Gov’t probes BBC finances

Scrutiny of how net competes with commercial b'casters

LONDON — The U.K. government is conducting an independent review into the BBC’s finances.

Following the release of the pubcaster’s annual report and accounts last week, culture secretary Chris Smith has appointed consultants Pannell Kerr Forster to look into the transparency of the BBC’s spending and income.

The review will investigate the level of financial information the BBC provides in its accounts, to what degree the BBC’s governors are informed of key issues before the release of the figures and the mechanisms already in place to ensure transparency.

The findings of the review are due at the end of July.

Last week, Smith announced that the government would more closely scrutinize the BBC’s output, in particular the launch of new channels and services competitive to commercial broadcasting.

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