An independent review looking at how the BBC is governed and regulated has been announced by the UK government.
The independent review will form part of the ongoing process to review the BBC’s Royal Charter to make sure it remains a valued public broadcaster. It will be led by Sir David Clementi, former chairman of Virgin Money and Prudential, and previously a deputy governor of the Bank of England.
Clementi has been asked to make proposals, taking account of the responses to the BBC Charter Review consultation, in relation to the model of governance and regulation of the BBC; the specific mechanisms of governance and regulation; and the way in which the BBC and the bodies that govern and regulate it engage with licence fee payers and industry.
“Television is of huge importance to the nation – and the BBC lies at the heart of British television. However no-one could deny that the BBC has made some bad mistakes in the last few years,” said secretary of state for culture, media and sport, John Whittingdale MP. “Savile, McAlpine, Ross-Brand, severance payments and excessive salaries have all contributed to a widespread view that the governance structure needs reform.”
Currently there are three key groups that make up the system of governance and regulation of the BBC – the BBC Executive, the BBC Trust and Ofcom. The BBC Executive Board is responsible for delivering the BBC’s services, its editorial and creative output, and management of the BBC, in line with the strategies and priorities set by the Trust.
The BBC Trust is the sovereign body of the BBC and aims to act as stewards of the licence fee. It is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the BBC, approving the high-level strategy and budgets for services, and holding the BBC Executive to account in delivering this.
As the regulator responsible for the wider broadcasting and telecoms landscape, Ofcom has a variety of responsibilities that relate to the BBC, including its regulation of broadcast content, handling complaints on these issues, and looking at how the BBC impacts on the wider market.
Clementi will submit a report setting out proposals for a regulatory and governance model for the BBC in the context of the Charter Review including key findings, conclusions, and any other supporting information in early 2016.