Political weekly says public media should reveal finances

Left-leaning political weekly 168 Óra has criticized the MTVA, the body that manages Hungary’s public media, for refusing to make its finances and spending publicly available, despite the outlet’s requests for the information. The MTVA, which received a budget of HUF 77 billion (EUR 261 million), in 2012 said that most of the information is available on their website, and that if there was any information missing, they do not have enough staff to provide it, according to the magazine.

“Public money and public assets should be handled according to the principles of transparency,” an article in the magazine said. “The data on public money and public assets are in the public interest.” 168 Óra also reported that the magazine has knowledge that the MTVA has paid lavish premiums to its management, while failing to pay small sums to contractors and spending several hundred million forints in failed programming.

The MTVA oversees the assets of and funding allocations for Hungary’s public media. The Fund is managed by Hungary’s media watchdog, the Media Council, which is responsible for approving the Fund’s annual plan and subsidy policy and for determining the rules governing how MTVA’s assets can be used, managed, and accessed by the public media.