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Content updated: 12-06-2019 13:42

The resolution of the Seimas on establishing an ad hoc investigation commission for investigating the management of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television and its financial and economic activities declared unconstitutional

16-05-2019

By its ruling passed today, the Constitutional Court has recognised that the resolution of the Seimas of 12 January 2018 on forming an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and mandating it to conduct a parliamentary investigation into the management of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television and its financial and economic activities (hereinafter referred to as the resolution of the Seimas) is in conflict with Article 25 of the Constitution, as well as with the constitutional principles of responsible governance and a state under the rule of law.

The official constitutional doctrine related to freedom of the media and the national public broadcaster

In this constitutional justice case, the petitioner had doubts about the compliance of Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas, insofar as that article had served as the basis for establishing an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) that was given the task of carrying out a parliamentary investigation into the management of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija; hereinafter referred to as the LRT) and its financial and economic activities with, among other things, Article 25 of the Constitution, which provides:

“Everyone shall have the right to have his own convictions and freely express them.

No one must be hindered from seeking, receiving, or imparting information and ideas.

The freedom to express convictions, as well as to receive and impart information, may not be limited otherwise than by law when this is necessary to protect human health, honour or dignity, private life, or morals, or to defend the constitutional order.

The freedom to express convictions and to impart information shall be incompatible with criminal actions – incitement to national, racial, religious, or social hatred, incitement to violence or to discrimination, as well as defamation and disinformation.

Citizens shall have the right to receive, according to the procedure established by law, any information held about them by state institutions.”

When interpreting the content of freedom of information, which is entrenched in Article 25 of the Constitution, as innate freedom of an individual, the Constitutional Court has held that this freedom is one of the grounds for an open, fair, and harmonious civil society and a democratic state, and an important precondition for implementing various rights and freedoms of a person that are consolidated in the Constitution, since a person can implement most of his/her constitutional rights and freedoms in a fully fledged manner only if he/she has the right to seek, receive, or impart information unhindered; the Constitution guarantees and protects the interest of society to be informed, among other things, it guarantees and protects freedom of the media; Article 25 of the Constitution and other provisions of the Constitution consolidating and guaranteeing the freedom of an individual to seek, receive, and impart information give rise to freedom of the media.

In this context, the Constitutional Court has emphasised that, under the Constitution, Lithuania is a pluralistic democracy. Freedom of the media, which is enshrined in the Constitution, among others, in Article 25 thereof, is one of the foundations of a pluralistic democracy.

By revealing the content of freedom of the media, entrenched in the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has noted, among other things, that the provisions of Article 25 of the Constitution, interpreted in conjunction with the other provisions of the Constitution, also express the constitutional principle of the diversity of public information sources. The interest of society to be informed, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution, as well as constitutional freedom of information, can be ensured only when various types of the mass media function freely (which does not mean that without any restrictions) in the state; a mature and developed system of the mass media is a necessary condition for ensuring the public interest, i.e. the interest of society, to be informed. The Constitution implies that various broadcasters must operate in the radio and television broadcasting services market.

The Constitutional Court has noted that it follows from the Constitution that the legislature has the duty to establish guarantees of media freedom by means of a law. The Constitutional Court has held that the state, which is consolidated in the Constitution as the common good of all society, is under the constitutional obligation to take measures (positive activity) itself (through its institutions) in order to inform the public about the most important processes taking place in society and the state so that citizens (and other residents) would receive as accurate information as possible about the things that they should know, that citizens could participate in the adoption of decisions of state importance, that people could participate in the adoption of other decisions related to managing public affairs, as well as decisions related to the implementation of their rights and freedoms. Otherwise, preconditions would be created to violate not only the rights of the individual, but also other values enshrined in and defended and protected under the Constitution,.

The Constitutional Court has also emphasised that, under the Constitution, it is not permitted to establish any such legal regulation that, when consolidating the guarantees of implementing freedom of information, would create the preconditions for violating other constitutional values and the balance among constitutional values. However, any restrictions on freedom of information must be based on the same constitutional criteria as the restrictions on the use of other fundamental human rights and freedoms: freedom of information may be restricted only if this is done by law, only if such restrictions are necessary in a democratic society in order to protect the rights and freedoms of other persons, the values that are entrenched in the Constitution, as well as constitutionally important objectives, only if the restrictions do not deny the nature and essence of this freedom, and only if the constitutional principle of proportionality is followed. It should be noted that making use of freedom of information and its implementation by means of mass media should be related to special obligations and responsibility. The specific character of radio and television as means of mass media increases this responsibility even more.

In this case, the Constitutional Court has emphasised that the Constitution, among others, Paragraph 4 of Article 25 and Paragraph 2 of Article 135 thereof, gives rise to the duty of the state to take effective measures against the imparting of such information that incites national, racial, religious, or social hatred, violence or discrimination, or spreads defamation, as well as against disinformation (in particular, against the imparting of organised fake or false information in order to manipulate the public, thus inflicting damage on the values protected and defended under the Constitution) and against war propaganda (especially, against the incitement of aggression in the area of international relations).

While interpreting the provisions of Article 25 of the Constitution as the constitutional basis for the establishment and operation of a public broadcaster, the Constitutional Court has held that the information that the state (its institutions) is constitutionally obliged to impart to citizens and residents through the mass media, among others, through radio and television, is linked with fostering various values, which are entrenched in and protected and defended under the Constitution, and with implementing various principles of the Constitution. The dissemination of such information is aimed to attain socially and constitutionally important objectives, and its imparting to the public is a necessary condition for the proper fulfilment of various state functions. The state may choose various ways of imparting the said information through radio and television, i.e. providing particular public services to the public by using various ways.

However, as the Constitutional Court stated in its ruling of 21 December 2006, the duty of the state (its institutions) to impart to the public through the mass media (among others, through radio and television) information related to fostering various values entrenched in and protected and defended under the Constitution and to implementing various principles of the Constitution, as well as the fact that the state opportunities to entrust private broadcasters with imparting such information and providing particular public services to society are limited ones, implies the constitutional necessity to found a public radio and television broadcaster and to regulate the relationships connected with its activity in order that the said duty of the state would be properly fulfilled. Experience in other states shows that, as a rule, states need to have at least one public radio and television broadcaster (which is, as a rule, founded by the state itself). A special subject – a public broadcaster that is established and operates on the grounds other than private (commercial) broadcasters – is entrusted with broadcasting socially and constitutionally important information to the public. The fact that the Constitution does not use the term “public broadcaster” does not mean that no requirements arise for a public broadcaster from the Constitution, which are determined by the particularities of a public broadcaster, compared with other – private (commercial) – broadcasters.

The Constitutional Court, on the basis of the said ruling of 21 December 2006, has also noted that the Constitution implies the establishment of a national public broadcaster: the public interest – the interest of society to be informed, which is enshrined in and protected and defended under the Constitution – as well as the special mission of a public broadcaster and its functions arising from various norms and principles of the Constitution and from the values enshrined in the Constitution, implies that a national public broadcaster must be established; the said broadcaster must provide the relevant public services in such a way that they cover all society, help ensure the national interests, and promote the development of civil society and the fostering of culture. It should be noted that, together with the national public broadcaster, there could be other public broadcasters that operate not at state level (but, for example, at regional level), whose mission may have certain particularities determined by the specificity of the audience of their listeners and/or viewers.

In this constitutional justice case, the Constitutional Court has also defined the mission of the national public broadcaster as follows: the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, gives rise to the mission of the national public broadcaster to ensure the public interest – the interest of society to be properly informed (which is consolidated in and protected and defended under the Constitution), i.e. to impart information to society at national level by fostering constitutional and common human values, among other things, by protecting national interests, strengthening democracy, promoting civic consciousness, building respect for law, developing openness and tolerance of society, fostering language and culture, and preventing disinformation. The activity of the national public broadcaster in the implementation of this mission must be based, among others, on the principles of a pluralistic democracy, objectivity, impartiality, respect for human dignity and rights, including freedom of convictions and their expression, as well as moral and ethical principles.

In this ruling, the Constitutional Court has given a broader overview of the content of the independence and accountability of the national public broadcaster to the public.

The Constitutional Court has noted that the mission of a public broadcaster, including that of the national public broadcaster, which arises from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, implies the said broadcaster’s independence, which is necessary in order to carry out this mission. The constitutional mission of a public broadcaster also implies the fact that material, organisational, and financial conditions must be created in order that such a public broadcaster would effectively carry out its mission, as well as the fact that a legal regulation established by law must guarantee the independence of a public broadcaster from interference with its activity by state institutions, officials, or other persons. This is an indispensable condition for a public broadcaster to carry out its mission.

Under the Constitution, a public broadcaster must always remain independent of any particular – private or group – interests (political, economic, or other interests). The activity of a public broadcaster must not depend on any party or other political preferences. The Constitutional Court has also emphasised that the mere fact that the state is the founder of a public broadcaster does not mean that the imperative of the independence of the public broadcaster is deviated from.

In this ruling, the Constitutional Court distinguished two aspects of the independence of the national public broadcaster (which is implied by its mission) from interference with its activity by state authorities, officials, or other persons: independence with respect to freedom of information (editorial independence), which means, among other things, that the public broadcaster must have the right, without external interference, having regard to its constitutional mission, to freely determine the structure of its programmes, as well as the content, timing, etc. of its broadcasts, and institutional independence, which means that the public broadcaster has the right to organise and conduct in an autonomous manner, in accordance with the procedure established in laws, its own activity through its own managing bodies that are independent of state authorities, officials, political parties and organisations, other persons, including private (commercial) broadcasters. These aspects of the independence of the public broadcaster are inextricably connected: failure to ensure the institutional independence of the national public broadcaster, among others, interference by state authorities or officials with the exercise of the powers, established in the law, of the bodies of the public broadcaster in organising the activities of that broadcaster, can create the preconditions for state authorities or officials to have influence, among other things, on the establishment of the structure and content of the programmes of the public broadcaster, i.e. to violate the editorial independence of the public broadcaster.

The Constitutional Court has emphasised that the special mission of the national public broadcaster, which arises from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, also implies the accountability of the national public broadcaster to the public. The independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, does not deny the duty of that broadcaster to account to the public for the implementation of its constitutional mission, nor does it deny the duty of the state, which is the founder of the national public broadcaster, to exercise control over the implementation by that broadcaster of its constitutional mission and over the use of resources, including state funding, designated for the implementation of the said mission. In other words, it is clear from this ruling of the Constitutional Court that the activity of the national public broadcaster must be public and transparent in order to ensure its effective accountability to the public.

In this respect, the Constitutional Court has noted that the accountability of the national public broadcaster to the public means not only that it must make public its activity reports, which contain information, among other things, on the implementation of its constitutional mission and the use of the appropriations from the state budget for the implementation of this mission, but also the fact that, in accordance with the procedure established in laws, the national public broadcaster is obliged to account for its activities to the Seimas as the representation of the Nation and as its founder.

In this ruling, the Constitutional Court has also revealed ways of controlling the national public broadcaster in order to ensure its effective accountability to the public. It was noted in this ruling that, under the Constitution, the regulation of the activity of the national public broadcaster should be based on such a model of control over its activity that, on the one hand, would create the preconditions for the state to effectively fulfil its duty of control over the implementation by the national public broadcaster of its constitutional mission and over the use of the resources designated for the implementation of this mission, and, on the other hand, it would be compatible with the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, from interference with its activity by state authorities, officials, or other persons. Such a model of effective control over the said activity includes two types of control: internal and external control over the activity of the national public broadcaster.

Internal control over the activity of the national public broadcaster is control over its activity exercised or organised by its supreme body, which is empowered to deal with the most important issues of the activity of the national public broadcaster, including control over the structure of, and the orientation of the content of, programmes and broadcasts, as well as control over the use of resources allocated to the national public broadcaster by the state and monitoring the organisation and performance of the activity of the national public broadcaster. Since such a supreme body of the national public broadcaster must be composed not of state officials or state servants, but of persons who can reasonably be called representatives of the public and not of any interest groups, the preconditions for not violating the independence of the national public broadcaster in carrying out its internal control are created.

External control over the activity of the national public broadcaster means that control over its activity (over how such a broadcaster implements its constitutional mission and uses the resources designated for the implementation of this mission) must be exercised by state authorities and/or officials with appropriate powers established in the Constitution and/or laws. Having regard to the imperative of the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, the activity of the national public broadcaster must be controlled by such state authorities and/or officials that, in accordance with the Constitution and/or the laws, exercise their powers independently, primarily from political power (such as prosecutors who, in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 118 of the Constitution, when performing their functions, are independent and obey only the law, or independent bodies established by law and regulating and supervising the activities of the media).

In the context of this constitutional justice case, the Constitutional Court noted that, under Paragraph 1 of Article 134 of the Constitution, the National Audit Office has the powers to conduct a state audit, i.e. to inspect state assets, including state budget appropriations, the activities of the managing and using entities, among other things, in terms of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, including assessing the lawfulness of the management and use of state assets, as well as compliance of the management and use of state assets with the objectives set in the Constitution and/or laws. The constitutional mission of the National Audit Office, the constitutional principles of a state under the rule of law and the separation of powers imply the constitutional requirement for the National Audit Office to exercise its powers (among other things, to conduct a state audit), arising from Paragraph 1 of Article 134 of the Constitution, independently from other state authorities, among others, from the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government.

Thus, under the Constitution, the National Audit Office has the powers to exercise external control over the activity of the national public broadcaster – to conduct a state audit. The assignment given to the National Audit Office, which should exercise its constitutional powers independently of other state authorities, among other things, from the Seimas, the President of the Republic, or the Government, to conduct a state audit of the national public broadcaster does not in itself violate its independence from interference with its activities by the authorities, officials, or other persons.

In this ruling, the Constitutional Court revealed the possibilities of parliamentary control over the national public broadcaster. Under the Constitution, while implementing its constitutional powers, the Seimas performs the classical functions of the parliament of a democratic state under the rule of law, including parliamentary control. Pursuant to its power established in Item 14 of Article 67 of the Constitution to supervise the execution of the state budget, the Seimas, while having regard to the Constitution, among others, to the principles of responsible governance and a state under the rule of law, which are entrenched in it, may also exercise parliamentary control over the institutions that have been founded by means of laws and are accountable to the Seimas and that are independent managers of state budget appropriations. As mentioned above, the accountability of the national public broadcaster to the public, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, means that, in accordance with the procedure established in laws, the national public broadcaster is obliged to account for the implementation of its constitutional mission to the Seimas as the representation of the Nation and as its founder, among others, for the use of the state budged appropriations granted for the implementation of the said mission.

Therefore, the Constitutional Court has emphasised that the Constitution cannot be interpreted as meaning that it does not allow the exercise of parliamentary control over the activities of a national public broadcaster. Under the Constitution, only the Seimas is the representation of the Nation; a member of the Seimas is not a representative of political parties or political organisations, public or other organisations, interest groups, territorial communities or the voters of the constituency in which he/she was elected, but a member of the Seimas represents the entire Nation. Against this background, parliamentary control over the national public broadcaster exercised by the Seimas, including its structural units (such as standing committees), cannot in itself be understood as control, prohibited by the Constitution, exercised over the activity of the national public broadcaster by persons pursuing their own interests in connection with the activity of the national public broadcaster.

However, as the Constitutional Court has pointed out, the Seimas, in its nature and essence, is a political institution, whose decisions reflect the political will of the majority of the members of the Seimas and are based on political arrangements and compromises. With this in mind, the Constitutional Court emphasised that parliamentary control over the national public broadcaster carried out under the Constitution must not violate the imperative of the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof. This means that, under the Constitution, parliamentary control exercised over the national public broadcaster by the Seimas must not undermine the independence of the national public broadcaster from the point of view of freedom of information (editorial independence), among other things, it is not allowed to carry out such control of programmes and broadcasts of the national public broadcaster that would be equivalent to censorship; in addition, it is not allowed to violate the institutional independence of the national public broadcaster, among other things, by interfering with the exercise of the powers, established by law, of the bodies of this broadcaster in organising its activity, thereby creating the preconditions for exerting political influence on the content of programmes and broadcasts.

Having in mind the aspect relevant to this constitutional justice case, the Constitutional Court noted that, although, under the Constitution, among others, Article 76 thereof, the Seimas has wide discretion to establish ad hoc structural units – ad hoc investigation commissions, among other things, meant for fulfilling the functions of parliamentary control, it may not establish such ad hoc investigation commissions whose mandate would include investigation inflicting damage on freedom of the media, enshrined in Article 25 of the Constitution, among other things, on the mission of the national public broadcaster, arising from this article, and on the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by the said mission. This means, among other things, that, under the Constitution, the constitutional principles of responsible governance and a state under the rule of law, and having regard to the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, it is not allowed to establish such ad hoc investigation commissions of the Seimas that would be given the task of carrying out an investigation that could create the preconditions for taking over the powers, enshrined in the Constitution and/or laws, of the other state authorities, including those of the National Audit Office, to exercise external control over the activity of the national public broadcaster, among other things, by commissioning drafting such decisions that, under the Constitution and/or laws, may only be adopted by state authorities (their officials) with appropriate competence.

On the other hand, having regard to the imperative of the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, arising from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, the Seimas, under the Constitution, among others, Article 76 thereof, whenever the implementation of its constitutional powers requires it to collect necessary and objective information, may establish an ad hoc investigation commission for the provision of the necessary, exhaustive, and objective information when a special issue, i.e. of state importance, arises, which is related, for instance, to a threat to the independence of the national public broadcaster, or facts (among other things, violations of law) established by state authorities and/or officials authorised by the Constitution and/or laws to exercise external control over the national public broadcaster, when those facts show that the activity of the national public broadcaster may not be in line with its constitutional mission and/or the state budget appropriations for the implementation of this mission are inappropriately used. Before the Seimas sets up such an ad hoc investigation commission, it must (among other things, in terms of expediency) assess whether the relevant work can be performed by any already established and functioning structural unit of the Seimas (for example, a committee of the Seimas) that has the powers, under the Statute of the Seimas and/or laws, to exercise parliamentary control over the national public broadcaster.

In this case, the Constitutional Court also reviewed European standards relating to the mission, status, independence, and regulation of activities of public broadcasters.

The assessment of the compliance of the resolution of the Seimas with the Constitution

Taking into account the above-mentioned provisions of the official constitutional doctrine, where they are mainly related to the interpretation of Article 25 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has assessed the compliance of the impugned resolution of the Seimas with the Constitution.

According to Article 1 of the impugned resolution of the Seimas, among other things, an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas was set up in order to carry out a parliamentary investigation into the management of the LRT and its financial and economic activities; this task given to the Commission should be interpreted in the light of the issues of the parliamentary investigation, which are detailed in Article 4 of this resolution of the Seimas. In this article, the issues of the parliamentary investigation into the management of the LRT, and its financial and economic activities can be divided into the following groups according to the content:

– issues related to the effectiveness of the management of the LRT, and to the lawfulness, economy, and efficiency of the use of the state budget funds allocated to the LRT (for example, to assess whether the management structure of the LRT, the number of employees employed, the amount of salaries of employees, and whether the ratio among the broadcasts created by the LRT itself, the broadcasts created by the LRT together with the companies providing production services or independent producers, and the broadcasts created by companies providing production services or by independent producers create the conditions for the rational use of state budget funds and meet the conditions of the Lithuanian market; to investigate and assess whether the prices of services purchased from producers and/or production service companies correspond to the market conditions);

– issues related to the lawfulness and transparency of public procurement conducted by the LRT, and to the effectiveness of the established internal system for monitoring public procurement (for example, to assess whether the LRT conducts public procurement procedures in a transparent manner, without creating competitive constraints on suppliers, and whether timely and fully fledged supervisory and control mechanisms are used to monitor ongoing procedures; to investigate and assess whether the LRT has an adequate and operating internal mechanism for organising, supervising, and controlling all public procurement conducted by it);

– issues related to ensuring both the publicity of the activity of the LRT and its accountability to the public (for example, to assess whether the methods of public dissemination of cultural, social, and educational information are applied in a transparent manner and by exercising adequate control);

– issues related to ensuring the prevention of corruption in the activity of the LRT (for example, to assess whether the application of the government resolution (No 1264) of 9 October 2003 on the approval of the description of the procedure for purchasing the creation of radio and television programmes, the services of their preparation for broadcasting, and the air time for broadcasting prepared radio and television programmes creates in certain cases the preconditions for the occurrence of corruption and/or an opportunity for the LRT to avoid public procurement procedures);

– issues related to the formation of the programme schedule of the LRT (for example, to assess whether the programmes provided by the LRT adapted for hearing- or visually impaired people ensure the needs of people with disabilities).

The Constitutional Court noted that, according to the legal regulation established in the Law on the National Audit Office, the National Audit Office – the state supreme audit authority, which is accountable to the Seimas – has the powers to conduct, either on its own initiative or on the instructions of the Seimas, a state audit (financial (regularity) audit) of the LRT, i.e. an assessment of the lawfulness of the management, use, and disposal of the funds and assets of the LRT and their use for the purposes defined in laws, as well as a performance audit, i.e. an assessment of the public and internal administration activities of the LRT in terms of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. The powers of the National Audit Office, among others, when conducting a state audit of the LRT, must be implemented in accordance with the principles of independence, lawfulness, publicity, neutrality, and professionalism.

Against this background, the Constitutional Court has drawn the conclusion that the task of the Commission, given to it by Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas, to conduct a parliamentary investigation into the management of the LRT and its financial and economic activities, if interpreted in the context of the above-mentioned issues of the parliamentary investigation, which are detailed in Article 4 of the said resolution, should be treated as a task of evaluating the lawfulness of the management, use, and disposal of the funds and assets of the LRT, and of their use for the purposes defined in laws (among others, for implementing the mission of the national public broadcaster, which arises from the Constitution and is entrusted to the LRT in accordance with the legal regulation laid down in the Law on the National Radio and Television), and of evaluating the activities of the public and internal administration of the LRT in terms of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. In other words, such a task given by the Seimas to the Commission should be assessed as a task of performing part of the powers of the National Audit Office, which are established in the Law on the National Audit Office, in conducting a state audit of the LRT – its financial (regularity) audit and performance audit. At the same time, such a task, established in Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas, should also be treated as a task given to the Commission to carry out part of the powers, assigned, under the Constitution, among others, Paragraph 1 of Article 134 thereof, to the National Audit Office to exercise external control over the activity of the national public broadcaster – to conduct a state audit, i.e. to verify the activity of the national public broadcaster, including in terms of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, as well as in evaluating the lawfulness of the management and use of state assets entrusted to this broadcaster. In this context, the Constitutional Court noted that, by this resolution, the Seimas did not give the task to the National Audit Office to conduct a state audit of the LRT.

In assessing the constitutionality of such a task given by the Seimas to the Commission, the Constitutional Court held that, when establishing the Commission in accordance with Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas and giving the task to it to carry out a parliamentary investigation into the management of the LRT and its financial and economic activities, the requirement, arising from the Constitution, among others, from the constitutional principles of responsible governance and a state under the rule of law, to respect the imperative of the independence of the national public broadcaster, which is implied by its mission, stemming from the Constitution, among others, Article 25 thereof, was disregarded. In other words, the constitutional prohibition on establishing such ad hoc investigation commissions of the Seimas that would be entrusted with the task of conducting an investigation that could make it possible to create the preconditions for taking over the powers of the National Audit Office, which are entrenched in the Constitution and laws, including drafting such decisions that, under the Constitution and laws, may be adopted only by the National Audit Office, was not observed. At the same time, the Constitutional Court noted that the Commission was established in accordance with Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas in the absence of any facts (including violations of law), established by the state authorities and/or officials exercising external control over the national public broadcaster, indicating that the activities of the national public broadcaster may not be in line with the constitutional mission of the national public broadcaster and/or state budget appropriations granted for the implementation of this mission may be used improperly.

Having found that Article 1 of the resolution of the Seimas, insofar as that article served as the basis for establishing an ad hoc investigation commission of the Seimas that had been given the task of carrying out a parliamentary investigation into the management of the LRT and its financial and economic activities, contradicted Article 25 of the Constitution and the constitutional principles of responsible governance and the rule of law, the Constitutional Court also had to hold that the provisions of the resolution of the Seimas determining the composition of the Commission, formed in accordance with Article 1 of this resolution, detailing the task to the Commission, and setting the deadline for carrying out the said task, were also in conflict with the Constitution.