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Author Topic:  Mismanagement by BBC bosses lose 100m . DMI(or Don't Mention It!)  (Read 19091 times)

Tiger

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WARNING Anyone with high blood pressure may need to sit down and take a chill pill.

Quick background in 2008 the BBC started a Digital Media Initiative(DMI) this was initially outsourced to Siemens.(Oh DMI is a way or getting and sharing material quickly) Siemens messed up and the BBC PAID 27m to end contract and lost a further 38m to tech disasters. DMI was then moved in house and re named "Fabric". DMI Fabrications did not work but although it was already costed at 80m but 133m was spent on trying to make it fit for purpose.

Luckily the Guardian, Private Eye, MP Rob Wilson, and The National Audit Office have been asking some serious questions. Resulting today in a cancellation of the project, described as "Axis Of Awfull" The BBC Trust has started an urgent external review(no Pollard this time!) and..

BBC'S Chief technology officer , earnings 287,000 pa has been suspended AND GUESS WHAT Linwood was one of 4 top managers given a bonus last year of 70,000 (despite such payments being banned)

Very serious questions will have to be answered, and Pat Younge , the chief creative officer for BBC Productions should be one of the first.

I am sure I am not alone in anger here. It beggars belief that the BBC executive can justify cutting 2m from a direct public service such as BBC local radio..GRRRRR.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/may/24/bbc-technology-project-digital-media-initiative

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2013/dmi_letter.htmlhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/news/press_releases/2013/dmi_letter.html

« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 07:52:51 PM by Tiger »

Tiger

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This is what Mark Thompson said to The Public Accounts Committee.


"In 2011, then director general Mark Thompson told the the Public Accounts Committee that the initiative was "critical" to the BBC's move to Media City in Salford and the establishment of new Broadcasting House.

"A lot of the future of the BBC is tied up in the successful delivery of this project," he said, at the time."

This was said in 2011, 3 years into DMI


darcysarto

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Tiger

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Yes. this is looking worse and worse.

It appears that 98m was spent AFTER 2010, therefore at least the 66m Siemens costs have to be added in. Margaret Hodge head of the PAC is speaking of a terrible shock, she had been advised of only an 18m loss?!

Mark Thompson is up to his neck again for a complete failure of scrutiny..And he is unlikely to get away with saying that he knew nothing and what he might have known he has forgotten to remember.

Chief Finance Officer also must come under huge pressure.

ALSO the economic experts at the BBC Trust, as Bill points out, would have had to have given their full approval as the project was over 50m, must be held accountable and need to be giving answers.

Tiger

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Here is the full report published by the Trust in 2011, into the DMI.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/vfm/digital_media_initiative.pdf


Shocking that the Trust approved at this stage saying things like..

"When approving the revised business case in June 2010 the BBC Trust gave weight 16 to the strategic benefits of moving the BBC more fully into digital technology and the non-financial benefits expected from the Programme, such as improved creativity and increased partnership working with other organisations and potential public access to the BBC archives. "

And A big question for those involved at the Trust is "What the hell happened between June 2010 and now, if you read the report there was supposed to be a high level of referal? presumably that went well then?

(is this going to be a case of a deputy head must roll?) actually that might be spot on.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 04:30:35 PM by Tiger »

Rita

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Yes I agree, this is disgusting.  The BBC's Chief Technology Officer is suspended and rightly so; in any other place of employment he would have been sacked.  What makes it more difficult to tolerate is that local radio was forced to make "cuts" in their budgets recently in order to make "savings" when some of this money which has been "lost" could have so easily have been used to bolster up local radio, who make a very worthwhile contribution to the areas in which they work, and it may  have been possible for them to receive a little more money to bolster up their budgets, so they could continue to provide their listeners with a "top class" service and not get rid of some of their presenters, journalists, back-room staff and all the rest.  What a complete and utter waste of OUR money.  Why have the BBC Trust not been looking into this, because they are supposed to look after our interests.

Tiger

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Quite true, Rita.

To put this in perspective, as Eddie Mair has just reported, this loss represents the entire budget for Radio 4 for a year.

And I imagine the same applies to BBC local radio, hardworking staff on the stations operating on limited budgets in order to provide a proper public service must be horrified.

This is an incredibly serious failure from BBC management( and the figure points quite clearly at Mark Thompson ex DG and Zarin Paten CFO) and very clearly the BBC Trust as well.

Only good thing I can say is that Tony Hall is dealing well with this, with an immediate suspension and an urgent external review. All clearing up the mess left by Mark Thompson, possibly now officially the worst DG ever.

JuliaAllen

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Can't believe what I've been reading this evening, I received a text at lunchtime to tell me the latest appalling news. 

"In 2011, then director general Mark Thompson told the Public Accounts Committee that the initiative was "critical" to the BBC's move to Media City in Salford and the establishment of new Broadcasting House.

"A lot of the future of the BBC is tied up in the successful delivery of this project," he said, at the time."

This was said in 2011, 3 years into DMI
If Mark Thompson said this does it mean they are all going to leave Salford and return to London?  I completely agree with you Tiger about Tony Hall at least he had the courage to pull the plug, but presumably John Linwood is suspended on full pay

darcysarto

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So is this the Big WeSpend they keep advertising on Radio 1?

Here is the full report published by the Trust in 2011, into the DMI.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/review_report_research/vfm/digital_media_initiative.pdf

Shocking that the Trust approved at this stage saying things like..


As Political reporter of the year David Hencke said in 2011, mismanagement during the building moves and the DMI were losing 160m back then.

It's difficult to get a handle on the full figures as transparency only goes back as far as 2010 it would seem...

Here's what was reported about DMI in Journalist magazine back in July 2011, the full article can be found in this electronic copy of the magazine.



Zero competitive tendering and already on course to lose 38m...

This also, as a bit of perspective from the minutes of the Executive Board meeting back in December 2012.  Note that the Executive Board have no understanding of how many 20m+ technology projects were currently being undertaken.


darcysarto

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How many of the thousands of people whose jobs have been made redundant in the last decade could have been saved?  I'm guessing it might be thousands.

Tiger

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Can't believe what I've been reading this evening, I received a text at lunchtime to tell me the latest appalling news. 
If Mark Thompson said this does it mean they are all going to leave Salford and return to London?  I completely agree with you Tiger about Tony Hall at least he had the courage to pull the plug, but presumably John Linwood is suspended on full pay

Yes, I believe he is suspended on full pay. I agree with you Julia what are the implications now?

The worst thing is that the Trust have catastrophically failed the public that they are charged to protect. There are numerous reports on this forum flagging the Trust as being of concern, but even I did not believe they were capable of this level of failure. The Trust employs (supposedly high level experts) seems they need to explain themselves. As for the BBC management at that time, in the real world they might find themselves in court for claiming public funds on false pretences....

Rita

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And to think that, at a stroke, the cuts to local radio budgets need not have happened - and these are the people that are supposed to know what they are doing - heaven help us all if they did know what they were doing - would not bear thinking about - and what is even worse, these people keep their jobs for the time being and are suspended on FULL PAY - and the amount of that would still save local radio - what a mess!

Tiger

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It certainly is a mess.

And possibly a bit of corruption? This needs looking at.

http://tradingaswdr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/in-house-out-house.html

Rita

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Sorry , part of my post should have read "didn't know what they were doing!"

darcysarto

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"didn't know what they were doing!"

Rita, I think those words will do just fine.

On the flip side, I don't want to bore everyone with a post about IT project management but 'writing off' nearly 100m suggests there is nothing salvageable here.

As I understand DMI the idea was that BBC staff would be able to dial up video clips (bit like youtube) and edit them (using software similar to that which has been available to home users for at least a decade) and use them for broadcast.  Now I understand we are talking about broadcast quality stuff here but the suspicion has to be that to a large extent the BBC were attempting in many cases - because of the unique way it is funded - to be re-inventing the wheel here simply because they thought they could and should.  Twits.

I look foward to the Public Account Committee hearing which I'm sure will be forthcoming and have to congratulate Tony Hall for mentioning it.


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