The Herald can reveal the 10 most senior managers at BBC Scotland charged £1000 meals, thank-you dinners, wine, sculptures and bouquets of flowers to their personal expense accounts.

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show a total bill of nearly £80,000 over the past five years.

The director of BBC Scotland, Ken MacQuarrie, has the highest total, with a total expenses claim of £22,550, second is Ewan Angus, the head of sport, at £10,880, and third is Donald-Iain Brown, head of talent and operations, at £10,756.

In June, when the top executives at the BBC in London revealed their expenses -- with Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC claiming the most at £77,823.35 -- no high-ranking members of BBC Scotland were included, and so they are published here for the first time.

In its official response to The Herald’s inquiries, the BBC said it has a "rigorous expenses policy and we are careful to ensure value for money".

It adds: "Over the five financial years, the total expenses bill for the 10 named individuals is £77,154. this, average per person over five years, equates to approximately £1500 per annum, and reflects inevitable expenses incurred as part of carrying out the duties."

Much of the lists of expenses, paid for by the income raised by the licence fee, could be considered reasonable: travel tickets, hotel bills, lunches and dinners, as well as mundane items such as taxi fares and parking tickets, although there are some curious claims in the documents.

For example, Mr Angus, head of sport, claims for £190 for the price of two tickets to the 2008 Uefa Cup final between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg while Andrea Miller, head of factual, has claimed for a £42 cheeseboard gift for the comedian and presenter Griff Rhys Jones, £44 of flowers for the presenter Lauren Laverne, and a hamper for arts broadcaster Jonathan Meades worth £50.

A BBC spokesman last night said that the tickets for the Rangers match in Manchester were bought and claimed for so that "on-air talent" could attend the game.

Other items included in the documents were a £1555 bill for a thank-you dinner for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in China, a £160 sculpture for Donald-Iain Brown, £460 for a carbon-neutralising scheme for Anne Mensah, head of drama, and £44 for the ingredients of the Swedish mulled wine, Glogg, for John Maxwell Hobbs, head of technology.

Last night, a spokesman for BBC Scotland said: "Today’s disclosure of expenses relates to business costs incurred doing the job.

"Clearly as this is about spending the public money, we are always careful to spend it wisely.

"However, like all global media organisations, senior leaders will inevitably incur expenses as part of carrying out their roles."

He added: "The BBC has tough authorisation processes on expenses.

"We regularly review our expenses policy and a number of changes were made to the policy in the autumn of 2008 as part of a continuous and ongoing programme of expense reduction and belt-tightening.

"The BBC director-general has also made clear that he expects to see continuous reductions in expenses at the BBC in future."




Click to view PDFs of expense claims:


Ewan Angus

Donald-Iain Brown

Atholl Duncan

John Maxwell Hobbs

Donalda MacKinnon

Ken MacQuarrie

Anne Mensah

Bruce Malcolm

Andrea Miller

Alan Tyler