Jo Geraghty


A grossly unedifying occasion

Date added: 10th Sep 2013
Category: Leadership

The investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into redundancy payments made by the BBC to senior management has provided a fascinating insight into the workings of one of our national institutions.

A three hour hearing on 9th September was expected to cast light on the uncertainties raised by previous hearings and subsequent revelations in respect of the evidence given at those hearings.  Unfortunately at the end of the hearing MPs were still left unclear as to the exact chain of events and command; with the Chair of the Committee, Margaret Hodge, calling the event “a grossly unedifying occasion which can only damage in my view the standing and reputation of the BBC.”

Whilst the waters have undoubtedly been muddied by a changeover in key personnel, Lord Patten, The Chairman of the BBC Trust, did admit that there was “a cultural issue” at the BBC around the subject of pay “that we really do have to recognise and apologise for and deal with very robustly”.

It would appear that this debate has some way to run and the minutes/transcript of the PAC hearing should make interesting reading for all those who are concerned about the effect which pay and redundancy can have on organisational culture.

At the end of the hearing Margaret Hodge concluded that “At best what we have seen is incompetence, a lack of central control and a failure to communicate at an organisation whose business is to communicate … At worst we might have seen people covering their backs by being less than open and that is not good for the thousands of people who work for the BBC who produce content that enriches all our lives.”

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