Entertainment & Arts

Lord Patten: More top BBC managers to go

Lord Patten Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lord Patten took over from Sir Michael Lyons as BBC Trust chairman in May

The BBC will make further cuts to senior management - from 3% of the workforce to 1% - and curb their pay, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten says.

In a speech, he said director general Mark Thompson was paid 26% less now than in 2009 and that there were already 15% fewer senior managers.

But he said there was "further to go - both in making further reductions and securing public confidence".

Changes will mean about 300 senior posts being closed or reclassified.

"There are still too many senior managers - currently 3% of the workforce," he said in a lecture to the Royal Television Society in central London.

"I want to see this cut to more like 1%, by 2015 at the latest, to create a smaller group of people more clearly accountable for spending the licence fee."

As well as post closures it would "also mean a redrawing of the boundaries around who is and is not a senior manager", he added in his speech to the Royal Television Society.

Image caption Lord Patten suggested the eventual replacement for director general Mark Thompson would be paid less

He said executive bonuses would remain frozen, private health insurance for senior managers would be scrapped and that the BBC should be more transparent about its pay structure.

The BBC must "distance itself" from the market and remain sensitive "to the care we take in spending the licence fee," he added.

He said the BBC would be the first organisation to publish its "pay multiple" so licence fee payers could compare pay at the top with the rest of the workforce.

In March, Will Hutton published proposals for fair public sector pay which said an executive should not receive more than 20 times the organisation's median salary earner - the person in the middle of its pay scale.

Lord Patten said the director general's pay would be capped at its current multiple, understood to be 17 times the median.

He added that when Mr Thompson was eventually replaced, the trust would "secure the right candidate at a lower multiple", effectively a pay cut.

Executive pay would also be capped at its current multiple, understood to be nine times, although that could be broken "in exceptional circumstances", Lord Patten added.

He said that, while "the BBC must continue to strive to attract and retain outstanding candidates for senior posts, the trust's intention is that over time this multiple will fall".

"This action on pay is important because the BBC must do right by the licence fee payers who pick up the bill and by all the staff that work throughout the organisation at every level."

Lord Patten also announced changes to the BBC's complaints procedure.

To help deal with "the particular complexities of the complaints system", a chief complaints editor position would be created, he said.

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