The Lords Select Committee on Communications, of which I am a member, has announced an inquiry into the governance and regulation of the BBC, and has put out a call for evidence. The Select Committee contributed towards the debate around the renewal of the Charter five years ago. Already it is felt right to investigate how the new Charter and the BBC Trust, established by it, are working. Sir Michael Lyons is quitting as Chairman of the Trust and Lord (Chris) Patten is taking over, having been approved after being examined by the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee at a recent hearing. It is good to have a big beast at the helm, although he will be a very busy man, what with the duties of the Chancellorship of Oxford University and some other activities. The job is basically a full time one, although not described as such.
The Lords Committee would like to receive views on the clarity of the BBC Trust’s duties and whether more regulation, especially the handling of complaints, should be given over to OFCOM. Is the Trust sufficiently independent of Government and of the BBC Executive? Does the Trust have sufficient oversight of BBC management? How well does the system of review of existing BBC services by the Trust work? Can the Trust do more to ensure that the BBC delivers value for money? Does anyone have suggestions to improve the governance and regulation of the BBC?
If you want to submit written evidence, send it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 April.