Accountancy Age, Accountancy Age, Wednesday 22 September 2010 at 07:34:00

Broadcaster gives in and allows National Audit Office to choose its own work

The BBC is expected to announce today that will open its books to theNational Audit Office, Parliaments public spending watchdog.

The issue of whether the broadcaster should give the NAO freedom to audit anypart of the BBC had been a long running debate which became particularly intenseunder the Labour government.

The Guardian reports that the BBC Trust has made the decision to grant theNAO access and that the deal will be announced at the Lib Dem conference inLiverpool today.

The BBC already works with the NAO but on a restricted basis looking at valuefor money in areas chosen by the broadcaster.

The BBC's accounts are currently audited by KPMG. In a rare show oftransparency the report notes that the lead partner is Scott Cormack. Fewpartners are this open in private sector audits.

KPMG not only looks at the financial statements but also reviews the BBCcorporate governance statement as if the broadcaster were a FTSE100 company.

However, there has long been pressure for the BBC to come under greaterscrutiny from Parliament because it collects the licence fee.

A pledge to give the NAO greater access was included in the Tory electionmanifesto.

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