NAO will not get freedom to investigate BBC procurement

7 November 2008
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07 November 2008 | Paul Snell

The BBC Trust has rejected suggestions from MPs that the National Audit Office (NAO) should be able to investigate value for money at the broadcaster.

MPs had suggested earlier this year that the comptroller and auditor general of the NAO should have the right to identify and undertake studies into value for money, as currently they believe "spending remains closed to independent scrutiny".

"As the Trust has never rejected a topic suggested by the comptroller and auditor general, we see no reason why it should object to the comptroller and auditor general having such powers," said the committee.

But the Trust's response to the report said it was responsible for both ensuring value for money and maintaining the corporation's independence and its current arrangements with the NAO would allow this.

The MPs report earlier this year was positive that the broadcaster was on target to meet savings of £75 million over three years (Web news, 14 May). However, the Public Accounts Committee encouraged the BBC to cut the cost of temporary staff and encourage the use of e-auctions.

The Trust said the corporation had reduced the cost of employing temporary staff by 6 per cent and said e-auctions would be run in the "right circumstances".


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