MPs slam the BBC for being too secretive

Steve Dinneen
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THE BBC has been slammed for being too secretive over its finances by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

A report by MPs said the BBC must be held to account over its spending after it was criticised for splashing out vast sums on building projects and staffing levels at events including the World Cup and Glastonbury.

The committee recommended the BBC opens its books on spending, including the cost of its highly paid staff, to ensure it offers value for money to licence fee payers.

The National Audit Office currently conducts spending reviews at the request of the BBC but has no statutory powers over it.

The government had already bowed to pressure over the BBC, saying the situation was “unsatisfactory” but was loathe to make changes before its charter is up for renewal in 2016.

But committee chairman Edward Leigh said it was “not acceptable” to put “proper accountability on hold for six years”.

The BBC defended itself, saying it is open to outside advice on spending issues, and stressed the importance of remaining independent from parliament.