BBC blows £100m on ‘money-saving’ plan

THE BBC axed a £100million project yesterday and admitted it had wasted a “huge amount of licence fee payers’ money”.

'Worst situation' | Director General Lord Hall. (Image | The Telegraph)
‘Worst situation’ | Director General Lord Hall. (Image | The Telegraph)

Director General Lord Hall said he was writing off the scheme rather than blowing any more cash on it.

One senior member of staff has been suspended and last night an insider said: “More heads may roll over this.”

The Digital Media Initiative was meant to SAVE MONEY in the long term by giving BBC journalists access to digital content from its vast archive more easily.

It has cost £98.4million since it was started by an outside firm in 2008 and last November work was halted without the initiative ever becoming fully operational. A review found it was doomed.

In a stinging statement, Lord Hall said: “The Digital Media Initiative has wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers’ money.

“I have serious concerns about how we managed this project.”

Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, called it a “terrible shock and clearly completely shambolic”.

A high-level insider said: “It is no exaggeration to say this is the biggest scandal at the BBC since Jimmy Savile. It is certainly the worst situation Tony Hall has had to face.

“The chief technology officer who was heading up the project has been suspended pending an investigation — and more heads may roll.”

Article written by Will Payne, associate TV editor at The Sun, and sub edited by myself. 

Originally published in The Sun on Saturday May 25 2013.


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