New role mooted for NAO at Beeb

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell is in talks with the National Audit Office
about bringing the watchdog in to examine the BBC’s future efficiency as part of
the licence fee settlement.

This would be a new role for the NAO, which has been blocked by successive
BBC chairmen and director generals from having access to its books, only being
allowed to examine certain issues.

Speaking during a Commons debate on charter renewal, Jowell confirmed the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport was in talks with the NAO.

Jowell said both the public and the BBC needed to engage in debate about what
services it should provide and how they should be funded.

‘Public value is about much more than simply asking the public whether they
like a particular idea or proposed new service,’ Jowell said.

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