PracticeAuditCalls for BBC accounts to be audited by the NAO

Calls for BBC accounts to be audited by the NAO

Parliament should have full access to the BBC’s accounts, MPs insisted this week

But the request has been flatly rejected by the government.

‘Most people who have seen the nonsense going on with BBC financing recently
would think that it is an ideal candidate for investigation by the NAO and PAC,’
Labour MP and public accounts committee member Alan Williams said.

The claim that auditing the BBC would endanger editorial freedom was absurd,
he said, given that its policy could already be examined by the Commons culture,
media and sport committee. ‘One wonders what the BBC is afraid of. Perhaps,
given its financial behaviour recently, it is that the public will realise that
it is not very good at management.’

Tory MP Philip Dunne said it was ‘disappointing’ that new BBC Trust chairman
Sir Michael Lyons rejected a letter from himself and chairman Edward Leigh
proposing a review of the BBC’s accountability. Tory MP Richard Bacon said the
government should explain what possible objection there could be, given that the
NAO already audits the BBC World Service.

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