Monday, July 1, 2013

Ex-BBC chief faces questions on payoffs

Former BBC director general Mark Thompson will face further scrutiny over his eight-year tenure at the BBC after a damning report by the public spending watchdog into the corporation's six-figure payoffs to former members of its top management.
Tory MP Rob Wilson said Thompson had questions to answer after the National Audit Office investigation revealed that a string of senior executives were paid hundreds of thousands of pounds more in severance payments than they were contractually entitled to.
They included one senior manager who received a payoff of nearly £900,000, despite being given 14 months' notice and finding another job before leaving the BBC.
The NAO said Thompson approved the payoff – including £300,000 for salary in lieu of notice, £300,000 for redundancy and a further £266,288 in pension top-ups – even though it went against the BBC's own policy.
Members of the House of Commons public accounts committee have already called on Thompson, who left the BBC last year and is now chief executive of the New York Times Company, to return to parliament to give evidence on the BBC's £100m Digital Media Initiative fiasco.

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