Feeds

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

Employment tribunal rules Beeb acted unfairly on dismissal

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware 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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.