Statement regarding the Dame Janet Smith Review

Date: 27.03.2014     Last updated: 31.03.2014 at 14.03
Category: Corporate
The BBC has today issued the following statement regarding the Dame Janet Smith review.

 

In addition to the substantive work of Dame Janet Smith’s Review to review the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked here, she was also asked to look at the BBC’s current child protection and whistleblowing policies to ensure that they are fit for purpose. This work was due to commence after her main report had concluded and been published. The review recently announced that their report would not be published before mid-2014 after the review received a request from Lancashire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (North West) to postpone delivery until the criminal proceedings against Stuart Hall have concluded.

This means that unavoidably, the work on the policies would not commence until the middle of this year. The BBC has already reviewed its own processes and had already been keen to progress independent assessment without further delay. We will therefore be commencing an independent assessment of our child protection and whistleblowing policies now in order to understand whether there are any areas where we should tighten our policies, processes and operations.

The independent review will be undertaken by business ethics specialists GoodCorporation; they will be supported by Moira Murray, a child protection expert. The Dame Janet Smith Review is still asked to identify the lessons to be learned from the evidence uncovered by the review. Once this independent assessment is complete and Dame Janet’s report has been published the BBC will consider what, if any, further action or work might need to be undertaken.

All procedures operate within a national regulatory framework, and we have also asked GoodCorporation to make any relevant observations about that framework and how it applies to the broadcasting industry within the context of the report. We do not envisage this being a substantive part of their work.

The change in the Dame Janet Smith’s terms of reference will be as follows:

Dame Janet Smith will:

1. receive evidence from those people who allege inappropriate sexual conduct by Jimmy Savile in connection with his work with the BBC, and from others who claim to have raised concerns about Jimmy Savile’s activities (whether formally or informally) within the BBC; (PART 1)

2. investigate the extent to which BBC personnel were or ought to have been aware of inappropriate sexual conduct by Jimmy Savile in connection with his work with the BBC, and consider whether the culture and practices within the BBC during the years of Jimmy Savile’s employment enabled inappropriate sexual conduct to continue unchecked; (PART 2)

3. in the light of findings of fact in respect of the above, c̶o̶n̶s̶i̶d̶e̶r̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶t̶h̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶B̶B̶C̶’̶s̶ ̶c̶u̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶t̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶s̶t̶l̶e̶ b̶l̶o̶w̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶o̶l̶i̶c̶i̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶p̶o̶s̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ identify the lessons to be learned from the evidence uncovered by the Review; (PART 3)

4. as necessary, take account of the findings of Dame Linda Dobbs in her investigation into the activities of Stuart Hall.

BBC Press Office