BBC boss demands action on top level expenses

BBC chairman Michael Grade has ordered a further crackdown on expenses by asking for twice-yearly reports on spending by heads of departments.

Expenses have long been a thorny issue at the BBC, with sources admitting that senior management used to travel everywhere in taxis, allegedly sometimes leaving the meter running while attending meetings.

The BBC has begun to rein in expenses, but it has identified the need to go further to convince the government it is not wasting TV licence revenue.

Last year, Grade commissioned a report by Ernst & Young into expenses at the BBC, although the corporation said the latest move was not a direct result of the consultancy’s findings.

The finances of the BBC have come under close scrutiny in recent weeks. Unions criticised senior management last week, after the BBC’s annual report revealed that board executives were paid a total of £546,000 in bonuses in the last financial year – just as 4,000 jobs were being cut.

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