The People’s Progressive Party does not intend to shy away from its responsibility to settle its debt with the state-owned National Communications Network.
However, the party would like NCN to provide all the invoices and supporting proof of bookings for the more than $55 Million worth of television and radio ads that were aired on NCN during the 2011 and 2015 national elections.
At a Monday morning press briefing, PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee said he hopes NCN is not confusing money owed by the PPP as against money owed by the former government.
NCN has already provided the party with several outstanding invoices.
But the recent audit which was done on the operations of NCN, points clearly to money owed by the People’s Progressive Party. Some of the bookings for airing of ads were made through the Impressions Advertising Agency while others came from the party itself.
He said NCN is a company and should do its work.
He would not comment on whether the PPP had in anyway taken advantage of its incumbency to access free advertising at NCN.
During both the 2011 and 2015 elections, NCN’s airwave was swamped with political ads and programming for the PPP. The tv station even carried live outdoor broadcasts of the mail rallies for the 2011 elections.
According to a forensic audit, the PPP’s total bill stretches over $55 million. In some instances, the political party was never billed for the political ads and in other instances, it simply did not make an attempt to pay.
The audit report found that dating back to 2011 the PPP swamped all of the NCN stations with political ads, some of the ads were listed under Public Service Announcement. The audit found that the party which was in government at the time, was never billed for $18.2 million in political ads that were aired on the NCN stations for the 2011 elections. Additionally, $12.9 million worth of political ads were placed on the state tv and radio stations under the banner of public service announcements. During last year’s elections, the PPP had placements totaling $21.9 million but it was not billed for $3.7 million of that amount.
The party still owes the money.