HC Deb 24 July 1984 vol 64 cc592-3W
Sir Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent developments there have been in the relationship between his Department and the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Mr. Whitney

Following discussions between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the BBC external services management, the BBC's board of governors has decided to invite a review of the BBC external services.

In consultation with the BBC the review team will be appointed by my right hon. and learned Friend: To examine the extent to which the BBC external services meet the objectives laid down in the licence and agreement, taking into account the relationship with the BBC's board of governors and with the Departments of State; To consider how efficiency and effectiveness can be improved further; To consider the effects of new technological developments on the future of external broadcasting; And to report to the BBC's board of governors and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

For the purpose of the review, the team will have access to documents and records in the BBC external services and in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the right to interview employees of both organisations and to examine the management and financial procedures used by the BBC external services, including pay, recruitment and staffing, identifying areas where improvements or economies could be made; and will take account of the operations of similar broadcasting services in selected allied countries.