In July 2013 the BBC asked us to review its severance payments and benefits for senior BBC managers. This followed public concern about the size and frequency of severance packages at the Corporation.
Our report showed that, although the savings the BBC had made from senior manager redundancies were higher than the cost of severance payments, it had breached its own policies on severance too often and without good reason. It had also exceeded contractual entitlements and put public trust at risk. We concluded that the severance payments for BBC managers had provided poor value for money.
The BBC Trust agreed that our findings were deeply worrying. It accepted our recommendations that the BBC should:
- include principles in its remuneration strategy principles to guide decisions on severance entitlements;
- ensure that its revised severance polices are communicated clearly and applied consistently; and
- increase scrutiny of severance payments that differ from standard entitlements.
The BBC has said it will carry out a follow up review within two years to show that it has acted on our findings and recommendations.