11.22 Europe/London, July 19, 2011 By Julian Clover

The BBC Trust is to formally consult Ofcom on any major proposals from the BBC Executive that would change the BBC’s activities.

Publishing his review of BBC governance Lord Patten, the chairman of the Trust, said the changes will help make it an even stronger advocate for licence fee payers. “They will strengthen the current governance arrangements, help audiences to understand how the BBC is accountable to them, and ultimately enable us to get on with the job of re-shaping the BBC for the future, ensuring that within a tough licence fee settlement it continues to deliver high quality and distinctive services.”

Ofcom has previously been involved on Public Value Tests through Market Impact Assessments, such as for the BBC’s launch of high definition services.

The Trust says it will conduct a full consultation on any future changes, to ensure it retains the confidence of the rest of the media industry.

The review, announced by Lord Patten on his appointment in May, set out to establish whether the current governance arrangements could be improved within the framework of the Royal Charter, which runs until 2017.

It also established that there should be clearer roles and responsibilities between the BBC Trust and the Executive Board. Annual reviews on the BBC’s impartiality will continue and links with the BBC’ non-executive directors will be strengthened.