United Kingdom govt publishes draft BBC Charter

by Ben Pena September 25, 2016, 1:18
United Kingdom govt publishes draft BBC Charter

The government wants the BBC to publish the salary details of all its staff, including on-air presenters, who earn more than £150,000 - and specify which £50,000 salary band they fall in to - in next year's annual report.

Bradley wrote in an editorial in The Telegraph on Thursday: "Our new charter will make sure the BBC thrives for years to come".

Executives earning more than £150,000 are already named, and the BBC fears adding stars' details to the list would make it harder to attract and retain talent.

Under the terms of the draft charter there will be a new BBC Board, which will be responsible for the governance of the organisation while Ofcom takes over responsibility for regulation and the National Audit Office will become the corporation's financial auditor.

In a departure from the Government's White Paper last May, Ms Bradley said the the majority of the board members would be appointed by the BBC itself - a move welcomed by BBC director-general Lord Hall.

"We don't agree with the government on everything and are disappointed with the decision on the disclosure of presenters' pay", said the outgoing exec.

The current chair of the BBC Trust, Rona Fairhead, who had agreed to carry on until 2018 after a behind-closed-doors agreement with the previous government, chose to stand down earlier this week. "We're working for the public, so why shouldn't they know?"

"We called for a charter which protects the BBC's independence and transformed it structurally and strategically, to ensure Scotland enjoys a far fairer share of the licence fee raised here - as opposed to the current paltry level of only 55%. Ultimately, the BBC should be judged on the quality of its programs".

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But ministers ruled that no BBC activity should be hidden from public view.

The charter is expected to come into force on 1 January 2017.

In her closing remarks in the Telegraph, Bradley said: "The BBC is one of this country's greatest achievements and greatest treasures".

It is part of Government reforms to make it clearer how the licence fee is spent.

"I do not believe that the appointments proposals for the new unitary board are yet right", BBC director general Tony Hall said in May.

BBC NI said yesterday: "The director of BBC Northern Ireland's salary has been made publicly available for several years".

The white paper also confirmed that the BBC Trust governing body would be scrapped in favor of a unitary board for the broadcaster, while United Kingdom media regulator Ofcom will become the external regulator of the BBC.

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