Law on LRT

Official Translation

REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

LAW ON THE NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION

October 8, 1996. No. I-1571

(as amended December 12,1996)

Vilnius

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1.  Purpose of the Law

  1. This law  shall establish the procedure of the founding, administration, activity, reorganisation and liquidation of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania (abbreviation-LRT) and the rights, obligations and liability of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  2. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania, shall base its activity upon the Law on Public Information, Law on Public Institutions, other legal acts and, if  it shall not be established to the contrary by this Law, upon its own by-laws.

ARTICLE 2. The Concept and Status of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania denotes a public, non-profit institution which according to the right of ownership, belongs to the State.
  2. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania is a legal person, having its own seal and bank accounts, in accordance with the procedure established by laws.

ARTICLE  3. The Principles of  Activity of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania must collect and publish information concerning Lithuania and the world, acquaint the public with the variety of European and world culture, reinforce the independence of the Republic of Lithuania and democracy, create, nurture and protect  the values of national culture, foster tolerance and humanism, culture of co-operation, thought and language, and strengthen public morality and civic awareness. In preparing and broadcasting its coverage the National Radio and Television of Lithuania must be guided by the principles of objectivity, democracy and impartiality, ensure freedom of speech and creative freedom, must reflect  in its broadcasts diverse opinions and convictions, with individuals of various convictions having the right to take part and voice their views  in them. Human rights and dignity must be respected in the broadcasts, and the principles of morality and ethics must not be violated.
  2. All population members of Lithuania shall have the right to make use freely  of the information transmitted by the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  3. Government  representatives, shall not have the right to make use of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania of their own initiative, except in instances stipulated by laws.

ARTICLE 4. The Programme Requirements of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. A variety of topics and genres must be ensured in the programmes of National Radio and Television of Lithuania and the broadcasts must be oriented towards the various strata of society and people of different  ages, various nationalities and convictions, and biased political views should not be allowed to predominate in the programmes. The information presented in information broadcasts and  commentaries of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, must be balanced and reflecting various political views, while  opinions and factual news must be authorised, substantiated and comprehensive (5 December 1996).
  2. Priority shall be accorded to national culture as well as, world culture, journalistic, analytical, informative, educational and art broadcasts,  in National Radio and Television of Lithuania programmes. Mass culture shall be reflected  in review, informative and analytical type broadcasts. (5 December 1996)
  3. The  Council of the National Radio and Television shall establish the transmission scope,  programme structure and proportions of  the individual parts thereof  of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  4. Material produced in Lithuania shall comprise no less than 60 per cent of the programming of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania. The portion of broadcasts of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, created by independent producers (legal and natural persons who prepare radio and television broadcasts, but are not permanently employed by  the National Radio and Television of Lithuania) shall be stipulated by the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 5. The Rights, Responsibilities and Liability of  Lithuanian Radio and Television

  1. The Lithuanian National Radio and Television  is the successor to the rights and responsibilities of  the Lithuanian Radio and Television, founded by the Seimas of Lithuania. There may not be any other partners of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania. The functions of the general meeting of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be assigned to the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  2. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall have the right of publishing and also the right of free recording  and transmission of  the Seimas and Government meeting proceedings, and formal acts of the state and use the recordings according to its own discretion.
  3. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall have the right to prepare 90-second segments of all public cultural and sport events, regardless of who has the rights to this event.
  4. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall have the right to hold competitions, festivals, conferences, seminars, establish art collectives, establish direct ties  with foreign organisations and companies, take part in the activities of international organisations, to organise radio and television broadcasts to foreign countries, to re-transmit foreign radio and television programmes, to establish branches and correspondent centres.
  5. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania must provide the opportunities for employees to raise their qualifications.
  6. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania has the priority right to free or newly-equipped frequencies and state radio and television facilities with the newest radio and television equipment, however it does not have the right to have more than 2 television and 4 radio channels. Commercial advertising is banned on the  newly-obtained National Radio and Television Channels, which  may be designated for culture and education programmes only.
  7. Other radio and television stations are not permitted to use the channels of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania without a license from the council of the National  Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  8. The programmes created by the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be its  property  by right of ownership.
  9. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be held accountable to the public  for its activity, through the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 6. The Procedure of Sponsoring and Advertising of  Broadcasts of The National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. Commercial advertising shall be permitted within the programme of the National Radio and Television of  Lithuania, in accordance with the procedure stipulated by the Law  on the Implementation of the Law on Public Information:
  2. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be guided by the international conventions and the following requirements:
  1. news information and religious broadcasts may not be sponsored;
  2. broadcasts may not be sponsored by natural and legal persons, the advertising of whose sold or manufactured production is banned;
  3. the sponsor of a broadcast may not exert any influence upon the contents and procedure of presentation of the programmes carried on the National Radio and Television of Lithuania;
  4. programmes sponsored by National Radio and Television of Lithuania  may not present any references of an advertising nature concerning the products or services of the sponsor; 
  5. during broadcasts of plays and  concerts advertisements may be inserted only during play, concert or competition intermissions. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall establish the procedure of advertisement broadcasting during sport competitions;
  6. information and religious broadcasts and programmes as well as, children’s broadcasts may not be interrupted by advertisement inserts;
  7. advertising of tobacco products, narcotic materials, explosives and also, of prostitution and other activity prohibited by  laws, is banned on the National Radio and Television of Lithuania;
  8. advertising is banned on the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, on the days of state mourning;
  9. advertising of medicines and medical treatment measures is banned on the National Radio and Television, unless licenses are issued for this purpose by the Ministry of Health;
  10. the procedure of advertising during National Radio and Television of Lithuania programmes shall be established by the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 7. The Requirements of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania During  Employee Strikes or in Extraordinary Situations    

  1. During strike actions by the employees of  National Radio and Television of Lithuania, the  radio and television must ensure for its listeners and viewers, the minimum of information, which shall be stipulated by the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  2. In the event of natural disasters, epidemics, an extraordinary or war situation, National Radio and Television of Lithuania must broadcast the official statements  of the President, Seimas, Government, Constitutional Court and Office of the Prosecutor General.

CHAPTER II

THE MANAGEMENT OF THE NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION OF LITHUANIA

ARTICLE 8. Procedure of  the Formation of the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The governing bodies of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania are the Council and the Administration of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania is formed in accordance with the procedure established by  Article 29 of the Law on Public Information. Members of the Seimas, Government, Radio and Television Commission, and also persons who are working according to labour contracts with radio and television stations, including the National Radio and Television  of Lithuania, and also the owners and co-owners of radio and television stations, may not be members of the Council of  the National Radio and Television of Lithuania. (5 December 1996).
  2. The formation of the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be organised by the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture. ( 5 December 1996)
  3. Candidates to the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania must be familiar with administration and management and possess  these types of skills, or journalistic  work experience.
  4. Council members may not be dismissed from their duties, prior to the expiration of their term of appointment, except in instances whereby:
  1. a council member shall  himself  refuse to take part in the work of the council;
  2. a council member shall  fail to participate in the council’s work  for more than a 3-month period, without reasonable excuse;
  3. a council member shall have committed a crime and have received a court sentence;
  4. a council member  shall lose his Republic of Lithuania citizenship.
  5. 5) the legal basis for  a council member’s appointment shall change (12 December 1996).
  1. When a position shall become vacant in the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, the Chairman of the Council shall contact the institution which had delegated the absent council member and request the appointment of a new council member to carry on until the expiration of the council’s term of office.
  2. The institutions, authorised to appoint council members, must appoint them within 10 days of the day of  coming into effect of this Law. Having appointed all of the council members, the Seimas Committee on Education, Science and Culture shall organise the election of the council chairman, no later than within a 10-day period.  The chairman of the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be elected for a one-year-term by an absolute majority vote of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania council members. Upon the recommendation by the council chairman, the deputy chairman of the council shall be elected by the same procedure. They may be elected to these posts for two consecutive terms of office.
  3. The council chairman shall convoke meetings of  the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania at least  once a month, and in the event he is not discharging his duties, the  meetings shall be convoked by the deputy chairman, upon his own initiative, or by the request of more than one third of the council members. The meetings shall be legal whenever they shall be attended by at least one half of the council members. Decisions shall be adopted at the meeting by a simple vote majority of the participating council members.
  4. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall act in accordance with the labour regulations approved by it.
  5. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be funded (compensated for meetings, administrative expenses) from the state budget funds, allotted for the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 9. The Functions of the Council of  National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall:
  1. determine the scope of transmission of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, the number of channels and their use for programme transmission;
  2. form the cultural and political strategy of  the programmes of National Radio and Television of Lithuania and approve on an annual basis, the structure of  the programmes;
  3. approve the by-laws of the National Radio and Television of  Lithuania;
  4. regulate the income received by the National Radio and Television of Lithuania as a result of sales, publication and use of radio and television broadcasts;
  5. approve the offices of the creative employees of the National Radio and Television, who are working according to fixed-term  contracts, and workers who are hired via public tender, and stipulate the categories of employees who are not permitted to work at other RTV stations, newspapers and journals;
  6. hear the report of the director general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, regarding the activity of the National Radio and Television, at least once a year;
  7. establish the procedure of the public tender for the position of the director general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania;
  8. publish a public tender for the position of the director  general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, no later than within 15 days, following  the appointment of the council and chairman of the National Television and Radio of Lithuania;
  9. elect by means of public tender and approve the director  general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania and stipulate his salary.
  10. stipulate the number of assistants to the director;
  11. approve the assistants to the director general upon the recommendation of the director general; 
  12. relieve of their positions, for improper performance of their duties,  the director general and upon his recommendation, the assistants to the director general.
  1. A member of the council may not become the director general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  2. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be subject to decisions of the council.
  3. In instances wherein the director general of the National Radio and Television  of Lithuania shall fail to agree with a decision by the Council of National Radio and Television of Lithuania, he may appeal to the council to reconsider the decision. The council must deliberate the request of the director general no later than within a period of 10 days. Following a repeat vote, by  more than one half of the council members, the director general of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania must implement the decision. Any disputes arising between the director general and the council shall be resolved by the court.
  4. The activity of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be public and the council shall render an accounting of its activity to the public, through the mass media.

ARTICLE 10. The Director General  of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The director general shall be in charge of  the activity of the administration of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.
  2. The director general shall be selected, through  public tender, for a 3-year (5 December 1996) term and be approved by the Council of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, if  hid cndidacy shall be supported by at least one half of its members. Upon failure to secure this number of votes, a new tender shall be held.
  3. The director general may be relieved of his duties,  prior  to the expiration of his term, for failure to carry out  his duties properly, if at least 8 members of the council of  the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, shall vote in support of this.

ARTICLE 11. The Functions of  the Director General of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

 The  director general shall:

  1. be in charge of the operational activity of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, represent the National Radio and Television of Lithuania within the country, abroad, and among international organisations, approve the structure and system of labour compensation of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, publish directives, form contracts  and supervise the observance of these documents.  
  2. participate without the right to vote, at the  council  meetings of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania;
  3. form an administrative board  in the capacity of an advisory body, stipulate the number of its members and its formation procedure, and approve its labour regulations.

ARTICLE 12. The Requirements of the  Director General, his Assistants and Members of the Administrative Board

Should the individual who has been approved as director general, and also his assistants or members of the administrative board, be a member of a political party or a political organisation, they shall interrupt their membership in that organisation during the term of their service in the positions of, director general, assistants of the director general, or administrative board member.

CHAPTER III

THE ASSETS OF THE NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION OF LITHUANIA, FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

ARTICLE 13. The Assets of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall manage its assets, use and dispose of them in accordance with the trust rights.
  2. The assets of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania are state assets and may not be privatised.
  3. Long-term assets, the balance value of every  object  whereof  shall amount to over 50 thousand litas, may be sold, transferred, written off or leased by the National Radio and Television of Lithuania, only with the permission of the Government.
  4. Long-term assets, the balance value of every object whereof  shall amount to up to 50 thousand litas, may be sold, transferred  or written-off with the permission of the Council of National Radio and Television  of Lithuania.
  5. Long-term assets, that are completely worn out  and short-term assets, whose initial  acquisition or indexed value shall amount up to 500 litas, may be sold, transferred or written off  by the National Radio and Television of Lithuania per order of the director general.              
  6. It shall be prohibited to ensure the fulfilment of other individuals’ obligations with the assets of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 14. The Financial and Economic Activity of the National Radio and Television of Lithuania

  1. The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall implement  commercial  and economic activity independently.
  2. The National Radio and Television of  Lithuania shall be funded in accordance with the procedure established by  Article 29 of the Law on Public Information.
  3. The funds allocated in the state budget of Lithuania for National Radio and Television of Lithuania,  shall be indicated on a separate line.

ARTICLE 15. Reorganisation and Liquidation

The National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall be  reorganised or liquidated according to the law of the Republic of Lithuania.

ARTICLE 16. Concluding Provisions

In accordance with this law, the procedure of funding  the National Radio and Television of Lithuania shall come into effect on January 1, 1997.

I promulgate this Law passed  by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS