Belfast Telegraph

BBC to review aspect of commissioning process involving staff after DUP complaint

Gregory Campbell
Gregory Campbell
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The BBC is to review an aspect of its commissioning processes when staff are involved following complaints raised by a Northern Ireland MP.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell raised concerns of how public money was spent on commissioning independent media companies associated with BBC employees for programming.

In a debate in parliament in February, he said he had been approached by a number of independent media companies who feel they "don't get a fair deal with the BBC due to the lack of transparency" and the National Audit Office was conducting an investigation.

"I was concerned by how certain companies, associated with BBC employees, were securing commissions each year worth hundreds of thousands of pounds with little accountability," he said on Thursday.

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

The BBC said none of the complaints made to National Audit Office by Mr Campbell were upheld following its probe and the recommendation to review how programmes were commissioned - and which involved BBC talent - was made by its own internal audit team.

A spokesman said: “The BBC also met with Mr Campbell on a number of occasions to discuss his concerns.

"We worked openly with the NAO to help with their enquiries and they found our commissioning process to be fully compliant with BBC guidelines and the BBC Code of Practice (agreed with Ofcom).

"As a result of this process, the BBC’s own internal audit team has made a recommendation that we review an aspect of the BBC-wide commissioning process – namely where a BBC talent who is employed as BBC staff  is involved.

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

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