The BBC has been found to have given over-generous severance payments to its senior staff, according to the latest report released by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The report says that the BBC has spent 25 million pounds on severance payments for 150 high-ranking staff over the past three years, breaching the corporation's own guidelines.

In almost a quarter of the cases reviewed by the NAO, the BBC paid out more than the staff were entitled to under their contracts.

In its conclusion, the NAO said that the BBC had breached its own policies on severance too often without good reason, resulting in payments that have not served the best interests of license fee-payers.

It added that weak governance arrangements have led to payments that exceeded contractual entitlements and put public trust at risk, and the severance payments for senior BBC managers have, therefore, provided poor value for money for license fee-payers.

The BBC's new director-general, Tony Hall, said he accepted the NAO's conclusions and admitted that the BBC had lost its way with regard to severance payments in recent years.

He announced that the corporation has decided to cap future severance payments at 150,000 pounds.

Presented by Adam Justice