§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the terms of the review examining the British Broadcasting Corporation external services; what is the composition of the review body; why the body has been set up; when it will report; and to whom.
§ Mr. Whitney
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 July to my hon. And learned Friend the Member for Fylde (Sir E. Gardner) setting out the terms of reference of the review of the BBC external services.
The review body consists of an examining team led by Mr. Alan Perry, HM Treasury, of which the other members are Mr. James Norris, head of the BBC's eastern service, Mr. Gavin Hewitt, FCO, Mr. Andrew Stott, efficiency unit of the Cabinet Office, and a representative of the BBC's auditors, Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. The examining team will operate under the guidance of a steering committee chaired by Mr. Christopher Bell, acting deputy managing director, BBC external services, Mr. Nicholas Barrington, FCO, Mr. Peter Mountfield, HM Treasury, and Mr. Ian Beesley of the efficiency unit.
There has been no thoroughgoing review of the external services since that conducted by the Civil Service Department in 1974 and it was agreed that it was time for a fresh look at external broadcasting.
The review is expected to last about three months. The final report will be to both the BBC's Board of Governors and to my right hon. and learned Friend.