COBA welcomes BBC Trust Chair’s call for BBC transparency


Coba welcomes the speech yesterday by Rona Fairhead, the Chair of the BBC Trust, in particular her commitment to simpler and more transparent consultation with industry on market impact.

In her speech to the Oxford Media Convention, Rona Fairhead said: “The regulator needs a greater range of tools – including some clearer, simple, more transparent ways to assess smaller changes, including closures. But that must include adequate opportunities for industry and public consultation.” In the subsequent Q&A she proposed introducing a “shorter, sharper” process for consulting industry if a proposed change did not qualify for a full Public Value Test.

Currently, the Trust is only able to formally consult industry on market impact when a proposal qualifies for a full Public Value Test. Coba has called for the Trust to be given more powers to conduct formal but more flexible consultations when required.

Coba also welcomes in principle the Trust’s broader support for an independent regulatory body for the BBC as part of the Charter Review process and looks forward to contributing to that debate.