017 (January-June), thus neglecting the financial transparency standard envisaged by legislation.
According to the explanation posted on the Commission’s website, “the data provided by a number of broadcasters in the first quarter of 2017 structurally differ from the historical data; thus, we are exploring/specifying the reasons of such difference and therefore, the data release process has been temporarily suspended.”
As for the financial data covering the second quarter, the Commission does not provide any information at all.
According to Article 70/4 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting, a broadcaster shall submit the reporting forms to the Commission within 15 days after the end of each quarter, while the Commission shall publish the reporting forms within seven days after receiving them (Article 70/41 of the Law on Broadcasting).
- Accordingly, the Commission should have posted the data for the first quarter of 2017 on its analytical website no later than April 22 and the second quarter data – no later than July 22.
According to Article 70/5 of the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting, the submission of incorrect or incomplete information by a broadcaster to the Commission shall be considered as failure to submit information. The Commission has made no explanation so far on the results of inquiry related to the broadcasters’ failure to submit financial reports.
The Media Development Foundation uses the databases posted on the Commission’s analytical website when developing annual reports on financial transparency of media since 2015. Some cases were revealed in the process of monitoring, when separate broadcasters submitted their reports to the Commission with delay. In such cases, the information about all other broadcasters was released within the timeframes defined by law. Thus, taking this practice into consideration, the fact that all broadcasters filled in their data incorrectly raises some questions about what has caused similar inaccuracies. It should also be noted that since 2013 all broadcasters are obliged to submit financial reports.
The Media Development Foundation requested public information from the Georgian National Communications Commission on the reasons of violating the law on September 19, 2017.