Wednesday, May 11, 2016


The National Audit Office is process-obsessed. It wants to see projects aligned with strategic targets, with identified sponsors delivering an agreed set of benefits on time and on cost. It has been poking around the BBC's top ten projects since April last year. It is perhaps not surprising that Auntie, largely, managed to get a clean bill of health yesterday; it had enough warning.

What the NAO can't seem to identify is whether or not common sense is being applied within an organisation. Will a new set for Eastenders increase the audience ? Make it cheaper to produce ? Why does the BBC need 5,000-odd licences for the web version of SAP, the software change that is Project Smart ? The W12 project may have closed, but, within a year, some TV staff are heading back down the Westway - is that double-spend ?  The HR service is being "transformed", but the Corporation has lost a major chunk of collective wisdom by closing a ten-year deal with Capita; in-sourcing new call centres from scratch; and failing, in many cases, to persuade people to work in Birmingham.

And of course, some projects are not closed. Note these dates. Wales Broadcasting House - November 2019. Aurora - April 2017. Eastenders - October 2020. Newsroom Computer System - February 2019. The NAO will be back.

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