Inquiry into 'excessive' pay-offs for BBC chiefs

The public spending watchdog is to investigate BBC severance packages after it emerged that 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 launched after George Entwistle, the former Director-General, stood down over the Jimmy Savile scandal with a £450,000 pay-off.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws show that between 2010 and 2011 the cost of redundancy payments more than doubled to £58m. The largest pay-off was for the former deputy director-general Mark Byford, who was given £949,000.

Fourteen executives received pay-offs of more than £300,000 each, while 194 executives got £100,000 each.

A spokesman for the BBC Trust said: "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."

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