The state agency that until December of last year was in charge of enabling and controlling the radio stations charged tariffs that were not updated since 2001 and even imposed sanctions based on parameters that were in force in 1990.
It was the National Communications Commission (CNC, for its acronym in Spanish), whose work was analyzed by the National Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) in a report approved this year on findings collected between 2013 and March 2014.
The AGN's research focused on the tasks that the CNC did in relation to the radiating systems that were installed in the country. What is it about? It is the set formed by an antenna, the structure that supports it and the cables that transmit the energy.
In that sense, the Audit noted that "the registration system - which used the Commission - does not allow evidence that the antennas are installed and active." It turns out that, to authorize these structures, the entity charged the so-called DER (Rights and Tariffs for Radio Stations) and, regardless of whether the equipment came into operation or not, the permit remained in force while the DER was paid. Consequently: "It does not appear that the auditee has a timely knowledge of the situation of the radiating systems" that the CNC enabled.
In addition, the report points out that the parameter used to quantify the DER was another acronym, in this case UTR, whose value of $25.5107 "has not been updated since September 2001", although the regulation Established that the cost be revised twice a year.
However, the work of the Audit even went to the instance prior to the payment of the RSD. The technicians said that "the procedure manuals used to authorize irradiating systems were not approved by a competent authority." In fact, it was noted that the tasks carried out within the agency "were dispersed" and that "only in February 2014 were approved by Resolution (the tasks) that the Engineering Management had been using since May 2013".
On the other hand, the fact that "the current regulations do not establish a mechanism of communication between the local authorities with jurisdiction (on the antennas) and the CNC" was brought to the attention of the AGN. It is that, before an installation, who must give the permission is the owner of the place where the structure is erected, reason why the competence on the civil work falls in the municipality in question, without interference of the Commission.
This led the researchers to conclude that "the lack of communication between the municipality and the CNC makes it difficult to verify the state of the antennas, and the lack of obligatoriness of users to communicate the effective commissioning of radio stations, made the Commission not have complete and up-to-date information."
Regarding the CNC's performance as a supervisory body, the Audit affirmed: "The criterion for establishing control tasks (of the antennas) does not arise from a strategic plan that ensures to cover in a certain time the totality of the services that were authorized."
As a monitoring body, the Commission has the power to sanction those who install antennas. The AGN reported that "the files show delays between the date of motivation of the verification procedure and the issuance of the relevant administrative act, which affect its effectiveness", also noted "lack of follow-up", and completed: "Nor does it appear that further checks are carried out verifying the regularization of the breach detected."
However, the pearl of this section is given by another observation. Auditors are told that the value of the fines "does not help them to fulfill their deterrent function". It is that the penalties "are applied in legal tender equivalent to a certain number of telephone pulses, whose price was established by Decree 1185/90, is $ 0.0469, and is the value applied by the CNC in its sanctions," closed the report.