Television

Bidding for BBC's HR services gathers momentum

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MUMBAI: The BBC has launched the next stage of the procurement process for parts of its HR services in the UK. The process formally began in July 2005 with the publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. It has attracted widespread interest from a broad range of service providers.

Eight organisations are being taken through to the next round, all of whom have demonstrated a strong desire and credibility as potential suppliers for parts of the BBC's HR services. The bidders are Accenture, Capita, Convergys, Excellerate HRO, Hewitt, IBM, Northgate and Xchanging.

BBC People director Stephen Dando said, "I am delighted with the really positive response we have received from the market to our advert for the partial outsourcing of services within BBC People. During the next phase of the process there will be a rigorous evaluation of not only the expertise and operations of these bidders, but their culture and fit with the BBC – this is a crucial part of our evaluation."

The areas which the BBC is looking for a supplier or suppliers to undertake are recruitment, remuneration, development, HR administration services, relocation, occupational health services, and disability access services.

The preference is to award one contract for all of the services, however the BBC will award more than one contract where it is deemed commercially advantageous to do so, or where this is necessary to achieve the required service standards. The BBC states that it has conducted a rigorous evaluation process in order to compile a long list of interested parties. Final negotiations are expected to take place at the end of this year and the contract with the successful supplier is due to become operational from spring 2006.

The procurement process follows an internal review which proposed that a number of services should be outsourced. The review team identified this as one of the measures to help put extra resources into programmes as part of the BBC's radical plans to transform the organisation into a simpler and more creative digital broadcaster.

The BBC will be in full consultation with the recognised trade unions throughout the procurement process. BBC People was formed in 2001, bringing together for the first time the vast majority of the BBC's functional HR specialists. The Division supports the whole employment process. It supports around 27,000 BBC staff, some 6,000 casuals and 6,000 freelances based within multiple UK locations and internationally, and deals with the significant 'churn' associated with new hires/leavers.

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