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Friday, August 20, 2010

S4C Chief Executive alters website entry

I reported here on the rather bizarre radio interview with S4C's interim chief executive Arwel Ellis Owen in which there was a lively exchange of views on the contents of his CV.

According to this morning's Western Mail, the interim chief executive of S4C Arwel Ellis Owen has now amended the wording of the CV on his company’s website.

Meanwhile, former Welsh Government Permanent Secretary, Sir John Shortridge, has been appointed to undertake a review of the corporate governance arrangements of the S4C Authority. This comes after the channel and its authority announced the ending of the process of due separation last month.

The Western Mail says that review is part of a wider appraisal by the authority of S4C’s activities, which effectively means a close working relationship (though not day-to-day) between the two. However, it is not clear whether the intention is to cement this new arrangement or to challenge it so as to ensure a proper process of accountability within S4C.

My view, and that of others, is that the authority cannot properly scrutinise management whilst it is involved in the running of the channel, even if that engagement is not day-to-day. There has to be a proper separation between the two or, failing that, proper external challenge with complete access, something that the DCMS appears to be unable to provide.
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