SENIOR managers at the BBC were paid £1.4 million more than their contracts demanded in pay-offs over a three year period, according to a new report.
The National Audit Office (NAO) examined a further 90 severance payments made to corporation bosses after its initial study of 60 cases, published earlier this year, showed some staff were paid more than they were entitled to.
The report states: “Across all 150 severance payments to senior managers in the three years to December 2012, the BBC paid more salary in lieu of notice than it was contractually obliged to in 22 cases, at a total cost of £1.4 million.”
The NAO said that in 18 of the additional 90 cases, severance deals had been agreed “before the supporting business cases had been through the relevant scrutiny and approval process”.
It said: “In one case, approval to pay severance of £141,000 was not provided until after the payment was made.”
The BBC also paid £687,333 in redundancy to executive Jana Bennett, a former head of television at the corporation, after she left a new position at its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, before it “reversed its decision and recovered the money.”
The report stated that Worldwide is “responsible for meeting its own redundancy costs” but the BBC “met the cost in this case on the understanding that it had committed to do so as part of the individual’s move from an executive director post at the BBC to a senior role at BBC Worldwide Limited in 2011”.
The BBC got its money back from Worldwide last month.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: “Reforming severance pay arrangements and addressing these problems of the past have been a priority for me from day one as Director-General. I commissioned today’s KPMG Report to ensure that we can get everything out in the open and help bring this difficult chapter to a close.
“The Report underlines what we already knew. Approvals, record keeping and oversight were poor. Although the BBC delivered savings of £37m a year in management costs it did it in the wrong way. The measures I am announcing today further strengthen the new controls I have already put in place. I want to make sure that the BBC does everything it can to give the public confidence we are managing their money in the right way.”