Feeds

MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

Just wait until next week's bloodbath evidence session

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, has said that the failure of the BBC to realise that its Digitial Media Initiative uber-project was headed for certain doom went "right to the top".

Hodge, who is due to quiz senior members of the Beeb again on Monday next week, said that she was shocked by the National Audit Office (NAO) report on the failed IT project, which wasted nearly £100m of licence-fee payers' money.

"This report reads like a catalogue of how not to run a major programme," she said. "I was shocked to learn how poor the BBC’s governance arrangements for the Digital Media Initiative (DMI) were. There was no Senior Responsible Owner with complete oversight of all aspects of programme’s delivery.

"If the BBC had established clearer accountability and stronger reporting it could have recognised the issues much earlier and set about minimising the astronomic losses for the licence fee payer," added the Labour MP.

The DMI was supposed to create a digital archive and database of BBC materials to replace physical libraries of old footage, giving producers access to digitised versions of everything. Instead the whole project was canned last year with nothing to show for it, despite senior executives getting warnings as early as 2010 that things weren't going well.

"These failures go right to the top," Hodge said. "The BBC needs to learn from the mistakes it made and ensure that it never again spends such a huge amount of licence fee payers’ money with almost nothing to show for it.

"I look forward to discussing this with senior, and former senior, members of the BBC," she added.

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee will get the chance to question the BBC again next week, when former BBC director general Mark Thompson, now chief exec at the New York Times, former BBC finance head Zarin Patel, trustee Anthony Fry, former COO Caroline Thomson and director of operations Dominic Coles appear before them.

Ex-chief technology officer John Linwood, the only one to lose his job over the whole thing, has told the committee in written evidence (pdf) that he'll be taking legal action against the BBC. He claims that the Beeb allowed inaccurate statements to be made about the DMI to the committee.

Bill Garrett, former head of TV technology at the corporation, has also claimed in his own evidence that staff falsified estimates of financial benefits and that he was told to stay silent when he raised concerns about the project. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.