BBC faces investigation after giving 200 senior managers 'excessively generous' £100,000 pay-offs

The probe was sparked after George Entwistle, the former director general, stood down over the Jimmy Savile scandal with a £450,000 pay-off

The public spending watchdog is to investigate BBC severance packages after it emerged almost 200 senior managers received pay-offs of more than £100,000 each in the past three years.

The National Audit Office (NAO) will 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 £450,000 pay-off - double the amount he was entitled to.

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 received severance packages in the past two years which together amounted to £4 million.

The largest was the former deputy director general Mark Byford, who was given £949,000.

Today an NAO spokesman said the decision to look at BBC severance packages was taken in the light of Mr Entwistle's departure.

The NAO wrote to the BBC asking if it should specifically examine Mr Entwistle's pay-off and report to the Public Accounts Committee before it deliberated recently.

But the corporation asked it to investigate severance packages as part of the NAO's wider 2013 programme of studies, as the NAO - which scrutinises public spending on behalf of parliament - does not have the power to carry out stand-alone "incident" studies.

The spokesman said: "We have placed this in our wider 2013 studies."

Figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph under Freedom of Information laws show that between 2010 and 2011 the cost of redundancy payments at the corporation more than doubled to £58m.

A total of 14 executives received pay-offs of more than £300,000 each, worth a total of £6m, while 194 executives got £100,000 each.

Caroline Thomson, the former chief operating officer at the BBC, was given £670,000 when she left the corporation earlier this year.

The Telegraph also reported that an unnamed finance officer was given a £420,000 payoff, while Sharon Baylay, the director of marketing, was given a £392,000 payoff.

In 2010, £27m was spent on redundancy payments for 481 staff and £58m in 2011 on 1,281 redundancy payments, the newspaper reported.

The average payout for an executive made redundant at the BBC is £51,000.

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Staff who are made redundant receive what they are entitled to in their contract. While redundancies involve costs in the short term in the long-term they represent significant savings. We offer our full co-operation with the National Audit Office."

A spokesman for the BBC Trust added: "The chairman previously suggested that it would be useful for the NAO to look not just at the package George Entwistle received, but at severance pay in the BBC more widely.

"We have received their schedule of work for 2013 and we are pleased to see that they will take this approach in a planned review for next year.

"Work will begin on this as soon as possible and we will, as always, ensure the NAO are given full access to all the information they require to carry out this review."

PA

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series