16/09/2011

BBC Agreement Overhauled

The National Audit Office (NAO) will now have the right to choose which areas of the BBC it investigates, under new value-for-money arrangements published today.

Amendments to the BBC Agreement have been laid in Parliament by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, fulfilling the commitment given in the Coalition Agreement to ensure greater transparency in the BBC’s operations.

The changes to the BBC Agreement also formalise the new responsibilities given to the BBC under the terms of the television licence fee settlement of October 2010 including: The BBC’s new funding responsibility for S4C, the World Service and BBC Monitoring; and the BBC’s funding responsibilities and commitments to local TV and broadband. 


The new value-for-money arrangements also give the NAO the right to have full access to BBC information when carrying out its studies.

Discussing the update, Mr Hunt said: “It is right that licence fee payers have confidence that the BBC is spending money wisely, so I am pleased that the NAO now have the right to full access to BBC information. Their new power to decide which areas of activity to scrutinise will increase transparency while maintaining the BBC’s independence.”

The licence fee settlement set out new arrangements to secure the future funding of Welsh language channel S4C through partnership with the BBC. The new funding model is set out today; discussions between S4C, the BBC and DCMS on the governance arrangements are ongoing.

The amended Agreement also formalises the commitments for the BBC to support new local television services and the roll out of superfast broadband.

The BBC Agreement was last amended in February this year to implement the transfer of the funding of World Service from the Government to BBC. This change was also made following the addition of responsibilities as part of the licence fee settlement.

(BMcN/GK)

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