Independent report suggests current BBC regulation model is 'flawed'

A commission has proposed that British regulator Ofcom take over responsibility of regulating the public service broadcaster

independent, report, bbc, regulation, model, ofcom, uk

Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The way the BBC is regulated is "flawed", according to an independent report.

The corporation is currently overseen by the BBC Executive and BBC Trust.

However, a commission appointed by the British government recommends that the regulator Ofcom take over responsibility.

David Clementi, the author of the report, states, "the strongest, and simplest, argument in favour of the Ofcom model is that Ofcom is already the public service regulator for the United Kingdom's broadcasting industry.

"It already has regulatory powers in respect of the BBC, already has considerable experience in almost all of the regulatory issues that the BBC gives rise to, and has during its twelve years of existence built up a significant reputation for dealing with competition issues which are likely to come increasingly to the fore," he adds. 

On the topic of current regulation, the report finds that the model "conflates governance and regulatory functions within the Trust, which leads to confusion about the Trust's role. In its governance mode the BBC operates a two-tier board structure which leads to confused responsibilities".

The report will now be considered by the UK Culture Secretary.

Responding to the report, BBC Trust chair Rona Fairhead said, "Sir David Clementi proposes a strong BBC board and a strong external regulator - a change we have argued for.

However, she also suggests "it will be important to get the details right" if any changes go ahead.