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IRIS 2017-1:1/6

Bulgaria

Procedure for selection of General Directors of the national public service broadcasters

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Rayna Nikolova

New Bulgarian University

On 18 October 2016, the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) approved a procedure for the selection of the General Directors of the national public service broadcasters. The provision of Article 32 paragraph 1 subparagraph 2 of the Radio and Television Act (RTA) provides CEM the authority to choose a General Director of both national public broadcasters. The legislator has not identified the procedure for the selection yet. In its permanent practice, the Supreme Administrative Court decided that if an explicit provision in the law is missing, CEM could identify the rules on its own.

Guided by the principles of publicity and transparency, and in execution of the general requirements according to Article 66 of the Administrative Procedure Code for adopting an administrative act, on 1 August 2016 the Council announced to the public the initiation of proceedings for issuing a procedure for the selection of the General Directors of the public service broadcasters.

Within the identified period - until 09 September 2016 - only three letters from citizens were submitted, but they do not comment on the provisions of the procedure in essence. After several discussions were held, CEM assumed that all facts and circumstances that are important for the issuance of the deed were clarified, and approved a procedure for the selection of the General Directors of the national public service broadcasters - Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and Bulgarian National Television (BNT).

The procedure consists of four steps. First, CEM formally considers the documents and admissions for the participation of candidates in the procedure. In the second step, CEM considers in essence the documents of the candidates who are allowed to participate. Therefore, CEM evaluates the candidates according to the following criteria: (1) professional competence, familiarisation with the activities of the radio (for the candidates for General Director of the BNR), and familiarization with the activities of the television (for the candidates for General Director of BNT); (2) managerial competence (capability of establishing goals, means for their achievement and expected results; capability of solving problems, capability of taking managerial decisions and decision for grounding means for their realisation); (3) organisational competence (capability of planning and organizing the activity of BNR and BNT and accomplishing the tasks by priority). After giving due consideration of the candidates’ competence, CEM decides which candidates to invite for a hearing. At the fourth and final step, CEM selects the General Director.

CEM provides transparency for the procedure. The Supervisory Body allows journalists to be present during the candidates’ hearing. On the first workday after the hearing, CEM identifies the candidate selected to be the General Director of BNR or BNT. The candidate who has received at least three votes is selected. In case a General Director is not selected during three consecutive meetings, the procedure is terminated.

References
Решение за приемане на Процедура за избор на генерален директор на националния обществен доставчик на радиоуслуги, съответно на генерален директор на националния обществен доставчик на аудио-визуални медийни услуги е достъпно на адрес BG
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18274
 
  Decision for approving a procedure for the selection of the General Directors of the national public service broadcasters