BBC Pledges Reform after Threats of Regulation
Sherwin, Adam, The Independent (London, England)
Culture Secretary says National Audit Office should be given power to investigate payouts
The BBC announced a comprehensive review of its governance structures last night after Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, said the scandal-hit Corporation had suffered an "annus horribilis".
Describing the squabbling earlier this week between senior BBC figures over who knew what about 3m of excess payouts as a "grim day", Ms Miller said that in future the National Audit Office (NAO) should be given a quasi-regulatory power over the BBC, including the ability to investigate excessive executive payouts.
In response to the Culture Secretary's speech at the Royal Television Society in Cambridge, the Corporation immediately promised a new structure which will end the confusion over the role and responsibilities of its executive board, headed by the Corporation's Director-General, and the BBC Trust, led by Lord Patten.
The pledge follows a stormy session in front of the Commons Public Accounts Committee on Monday over which BBC body was ultimately responsible for signing off controversial severance payments.
In her speech, Ms Miller said there was "ongoing confusion" over "where the roles and responsibilities of the BBC executive stop and those of the BBC Trust start".
Responding, the BBC announced an internal review designed to "provide clarity about the responsibilities between each body", "avoid duplication" and "ensure effective decision-making". Lord Hall, the Director-General, and Lord Patten said in a joint letter to Ms Miller: "We are confident that there is space within the current …
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Publication information: Article title: BBC Pledges Reform after Threats of Regulation. Contributors: Sherwin, Adam - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 12, 2013. Page number: 2. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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