Civil servant heads up BBC's Governance Unit

The BBC has appointed its first director of governance, in a move that will cement the broadcaster’s planned independence of the governors from BBC management, announced in June.

Nicholas Kroll, chief operating officer and deputy permanent secretary at the department of culture, media and sport since 2002, will take up the role next month.

He will set up and run the governors’ new department – the Governance Unit – which the corporation says will include “expert and independent professionals” to advise governors on the conduct of their duties and to examine proposals coming from BBC management.

Following the appointment, chairman Michael Grade said Kroll’s arrival at the BBC was related to changes in the BBC governance system announced in its Building Public Value initiative, addressing the run-up to charter renewal in 2006.

“After a thorough and open competition, Nicholas Kroll was the Governors’ unanimous choice. His intellectual rigour, broadcasting and wider public policy experience, and proven independence and objectivity, will prove invaluable in setting up and directing the new unit.”

A career civil servant, Kroll has been at the DCMS since 1993, when he joined as head of the arts division.

After two years he became head of the broadcasting policy division for a year, and in 1996 was appointed director of creative industries at the media and broadcasting group. In 2002 be became corporate services director, after a period as acting permanent secretary during 2001.

Wale Azeez

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