Corporate news 30.9.2021 13:21

UKOM head thinks Veselinovič was not sincere about signing contract

Ljubljana, 30 September - It seems STA director Bojan Veselinovič had no sincere wish to sign the public service contract and resolve the situation at the STA, UKOM director Uroš Urbanija said on Thursday as he commented on Veselinovič's resignation. "Since there were no more arguments against signing the contract, he preferred to step down," he said on Twitter.

Uroš Urbanija, director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM).
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

Urbanija sees Veselinovič's resignation as a kind of surprise. "After UKOM complied with practically all of his demands, excerpt those which are in clear opposition to the law, a new contract was ready for signing," the head of the Government Communication Office (UKOM) said on Thursday.

"Unfortunately this has been Veselinovič's modus operandi over the past year," he said, adding it had taken six months for Veselinovič to deliver to UKOM all the required documentation. "And even then it became later clear that he had doctored the documentation and even concealed some things," said Urbanija but did not provide any details or evidence to back his claim.

The government originally argued it stopped financing the STA because of the agency's failure to deliver the required documentation. But when the STA sent UKOM several packages of documents in April, UKOM declined to accept them. Urbanija claimed he did not receive them because they were not addressed to him but to the prime minister.

Today, Urbanija said that Veselinovič had required the financing be resolved with a government decree only to later "paradoxically, challenge it at court, which is the reason why the financing issue could not be settled already in July".

Urbanija said that Veselinovič had started a number of procedures against UKOM but had lost all of them. He said "the latest procedure at the Supreme Court clearly told him that the government decree is valid and even makes financing easier."

In early September, the Supreme Court said that the STA had failed to prove that it would receive the government funding if the decree was stayed.

But it also said that regardless of the decree, the Republic of Slovenia is obligated by law to provide the STA funds for 2021 in line with the agency's business plan.

The legislation governing the payment is the STA law, while the seventh coronavirus relief package, passed at the end of December, sets down the funding for 2021.

According to the court, it is not important which body will transfer the funds to the STA or what relations among the government and its bodies are in general.