by Lewis Brown
Proposals for a Public Service Broadcasting Authority, first made by Damian Green (now MP) in his 1991 CPS pamphlet “A Better BBC”, have been recommended by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s report into the future of the Corporation.
With the BBC’s charter due to expire next year, the committee have called for:
“the establishment of a new Public Service Broadcasting Commission (PSBC) to hold the BBC Board to account for its performance, although it would also have wider duties in relation to public service broadcasting. The principal role of the PSBC would be to represent the public interest in public service broadcasting to which the BBC is expected to make the most significant contribution. A high-level responsibility of the PSBC would be to scrutinise the BBC to make sure the nearly £4 billion of public money it received each year was being well spent. The PSBC would be independent of Government and Parliament but answerable to both. The PSBC would be there to represent and champion licence fee payers’ interests.
“Such control and facilities would afford the Commission certain influence over the BBC and others and encourage adherence to its directions and recommendations.”
From Green’s report for the CPS:
“The most far-reaching proposal of this pamphlet for preserving the benefits of public service broadcasting on the BBC, in a way which will be seen fairer than at present, is that licence fee monies should be paid not to the BBC but to a new body – the Public Service Broadcasting Authority. The PSBA would be given the explicit brief of promoting high-quality television across the board.
“The aim of the PSBA would be both to promote the production of high-quality programmes, and also to ensure they are shown at times when maximum numbers watch… it would also be responsible for encouraging other broadcasters to bid for funds to make suitable programmes – and for deciding how much of the licence fee income should go to broadcasters other than the BBC.”
You can read Green’s full original proposals for a PSBA from page 31 of the report:
Date Added: Thursday 26th February 2015