THE British public spending watchdog is to investigate BBC severance packages after it emerged that almost 200 senior managers received pay-offs of more than STG100,000 ($A158,000) each in the past three years.
The National Audit Office (NAO) is to examine the situation after MPs said pay-offs for senior BBC figures had been “excessively generous”.
The investigation was sparked after George Entwistle, the former director general, stood down over the Jimmy Savile scandal with a STG450,000 pay-off – double the amount to which he was entitled.
The probe also comes after parliament’s Public Accounts Committee criticised the BBC’s use of licence fee payers’ money as “cavalier” and “out of line with public expectations”.
The committee’s chairman, Margaret Hodge, hit out after hearing that 10 other leading figures at the BBC had received severance packages in the past two years which together amounted to STG4 million.
The largest was the former deputy director general, Mark Byford, who was given STG949,000.
Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph newspaper under Freedom of Information laws showed that between 2010 and 2011 the cost of redundancy payments at the corporation more than doubled to STG58 million.
A total of 14 executives received pay-offs of more than STG300,000 each, worth a total of STG6 million, while 194 executives got STG100,000 each.
The average payout for an executive made redundant at the BBC is STG51,000.