Northern Ireland

BBC to review aspect of commissioning after DUP MP's concerns

Television Image copyright Getty Images

The BBC is to review an aspect of its commissioning process after concerns raised by a DUP MP were dismissed by the National Audit Office (NAO).

Gregory Campbell has accused the broadcaster of refusing to answer questions about how contracts for programmes are awarded and financed.

In February, he said he raised those concerns with the NAO.

The BBC said the NAO found the commissioning process "to be fully compliant with BBC guidelines".

The NAO also found the process complied with the BBC Code of Practice, which is agreed with the media regulator Ofcom, the broadcaster added.

However, the BBC said its own internal audit recommended "we review an aspect of the BBC-wide commission process - namely where a BBC talent who is employed as BBC staff is involved".

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption "There must be maximum openness and transparency" - DUP MP Gregory Campbell

"We regularly review our processes and will of course implement the recommendation," the BBC added.

Mr Campbell said he welcomed the announcement.

"These recommendations by the BBC internal auditors are significant but we have more work to do to help rebuild public trust in the BBC," he said.

Mr Campbell described the recommendation as a "major review" and said it had to be concluded by the end of July, when he would be seeking another meeting with BBC management.

He added that "it is clear from conversations with both the NAO and the BBC that there is significant space for more external scrutiny of how taxpayers' money is spent by the BBC".

"Where public money is being spent, there must be maximum openness and transparency."

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