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BBC abandons £100m digital project

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From this BBC link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22651126

 

The BBC has scrapped a £98m digital production system, which its director general said had "wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers' money".

 

The Digital Media Initiative was set up in 2008 but was halted last autumn having never become fully operational.

 

"I have serious concerns about how we managed this project," BBC director general Tony Hall said.

 

An independent review has been launched "to find out what went wrong and what lessons can be learned", he said.

 

The Digital Media Initiative (DMI) was intended to transform the way staff developed, used and shared video and audio material and was seen as an important part of a move of resources to Salford.

 

"Ambitious technology projects like this always carry a risk of failure," Lord Hall said.

 

"It does not mean we should not attempt them but we have a responsibility to keep them under much greater control than we did here."

 

The contract to deliver the DMI was originally awarded to technology company Siemens in 2008 but was taken over and relaunched by an in-house BBC team in 2010.

 

Between 2010 and 2012, the project cost the corporation £98.4m. An internal review was set up in October 2012 after the BBC Trust expressed serious concerns.

 

In a letter to Margaret Hodge, chair of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, the BBC Trust's Anthony Fry revealed the project had generated "little or no assets".

 

"It is of utmost concern to us that a project which had already failed to deliver value for money in its early stages has now spent so much more of licence fee payers' money," he said.

 

"We intend to act quickly to ensure that there can be no repeat of a failure on this scale."

 

Mrs Hodge described the episode as "a terrible shock and clearly completely shambolic".

 

The corporation said the initiative had been badly managed and outpaced by changing technology, and that to carry on would be throwing good money after bad.

 

"It's struggled to keep pace with new developments and requirements both within the BBC and the wider broadcasting industry," Lord Hall wrote in an email to BBC staff.

 

Disciplinary action

 

"There are now standard off-the-shelf products that provide the kind of digital production tools that simply didn't exist five years ago.

 

"We will be looking into what has happened and will take appropriate action, disciplinary or otherwise," he added.

 

John Linwood, the BBC's chief technology officer, has been suspended.

 

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.

 

James Purnell, the BBC's director of strategy and digital, said: "In the future we are going to rely far more on off-the-shelf technology. We've messed up and we apologise to licence fee payers for that."

 

Yet he insisted the failed project was "the exception rather than the rule", citing technical successes such as the BBC iPlayer.


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I don`t fund the BBC & haven`t done so for some years , when i read yet another story concerning their " money grows on trees" attitude , i am so glad i made the decision to stop watching live broadcasts & put the LF to better use. They are targeting the internet , they are / have been lobbying Beeb friendly MP`s to encompass the t`internet as part of the LF. They realise that in a modern world of choice that their antiquated funding system & the weekly scandals are starting to cause a resentment [ rightly so] amongst the population & people in growing numbers are questioning the value & purpose of this outdated bloated organisation.

 

I await the Beeboids coming here to post their support [ neutral of course :lol: ] to explain this latest waste of money & try to discredit / silence those of us who can see the King is in the all together

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Yes Snowy, the "Dirty dozen" (+) BBC beeboid PR shower are mostly pretty busy on DS trying to excuse the inexcusible waste of Licence payers cash, to come trolling on here. They seem to be resorting to insulting any DS users with a different Pro-BBC view to the Dirty Dozen.

I agree with you that as the BBC is steadily having to wash it's dirty washing in public, many (even the gullable) people are starting to see through the BBC's combination of Unreported sex scandels, corruption, greed, waste of Licence payers cash & their whole "Not living in the real world" attitude, all this against a background of poor programmes & bias to the left. The King - is dying, time to put him & his poodles to sleep:-D

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Why do we still have to have a tv licence? I have to pay for sky tv, but that's my choice and I can alter the packages to suit my taste and budget, but I feel that having to pay a licence to own a device on which I can watch tv is outdated. The old argument that there wouldn't be enough advertising to go around both the BBC and ITV has clearly been proven wrong, and I disagree that it is only the BBC who can produce quality tv, so we have to fund it even if we don't watch it. Perhaps I am just old and crotchety these days, but I'm so tired of being ripped off !

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Why do we still have to have a tv licence? I have to pay for sky tv, but that's my choice and I can alter the packages to suit my taste and budget, but I feel that having to pay a licence to own a device on which I can watch tv is outdated. The old argument that there wouldn't be enough advertising to go around both the BBC and ITV has clearly been proven wrong, and I disagree that it is only the BBC who can produce quality tv, so we have to fund it even if we don't watch it. Perhaps I am just old and crotchety these days, but I'm so tired of being ripped off !

 

Yes, you have seen through it all, problem is - the gravy train, which is the BBC, has a lot of idle passengers that do not want to get off & earn a proper living, The law supports them in this wastefull situation - can you just imagine how unbiased the BBC would be, when it was reporting that the TV licence law, was being abolished as it made it's way through another corrupted organisation: The houses of parliment:lol:

Of course, that is what should happen, with the BBC being split up & sold off, or at worst - a non demanded Subscription, let those BBC lovers pay for it!

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I worked for a very big film company until 05 [ made redundant], the company had ties with TV / film / advertising & media. In my last year i was solely based at BBC television centre , Shepherds Bush. It was while working in close contact with the Beeb that i began to doubt the validity of its structure & purpose, the amount of waste was staggering in terms of fiscal / general work attitude. It became clear that it was a over staffed & lazy , in fact it would not survive in a " real world situation" [ as Huttonwhitewashed has pointed out]. I made a conscious decision to stop watching live broadcasts & started to question the values it claimed to represent, impartiality , quality output , entertainment , value for money , its political agenda & so on. Having experienced the system from within & not being impressed with the results, i came too & still am of the opinion that the BBC has had its day , in light of the recent child & sex abuse scandals i am even more convinced that this is a company that should be made to compete & earn its own money & make its own way in the world .

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