The Government Accountability Office, a Congressional investigative agency, issued a report today (pdf, 30 pages) on Radio/TV Marti operations. The focus is on the contracts that paid commercial radio and television stations in
Contracts were given to Radio Mambi, home of commentator (and director) Armando Perez Roura, and to TV Azteca, both for about five hours per week of airtime. GAO found that the awarding of these noncompetitive contracts “did not reflect sound business practices,” and that the agency’s contracting office had “limited involvement in developing acquisition strategy.”
Radio/TV Marti’s parent agency responds in the report (see p.23) that Radio Mambi’s signal is the only one with “enough power to blanket the island at night.” The contract decisions were made in an environment of “unusual and compelling urgency,” the agency says, given
The Radio Mambi contract has nonetheless been discontinued.
The report addresses contracting issues only, and doesn’t discuss whether the late-night broadcasting of Radio Marti programming on commercial AM radio had any measurable impact on the audience in Cuba.