The Press Complaints Commission is to have its work subject to an audit, chairman Sir Christopher Meyer told the conference.
A three-strong “Customer Service Audit Panel” is being set up, which will look into all aspects of the commission’s work.
Meyer said the panel would be able to “roam untrammelled” over the PCC, have access to all its files and publish two reports a year on the Commission, which will be made public.
Two of the panel will be lay members without a newspaper background.
One panel member will be appointed to the post of charter commissioner.
Their role will be to investigate claims from those who believed the PCC mishandled their complaints.
Meyer also revealed the PCC plans to publish a users’ handbook next spring, which will give examples of how the Code of Practice has been applied and what precedents have been set. The suggestion has come from newspaper groups, who believe it will be useful for their journalists.
An extra lay member is expected to be appointed to the PCC by the end of the year.
More than 1,000 applications have been received for the post.
DOMINIC PONSFORD AND JON SLATTERY REPORT FROM THE PRESS GAZETTE/NEWSPAPER SOCIETY LAW FOR JOURNALISTS CONFERENCE