The National Audit Office (NAO) has made clear that it uncovered no evidence of illegality during its investigation into the excessive payoffs handed to senior BBC managers.
A spokesman for the government spending watchdog said it had found “no evidence of fraud whatsoever” when compiling the damning 42-page report on BBC severance deals published yesterday.
It comes after Tory MP Rob Wilson wrote to NAO head Amyas Morse to ask if there was any examples of fraudulent behaviour. The parliamentary representative for Reading East said if there was, he would pass the matter on to the police.
In the letter, Wilson said: “Having studied the report overnight, I do think there are individual cases that require further explanation and examination.
“I have therefore written to the NAO today asking whether it has further information it can share about the process by which payoffs were made and whether any element of fraud or other criminal wrongdoing associated.”
However, an NAO spokesman said: “If we had uncovered any illegality, it would have been set out in the report.”
A BBC spokesman added: “The NAO report on BBC severance payments found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and we strongly refute any claims to the contrary.”
Separately Wilson also wrote to BBC director general Tony Hall calling for disciplinary measures to be taken against any staff that wrongly approved inflated payouts. “I would urge you to make an assessment about the need for disciplinary action as a matter of urgency,” he said.
The NAO report found that the BBC put “public trust at risk” after spending nearly £370m on staff payoffs over the past eight years. It was accused of applying “weak governance” to severance payments and other benefits.