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Zahtevek za objavo popravka članka, objavljenega na spletni časopisa der Standard

V nadaljevanju objavljamo zahtevek za objavo popravka članka, objavljenega na spletni strani der Standard dne 23. 2. 2021 z naslovom "Orbáns Geist geht in Slowenien um".
Članek vsebuje več neresničnosti, na katere opozarjamo. Zahtevek za objavo popravka navajamo najprej v angleškem, nato pa še v slovenskem jeziku.

Angleška različica

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia is issuing a request for a correction of your article published on the website of der Standard newspaper on 23. 2. 2021 originally titled "Orbáns Geist geht in Slowenien um".

The article contains several factual errors which we are pointing out.

"Six of the seven directors of the state museums were replaced last year."

No director of a public cultural instruction has been replaced. New appointments of directors of public institutions such as museums, galleries etc., have only been selected after the previous directors completed their full term of office. The Ministry of Culture was thoroughly committed to following due process and paid utmost attention to rules and regulations that govern appointments of the directors of public institutions.

A public competition has been carried out for each appointment, with strict standards and rules governing who can apply for the position. After the Selection board of the Ministry of Culture has suggested the most appropriate candidates (based on competency) to the Minister, he has always diligently followed its proposal. The Minister steadfastly preferred the candidate which was objectively found to be the best on merit.

All the new appointments are distinguished international experts in the field, with no history of political engagement. Accusations have been made that candidates are professionally incompetent; some even go so far to call them apparatchiks and SDS shills. This is an enormous insult to these prominent candidates, who came through the selection process with all the required competencies required for the position. These are highly regarded experts in the field, known both domestically and internationally, yet they do not fit into the inner circle of political candidates appointed to these positions in the past.

"Lawyer Rajko Pirnat from the University of Ljubljana took a closer look at the amendment to founding acts of the public institutions. He says that admission criteria were simply expanded in three tenders. `The problem is that there was no reason, so I strongly suspect that it was for political reasons, to replace former directors with people close to the ruling party,´he explains."

Rajko Pirnat is a person known for his left-wing bias, who’s often invited to TV broadcasts as a representative of the anti-government position, and a representative of the government position, when right-wing parties are in the opposition.

His "strong suspicions" are either a result of malicious smear campaign or ignorance in the field of internal legislature that governs cultural institutions.

The fact that the founding acts of the institutions (which govern admission criteria) have changed is not unusual and new. It has been done several times before, during previous administration.

We however emphasize any changes done to the founding acts were made purely to contribute to better management and operation of the public institution and that it will always strive to select the most qualified staff.

Public tenders have been repeated up to six times during the previous administrations, since directors with specific narrow field of expertise were simply few and far in between. This clearly points out to a systemic problem – which we have tried to remedy.

The funding acts of public institutions so far have purposefully restricted experts affirmed in a certain field from entering public tenders for directors of public institutions, if they do not hold a diploma in a strictly specialized field. For instance, they are architects, but they are not art historians, so they cannot hold a position of a director of a certain public cultural institution. This has never been a problem abroad. For example, the curator of the Venice Biennale Okwui Enwezor, who was a political scientist by education, as well as a poet and a great connoisseur of art would not be able to hold a similar position in Slovenia due to a restricting legislature.

This represents a huge problem, since distinguished experts with illustrious body of work cannot compete for such a position. This narrows the field of appropriate applicants to closed professional lobbies.

The results were predictable. Moderna Galerija for instance had three unsuccessful tenders for a director during the tenure of last three ministers (all of which were left-wing politicians).

Thus, we were left with only two options: an international tender or expansion of the selection criteria to candidates who are educated in other fields of humanities, while in the past still holding similar – successful – positions as the one they are applying to. The expert group at the Ministry of Culture found no valid reasons why, for example, a position of a director of Moderna Galerija can only be occupied by an art historian, painter, architect, or designer with a 7th-degree degree. On the contrary – there are a host of excellent directors of public institutions who have graduated from other fields. International experience also confirms this. It is necessary to offer the possibility to people who are competent connoisseurs in the field and may also represent a spirit of innovation and change which is a necessity in art.

The founding acts of the National Museum of Slovenia were even more absurd – and we do believe this was done with a clear purpose by the previous administrations.

Prior to the amendment, only a person who had a university degree in one of the professions in the field of work of the institute could apply for the position of director. This means that a candidate who did not have a university degree in the professional field of work of the institution but had a master’s or a doctorate level in the professional field of work, could not apply for the position of a director. By amending the act, we tried to solve an absurd situation when an expert with a doctorate in the professional field of the institution could not apply for a job of a director, while an expert with a lower education in the same field could apply.

"Renata Zamida, the ex-director of the Slovenian Book Agency, was kicked out. `I don't fit either,´ said Zamida about to the STANDARD. She is apparently too disobedient and too independent."

Renata Zamida committed several blatant acts of professional negligence and a few misdeeds. For these acts the previous minister Zoran Poznič, who belongs to the Social democrats party also started procedures to replace Mrs. Zamida.

Renata Zamida, as established in the administrative decision of her dismissal, did not perform even THE basic tasks which she was assigned for as a director:

  • when the agency's strategic plan for the period 2015–2019 expired, she did not adopt a new plan for the period 2020–2024;
  • in 2018 and 2019, the agency did not award scholarships for top authors in the field of literature and humanities, thus violating the law;
  • the agency's Council found that current preparations for the Slovenian presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair were insufficient and therefore adopted a decision that the agency's management prepare a crisis management plan for the Frankfurt 2023 project as soon as possible;
  • the director did not register her agency for the joint public procurement, which public institutions are obligated to do. As a result, the agency cannot participate in the system of joint public procurement in public administration. Thus the agency must now buy goods such as electricity, water, post office services and computer equipment at market prices, which is significantly more expensive.

Besides failure to diligently executing her duties, the Slovenian book agency discovered several irregularities and suspicion of corruption. For example:

  • pre-arranged tenders for investment and maintenance work, which were designed to be won by a specific candidate;
  • signing a business contract with individuals who are not registered to carry out business activities, which were the essence of the contract;
  • signing a rent contract which allowed a publishing house – the director of which is incidentally also a member of the council of the Slovenian Book agency – to establish a bookshop-coffeeshop for an unusually low rent of €650 per year, without obtaining a consent from the Ministry of Culture, which constitutes a clear breach of due diligence.

As such it is a preposterous notion that the director Zamida was replaced because she was "too disobedient and too independent." The points we made are all easily verifiable by a prudent journalist, especially the fact that she was about to be replaced by the previous left-wing government as well, if the prime minister Šarec did not resign in January 2020.

Slovenska različica

Ministrstvo za kulturo RS objavlja zahtevo za popravek članka, objavljenega na spletni strani časopisa der Standard 23. 2. 2021, z naslovom "Orbáns Geist geht in Slowenien um".

Članek vsebuje napačne navedbe, na katere opozarjamo.

"Lani so zamenjali šest od sedmih direktorjev državnih muzejev."

Noben direktor javnih kulturnih institucij ni bil zamenjan. Nova imenovanja direktorjev muzejev, galerij itd., so bila opravljena šele po tem, ko so prejšnji direktorji dopolnili svoj polni mandat. Ministrstvo za kulturo je povsem zavezano pravilnemu izvajanje postopkov in predpisom, ki urejajo imenovanja direktorjev javnih ustanov.

Za vsako imenovanje je bil izveden javni natečaj s strogimi merili in pravili, ki določajo, kdo se lahko prijavi na to funkcijo. Potem, ko je izbirna komisija Ministrstva za kulturo ministru predlagala najprimernejše kandidate (na podlagi strokovne usposobljenosti) je minister vedno upošteval njen predlog. Minister je vsakič dal prednost kandidatu, za katerega je bilo objektivno ugotovljeno, da je najbolj strokovno usposobljen.

Vsi na novo imenovani direktorji so ugledni mednarodni strokovnjaki na svojem področju, brez zgodovine političnega udejstvovanja. Mediji in akademska javnost so jih po krivem obtoževali, da so kandidati poklicno nesposobni aparatčiki in podtaknjenci stranke SDS. To je zelo huda in resna žalitev uglednih kandidatov. Gre za strokovnjake z mednarodnim ugledom, vendar ne sodijo v ožji krog političnih kandidatov, ki so bili na takšne položaje imenovani v preteklosti.

"Pravnik Rajko Pirnat z Univerze v Ljubljani je podrobneje preučil spremembo ustanovitvenih aktov javnih zavodov. Pravi, da so bila merila za sprejem preprosto razširjena na treh razpisih. `Težava je v tem, da za to ni bilo razloga, zato močno sumim, da je bilo treba zaradi političnih razlogov nekdanje direktorje zamenjati z ljudmi, ki so blizu vladajoče stranke,´ pojasnjuje."

Rajko Pirnat je oseba, znana po svoji levičarski pristranskosti, ki jo v televizijske oddaje pogosto povabijo kot predstavnika protivladnega stališča in predstavnika vladnega stališča, ko so desne stranke v opoziciji.

Njegovi "močni sumi" so bodisi rezultat zlonamerne diskreditacije vladnih potez bodisi neznanja in nerazumevanja področja ustanovitvenih aktov kulturnih ustanov.

Dejstvo, da so se spremenili ustanovitveni akti kulturnih institucij (ki urejajo merila za imenovanje direktorjev), ni nič nenavadnega in novega. To je bilo storjeno že večkrat v mandatih prejšnjih ministrov.

Poudarjamo pa, da so se ustanovitveni akti spreminjali le, ko je sprememba prispevala boljšemu vodenju in delovanju javnega zavoda. Ministrstvo za kulturo si bo namreč vedno prizadevalo za izbiro najbolj usposobljenih kandidatov.

Javni razpisi za direktorje javnih kulturnih ustanov so bili za časa prejšnjih mandatov ponovljeni tudi do šestkrat, saj se ni našlo kandidatov s specifičnim ozkim strokovnim področjem. Kar jasno kaže na sistemski problem, ki smo ga skušali s spremembami odpraviti.

Dosedanji ustanovitveni akti so uglednim strokovnjakom onemogočali prijavo na javne razpise za direktorje javnih zavodov, če niso imeli diplome na zelo specializiranem področju. Na primer, bili so mednarodno priznani arhitekti, ne pa umetnostni zgodovinarji, zato se niso mogli prijaviti na razpis za direktorja javne kulturne institucije. Tuja praksa takšnih dilem ne pozna. Npr. kustos beneškega bienala Okwui Enwezor, ki je bil po izobrazbi politolog, hkrati pa tudi pesnik in velik poznavalec umetnosti, zaradi omejitev razpisnih pogojev v Sloveniji ne bi mogel zasesti podobnega položaja.

To predstavlja velik problem, saj se ugledni strokovnjaki z izjemnim opusom ne morejo potegovati za položaj direktorjev. S tem se seznam ustreznih kandidatov zoži na zelo specifične in zaprte poklicne lobije.

Posledice so bile pričakovane in predvidljive. Moderna galerija je imela na primer tri neuspešne razpise za direktorja v času zadnjih treh ministrov.

Tako sta nam ostali le dve možnosti: mednarodni razpis ali širitev razpisnih pogojev tudi na kandidate, z izobrazbo iz drugih humanističnih področij, ki pa so v preteklosti kljub temu uspešno opravljali podobne funkcije, kot je tista za katero kandidirajo.

Strokovna skupina ministrstva ni našla argumentov, zakaj bi takšno vlogo lahko, npr. vlogo direktorja Moderne galerije, dobro opravljal zgolj in edino umetnostni zgodovinar, slikar, arhitekt ali oblikovalec z diplomo na 7. stopnji. Nasprotno – v Sloveniji premoremo odlične direktorje javnih zavodov, ki so diplomirali iz drugih področij. Tudi mednarodne izkušnje to potrjujejo. Treba je ponuditi možnost ljudem, ki so kompetentni poznavalci, in lahko predstavljajo tudi dih inovativnosti in sprememb, ki je v umetnosti nujen.

Razpisni pogoji za Narodni muzej Slovenije so bili še bolj absurdni. Verjamemo, da namerno. Pred spremembo ustanovitvenega akta je namreč lahko za delovno mesto direktorja kandidirala le oseba, ki je imela univerzitetno izobrazbo ene od strok s področja dela zavoda. To pomeni, da kandidat, ki ni imel univerzitetne izobrazbe s strokovnega področja dela zavoda, imel pa je 9. ali 10. raven izobrazbe s strokovnega področja dela, ni mogel kandidirati za zasedbo delovnega mesta direktorja tega zavoda. S spremembo akta smo poskušali rešiti absurdno situacijo, ko poznavalec stroke z doktoratom s strokovnega področja zavoda ni mogel kandidirati za zasedbo delovnega mesta, strokovnjak z nižjo izobrazbo iste smeri pa je za isto delovno mesto direktorja lahko kandidiral.

"Renata Zamida, nekdanja direktorica Slovenske javne agencije za knjigo, je bila razrešena. Očitno je preveč neposlušna in preveč neodvisna."

Renata Zamida je kriva več hudih primerov poklicne malomarnosti in nekaj prekrškov. Zato je že prejšnji minister Zoran Poznič, ki pripada stranki Socialnih demokratov, začel postopke za zamenjavo gospe Zamide.

Renata Zamida, kot je bilo ugotovljeno v odločbi o njeni razrešitvi ni opravljala niti osnovnih nalog, ki jih je bila kot direktorica dolžna opraviti:

  • ko je potekla veljavnost strateškega načrta agencije za obdobje 2015–2019 ni sprejela novega načrta za obdobje 2020–2024;
  • Javna agencija za knjigo v letih 2018 in 2019 ni podeljevala štipendij za vrhunske ustvarjalce s področja leposlovja in humanistike in s tem kršila zakon;
  • svet agencije je ugotovil, da so bile priprave dosedanjega vodstva na slovensko predstavitev na frankfurtskem knjižnem sejmu nezadostne in je zato sprejel sklep, da vodstvo agencije v najkrajšem možnem času pripravi načrt kriznega upravljanja projekta Frankfurt 2023;
  • agencija se pod vodstvom direktorice Zamide ni prijavila na seznam evidence MJU v skladu z uredbo o skupnem javnem naročanju, kar so javni organi dolžni storiti. Zaradi tega agencija ne more sodelovati v sistemu skupnih javnih naročil v javni upravi, zato mora zdaj dobrine kot so elektrika, voda, pošta, računalniška oprema kupovati za trgu, kar je bistveno dražje.

Poleg tega, da direktorica ni izvrševala svojih dolžnosti, je Javna agencija za knjigo odkrila več nepravilnosti in sumov korupcije. Npr.:

  • vnaprej pripravljeni razpis za investicijska in vzdrževalna dela, ki je bil zasnovan tako, da je preferiral specifičnega izvajalca;
  • podpis poslovne pogodbe z osebami, ki niso imele registrirane dejavnosti, ki bi jo v skladu s pogodbo opravljale;
  • podpis najemne pogodbe z zasebno založbo – katere direktor je član sveta Javne agencije za knjigo –, ki je založbi omogočala ustanovitev knjigarne-kavarne za nenavadno nizko najemnino 650 EUR na leto, pri tem pa direktorica ni pridobila soglasja Ministrstva za kulturo, kar pomeni očitno kršitev potrebne skrbnosti, saj je nepremičnina, ki je bila predmet pogodbe, v lasti ministrstva.

Ob navedenih dejstvih je absurdno trditi, da je bila direktorica Zamida zamenjana, ker je bila "preveč neodvisna in neposlušna." Dejstva, ki smo jih navedli, lahko marljivi novinar zlahka preveri, zlasti to, da bi direktorico Zamido kmalu zamenjala tudi prejšnja (leva) vlada, če premier Šarec januarja 2020 ne bi odstopil.