LONDON - The House of Lords, Britain's unelected upper chamber, last week urged the government to allow parliament - rather than "unchecked power" of ministers - to decide the amount of the BBC's licence fee.
In a critical letter to culture, media and sport secretary, Tessa Jowell, an all-party Lords committee says there is a "democratic deficit" in the way the licence fee and the BBC's charter are determined.
According to committee's chairman, the former cabinet minister Lord Norman Fowler: "The BBC now receives over £3 billion ($5.5bn; €4.4bn) from the public. On the basis of the BBC's bid, this will rise to £4bn in the next seven years ... The way this bid is scrutinised is totally inadequate."
The committee points out that the present decision-making procedure is at odds with the government's own green paper on the subject, titled A Strong BBC, Independent of Government.
© Copyright 2017
All rights reserved including database rights. This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing company's office location. It may not be reproduced, posted on intranets, extranets or the internet, e-mailed, archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser's organisation or externally without express written permission from WARC.