BBC Aims To ‘Dial Down Compliance’ Amid Accusations of Risk Aversion

The Head of BBC has spoken of his desire to “dial down compliance” following complaints from programme makers who have accused the corporation of being risk averse in its commissioning.

In a move that will enrage some members of the right-wing media (The Daily Mail has been particularly vocal about the Beebs “liberal leanings” recently) David Jordan told the House of Lords Communications committee that he hoped to lighten the burden of editorial constraints on programme-makers in the future.

But Jordan qualified that statement when he was asked if his statement would be opening the way to a light-touch regulation. “No, not light touch. Just lightening the burden, making it more user-friendly,” he explained.

It is thought that in future, executive producers will not have to watch and sign off the final version of a programme if they have already watched it being recorded from the gallery or seen an edited but not final version, reports The Guardian.

Jordan was called to answer to the committee after new BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten accused the corporation of being afraid to take commissioning risks, stating that he believed programme makers were “bound by a rather labyrinthine culture” of compliance.

Respected independent programme-makers such as David Henshaw, Tom Roberts and Fiona Stourton also attacked the ‘stricter’ compliance system last month, with Roberts telling the committee that to describe the BBC as risk averse was “an understatement”.

Jordan defended the changes made since Sachsgate, but explained that the Beeb never again wanted to be in the situation of finding compliance forms had not been filled in and the abusive content broadcast had not been listened to by executives at Radio 2 – as they were in 2008.