The BBC has published its terms of reference for the review of its non-editorial complaints process following last week’s Huw Edwards scandal.
The review will be led by BBC Group COO Leigh Tavaziva and Deloitte, under the direction of Simon Cuerden. It is set to commence this month and will be completed by late fall.
“The objective of the review is to assess the effectiveness of the current BBC policies and processes regarding non-editorial complaints and allegations (complaints) which come into the BBC,” according to a press release. “The review will cover complaints received by the BBC Public Service or World Service in the U.K. It will not cover the editorial complaints process. Areas of the BBC not currently within scope, e.g. BBC Studios, will be considered for assessment as part of the action plan from this review.”
The news broke in early July that a top BBC presenter was facing allegations of paying a teenager for sexually explicit photographs, later revealed to be Edwards.
Edwards’ wife, Vicky Flind, issued a statement on July 12 saying Edwards is suffering “serious mental health issues” and has been hospitalized. “As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years,” she said. “The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters.”
According to the BBC, the review will include the following steps:
“1. Identify all the routes into the BBC where different types of non-editorial complaints may be made (the routes) and the relevant BBC policies and processes (processes) that are applied in handling these complaints.
2. Assess the identified routes and processes. This will cover the processing and handling of different types of complaints including: receipt and triage, escalation, evidence gathering, co-ordination between business units, roles and responsibilities, governance and oversight.
3. Gather specific learnings on the processes deployed in the recent presenter case.
4. Identify areas of weakness relating to the complaints routes and processes. Develop prioritised actions for improvement.
5. Set out the findings of the review and management’s key remedial action plan to be implemented.”