BBC criticised over £133m digital project

The early stages of £133m BBC technology project with Siemens have been criticised for not offering value for money.

The early stages of a £133m BBC technology project with Siemens have been criticised for not offering value for money.

The Digital Media Initiative (DMI) is designed to allow BBC staff to develop, create, share and manage video, audio and programming content on their desktop to improve production efficiency. The estimated cost of delivery of the DMI to the end of March 2017 is £133.6m.

But the National Audit Office (NAO) has criticised the 21-month delay in getting the programme off the ground, which resulted in £26m of benefits not being achieved in the period 2009-10 to 2010-11.

Siemens was appointed to develop the programme, but the contract was terminated by mutual agreement in July 2009. The BBC then took responsibility for delivering the project in-house and was able to offset its increased costs by a £27.5m financial arrangement agreed with Siemens.

BBC Trustee Anthony Fry said: "The Trust agrees with the NAO that the early phase of the project ran into significant difficulties, but the BBC reacted with speed and efficiency, and since bringing it in-house delivery is progressing as planned."

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