BBC PR chief to lead corporation's governance review

One of the BBC's senior PR staff has been appointed to lead a review of the corporation's governance system, examining the relationship between the BBC Trust and executives at the broadcaster.

Julian Payne, who has for the past few months been the BBC's acting head of communications, will report to director-general Tony Hall as he heads the review of Trust and Executive working practices annnounced earlier this week.

It has been established in the wake of public account committee hearings into severance payments made to senior corporation staff which raised questions about the division of responsibilities.

When the review was announced on Wednesday – following a PAC hearing on Monday – it was said the aim was to "simplify the relationship and provide better and clearer oversight of the way the licence fee is spent".

The BBC said it would be carried out "using existing resources" and would involve a comprehensive review of internal governance systems. It is designed to provide clarity about where responsibilities lie, avoid overlaps, and put more focus on the licence payer.

Informing Culture Secretary Maria Miller about the review, Lord Hall said: "We are confident that there is space within the current Charter to make an improvement in the way that the BBC is run and managed, and to ensure a primary focus on what audiences want and need and how we spend their money."

Payne has previously been in charge of publicity for Radio 1, BBC1 and EastEnders.

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