Feeds

BBC man Linwood 'was unfairly sacked' over £100 MILLION DMI omnifail

Employment tribunal rules Beeb acted unfairly on dismissal

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A BBC technology chief who took the fall for the Corporation's failed £100m Digital Media Initiative was unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has ruled..

The tribunal that found that the BBC broke the law in suspending its chief technology officer, John Linwood.

The tribunal found Linwood was unfairly dismissed under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It did, however, find Linwood’s own conduct helped contribute to his dismissal. It also rejected Linwood’s claims he was subjected to unlawful detriment because he made “protected disclosures.”

In a statement the BBC stood by it's decision saying it was "disappointed" by the tribunal's ruling and belived it had acted appropriately at the time.

"This was a very difficult set of circumstances for the BBC. We had a major failure of a significant project, and we had lost confidence - as the tribunal acknowledges - in John Linwood," a spokesperson said.

"Nevertheless we will learn lessons from the judgment and we’re grateful to staff who were involved in dealing with a very difficult case.”

Linwood was placed on gardening leave while drawing full pay in May 2013 over the failure of the multi-year Digital Media Initiative (DMI).

DMI, described as the next big thing at the BBC, was a project to build a digital content management system, and had been running since 2004. The project cost at least £98m with nothing delivered. The BBC has an annual IT budget of £400m.

Linwood pocketed annual salary of £287,000 and inherited DMI on joining in the BBC in 2009 from Yahoo!, where he’d been senior vice president of international engineering.

Linwood claimed he was made a scapegoat for DMI’s collapse. He said he was told, out of the blue, that he could resign or face dismissal from disciplinary action that began 10 days before BBC director general Tony Hall announced the cancellation of DMI.

Hall had branded DMI a “huge waste” of BBC license fee payers' money, saying he cancelled the mega project because he saw no reason to continue.

It would have been “throwing good money after bad,” BBC trustee Anthony Fry wrote in a letter to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

Before being canned the DMI project was the subject of criticism by the National Audit Office, which said in 2011 DMI was “not value for money.”

Started in 2004, DMI was outsourced to Siemens IT Solutions and Services, without a open procurement process - a step the BBC justified saying it was necessary because of the lengthy nature of the EU’s public procurement process and the impact this would have on other “time-critical" BBC projects. The Siemens unit bought by Atos and the BBC finally brought the project back in house in 2009. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.