Technology

bbc.co.uk spends ?110 million in 2007-08









MUMBAI: The spend on bbc.co.uk was ?110 milion in 2007-08, 48 per cent higher than the service licence baseline budget, revealed a review of bbc.co.uk by the BBC Trust.


According to the review, most of this increase was not overspend, but the misallocation of ?24.9 million in overheads and costs to other budgets within the BBC, representing poor financial accountability.









The Trust revised the baseline budget on completion of the review to reflect the true cost of the service. Separately, the Trust asked the BBC executive to propose a new system of management controls for bbc.co.uk to address the weaknesses uncovered during the review. The Trust set approval of these plans as a pre-requisite for its future consideration of any new investment in bbc.co.uk.


At its meeting on 16 July, the Trust approved the BBC executive‘s proposals for a new system of management controls. This followed earlier detailed scrutiny by one of the Trust‘s sub-committees and its recommendation that the new controls would ensure better financial accountability and editorial and managerial oversight of bbc.co.uk to the benefit of licence fee payers. The Trust will review the effectiveness of the new management structure within a year of its implementation.

The new system includes the appointment of a Group Controller, bbc.co.uk, with overall accountability and responsibility for the service licence. This will include accounting for the overall performance of the service, including its financial performance which is now subject to a new set of rigorous controls, shaping the development of its strategy and setting and monitoring compliance against clear criteria for distinctiveness and market impact.

The executive informed Trustees that in light of the service review conclusions, it is currently reconsidering the timetable for applications to the Trust for approval of new investment in the service. The Trust has not approved any new investment in bbc.co.uk at this time.

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