How much income is collected from the licence fee in Scotland and how the BBC spends it are just two of the questions being asked by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee as it begins its scrutiny of the new BBC Charter.
For the first time, the Scottish Parliament will have a formal role in the Charter renewal process and as part of this, the Committee will hear from Academics, independent producers in Scotland, the BBC, the BBC Trust and the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.
In advance of these meetings, the Committee has today (14 December) written to the BBC asking for detailed information relating to aspects of how the corporation operates in Scotland.
Committee Convener, Stewart Maxwell MSP said:
“The Scottish Parliament has an important role in deciding how the BBC should serve the people of Scotland. Key areas of interest for the Committee are how the new charter can better reflect the diversity of the Scottish audience and influence the growth of the creative sector in Scotland
“But equally important is how the BBC can be held to account by the Scottish Parliament and how Scotland’s voice can be heard and represented in any changes to the current governance structure.”
The BBC was established under Royal Charter which sets out how it is constituted, its public purposes and the role and composition of the BBC Trust and Executive Board. The current 10 year charter agreement runs until the end of 2016.
The Smith Commission stated there should be a formal consultative role for the Scottish Parliament in the process of reviewing the BBC’s charter.