Editor | 23-08-2013
BBC Director General Tony Hall has revealed that the recent scandals involving pay-offs to former senior executives has created an “appalling divide” in the corporation.
In July 2013, the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) criticised the corporation for breaching its own guidelines on severance payments and wider benefits for senior executives over the last 12 months, condemning “weak governance arrangements” that led to the BBC breaching its own policies on severance too often and without good reason, exceeding contractual entitlements and putting public trust at risk.
Commenting on their findings, Anthony Fry, BBC trustee and chair of the trust's finance committee, said: “Although the BBC has achieved significant savings in its senior manager pay bill, some of the NAO's conclusions are deeply worrying, particularly the failure to follow agreed severance policies in a number of cases as a result of weak governance from the BBC executive in the past … The trust is clear that there cannot be a repeat of such a fundamental failure of central oversight and control.”
Responding to the furore at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Hall said: "I really do want to heal this appalling divide between the people who are running the BBC and the people who are doing really hard work day in, day out, doing amazing things … I understand from people the sort of resentment and anger that is caused by levels of pay but also from what has happened with severance pay … I really understand that and I am concentrating on trying to lance that particular issue. "