The National Audit Office has been rebuffed in its attempt to make the BBC
reveal the pay salaries of some of its highest-earning radio stars.
The BBC has faced strong criticism for blocking the NAO from delving deeper
into the financial data around its radio shows. The NAO wants more information
after it found that a higher proportion of fees on the corporation’s top shows
related to its presenters than comparable commercial stations’ shows.
Presenter fees for BBC breakfast and drive-time shows represented
three-quarters of the shows’ costs.
When the NAO asked for a breakdown of costs, the BBC said the information
could only release the information to the NAO if it remained confidential, due
to the Data Protection Act and confidentiality clauses in their contracts,
Public Accounts committee chairman Edward Leigh described the BBC’s stance as
‘This is equivalent to the BBC trying to impose a gagging order on the NAO,
and goes to show the utter inadequacy of the current arrangements for
parliamentary scrutiny of this publicly-funded organisation,’ said Leigh.
NAO interim head Tim Burr said he would not accept the offer due to the BBC’s
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