BBC SILENCING EX STAFF WITH PAYOFFS

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morning news with Susan bookbinder on LBC 97.3 good morning LBC 97.3 can exclusively reveal that the BBC has paid out more than 22 million pounds of licence payers money in payoffs known as compromise agreements over the last six years the BBC has admitted that most of the deals included so-called gagging clauses confidentiality agreements which mp's including the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have been campaigning to get stopped within the NHS we'll be joined in the studio by one of those MPs the Conservatives Stephen Bartley from the Public Accounts Committee and will get his reaction shortly good morning to you first though let's sir cross now to our reporter Tom Swarbrick he's outside the BBC in Portland Place Tom of course you know we offered the BBC's new director-general Tony Hall an interview here on the Morning News an offer which he declined we do have a statement though Tom yes morning Susan I have a statement here from the BBC it reads thus the use of compromise agreements is standard practice in employment law and is designed to protect both parties the BBC always insists that individuals do take independent legal advice before entering into them in light of the BBC director-general Tony Hall's commitment to cap severance payments to 150,000 pounds in all circumstances from September there will be no further severance payments above this level in future ok those legal costs you mentioned there in that statement Tom we know from our own investigations that this 22 million pound figure over the last six years does not include the BBC's legal costs nor that of what it calls the independent legal advice that the BBC urges its employees to take prior to entering into one of these agreements correct and nor does that figure include other provisions such as training out placements counselling or indeed health cover if we just peer into these figures for slightly longer Susan one finds that on our calculations this figure of 22 million pounds over the last six years works out at more than a hundred and fifty thousand licence fees at a hundred and forty-five pounds each out of more than 500 pay offs in that six year period 62 were over a hundred thousand pounds 30 six over a hundred fifty thousand pounds two of them were over half a million pounds I'm sorry of course these figures don't include the millions paid out in redundancies and we know all this because we put in a Freedom of Information request back in April we asked the BBC for figures though going back for 15 years yes the BBC weren't able to give us that information the BBC has a department dedicated to dealing with FOI requests it told us it can't give us the total figure for the last 15 years because the BBC's Employment Law Department central database only recalls what it calls relevant data from April 2005 and BBC HR doesn't keep a central record of the data we asked about it did add that providing the information we requested would basically involve manually going through personnel files that would take in excess of two and a half days and thus under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act it is allowed to refuse to handle our requests it is indeed and Tom we put this FOI request in on the 15th of April and we should note that on the second of May the BBC actually announced it was abolishing gagging clauses from future BBC contracts yes this was part of the measures introduced following the BBC Savile inquiry which found that some staff was still too scared to speak out about sexism and bullying at the corporation the new DG Lord Hall said dropping the gagging clauses would make it easier for stump some staff to come forward and the BBC Trust has published Lord Hall's 450 thousand pound contract in full which includes a gagging order that bars him from criticising the corporation for two years of the he leaves Tom at the BBC's new Broadcasting House thank you okay let's discuss this with Stephen Barclay and pou last week Stephen you across examining the NHS boss Sir David Nicholson over the matter of gagging clauses we were talking 15 million across the NHS there so here we have 22 million in six years with the BBC that's going son isn't it it is it's a great investigation by LBC and it reveals payments which go against the very essence of what the BBC says it stands for and I think many BBC stuff themselves have been concerned having to sign gagging clauses preventing them speaking out about things that they felt were wrong and as your your story alluded to with the several inquiry what was clear is stuff within the BBC felt unable because of bullying to speak out and yet we see with these payments that this has been going on very recently where staff had been silenced and it's an abuse of the taxpayers money and well the BBC wouldn't tell us or couldn't tell us about the whole fifteen year period we asked about what kind of money do you really think could be involved well clearly the this summer money is the tip of the iceberg because there's legal fees there's various other costs which you've alluded to but actually money is only part of this story I think we saw with the digital media projects a hundred million pounds being wasted by the BBC on IT software that simply didn't work and what we don't know is where there some of these ganging clauses relate to either that project or other similar projects where vast sums of money might have been wasted and people wanted to raise concerns and the BBC have used your listeners license fee money to silence those and prevent them coming to light do you think it's a betrayal of the licence payers it is people pay their licence so it can go to program making it they want to pay for the next generation and John Sullivan's the writer of Only Fools and Horses or world class news government that's what people pay their license fee and also BBC staff members themselves often be are very frustrated that there seems to be this cadre at the top of the BBC where one law seems to apply to them they can use licence fee payers to cover up their mistakes and yet another law applies to the BBC staff members themselves I've seen one of these compromise agreements and indeed a gagging order and it's heavy staffer uses words such as you will not say anything that could bring the BBC into disrepute what do you think what sort of things do you think the BBC are paying their ex employees to keep quiet about oh one suspects things like bullying the the schemes that didn't work like the digital media program and you're absolutely right when I cross-examined out Sir David Nicholson on the public accounts he accepted that these clauses have a chilling effect and it's it's paradoxical for in a news organization like the BBC to be gagging its own staff and preventing the public seeing stories which are legitimate interests and really what we've got to ensure is that the license fee goes to program making not to save the embarrassment or the bad practice of senior BBC managers so what are you going to do to make sure that happens well we've got a hearing coming up on the Public Accounts Committee in July where Mark Thompson and others on the 10th of July are due to give evidence there's also a report due out next week from the National Audit Office I think that's going to make further allegations against the BBC and the cap that's it being imposed wouldn't actually apply to 90% of the payments that your investigation has revealed so clearly there is more work for the BBC to do Stephen Barclay and pay thanks for coming and thanks for joining us here on the Morning News on LBC 97.3 and just to tell you that Miriam O'Reilly who refused a gagging payout and successfully sued the BBC for age discrimination will be joining my colleague Nick Ferrari to discuss this exclusive story later here on LBC 97.3

13 thoughts on “Tv licence+BBC Gagging clauses Radio Broadcast – LBC

  1. I've noticed the BBC is becoming MORE politically biased all the time. More and more people don't want a tv licence but BBC news never mentions this in shows like Panorama.

  2. When are they going to learn that things have changed? That they can no longer rip off the British public because they ALWAYS GET FOUND OUT! Gone are the days when people sighed with affection at the mention of 'Good old Auntie Beeb'. Back when it was just four channels on TV and two of those were BBC. Nobody cares about them any more, and everybody knows what an overrated, crooked, arrogant, perverted little organization they really are. They're in the shit with their heads buried in the sand.

  3. No new Act that I know of and if it were, I do not acknowledge Acts, as it is beyond the scope of the Magna Carter and common law jurisdiction. As a free man, TVL and the British as well the American governments can kiss my American white ass on the brown spot.

  4. Oh, I thought you meant a new act had been passed. I don't pay either I know this man, what happened last week with regards to TVL? Did the government stop TVL receiving peoples addresses when they buy televisions? And isn't this illegal surely?

  5. Rob I'm working on another homeless video. I'm trying to learn this program called Audicty. I want to add a voice over and music. I'm way behind most everyone on computers and it takes me a long time to learn this stuff. My wife goes into hospital tomorrow for three days for her Chemo treatment. I'll do another TVL video one day. I just have a lot going on at the moment and do not just want to rant as I always do. Americans do not understand TVL, we don't have to have one and we get BBC programs

  6. The podcast is there now……Listed as Should MPs get a pay rise.

    YouTube won't allow me to post a link, But if you Google "Iain Dale – Whole Show Podcast – LBC Podcasts" it will show up.

    You need to Pay to hear it though.

  7. Hello no I did not ge to hear that one but am looking for the podcast to appear on the LBC website evasive you say ? i think this is the start of a whole new can of worms regards how much as been wasted in arrogance and complacency by the BBC I would say waych this space my friend.

  8. Government do not force me or anyone to do anything that I or they do not allow or consent to. They try hard to force people to comply by imposing laws that suggest you must, or there are consequences failing to comply. Like court cost and fines.

  9. Did you hear Iain Dale on LBC last night (July 1st) talking to James Purnell (The BBC's Director of Strategy and Digital) about BBC pay?

    At the end of the call even Iain Dale described some of the answers given by James Purnell as evasive.

  10. My license fee will be better served in my pocket. I do not watch BBC. I have no contract with BBC. I will not give BBC a penny. I do not support or have nothing to do with pedophiles rings. Think about this, If you pay for cable, the cable providers pays BBC a fee to air their programs. Now you are being forced by the government to pay them for a license, Sounds like double dipping to me. Have the British people lost their minds to allow this to go on. Are you people serious. Are you kidding

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