Statement on BBC Severance payments

04 September 2013

A statement from The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:

This update only hardens the conclusion that the BBC wasted licence fee payers’ money making unnecessary severance payments, in breach of its own policy. We now know that these over-payments total £1.4 million.

The BBC needs to explain itself when it comes before PAC next week. I particularly want to know why the BBC failed to tell the NAO about a payment to a senior manager in BBC Worldwide, which only came to light in this supplementary review.

I’m also astonished that it has taken until now for the BBC Trust to identify further significant evidence relating to the discussion on the terms on which Mark Byford would leave.

The BBC seemed more preoccupied with finding ways to maximise the payment to Mr Byford while minimising the negative publicity that the settlement would attract.  They should have been focusing on paying not a penny more than was contractually due.

The additional evidence sheds a worrying light on the mindset that seems to have prevailed at the most senior level at the BBC during this period.

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