Deloitte: BBC Online Needs More Transparent Services Commissioning

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 28, 2011 /

Despite its religious compliance with implementing a 25 percent quota for online contents supplied independently, BBC Online has to “streamline and to improve the openness and transparency of the way the BBC commissions online services, in order to make it easier for suppliers to take advantage of the opportunities to win work.”

This is according to the findings of Deloitte, which has worked with BBC Trust to support its first review of online independent supply, published January 28.

“In view of the potential impact of these issues on the market and on licence fee payers, the Trust has asked the Executive to carry out an urgent review of the way it manages its external supplier relationships, reporting progress to the Trust within three months,” BBC Trust said in a press release statement citing the review jointly carried out with Deloitte.

The Graf Report, which was formalized in fiscal year 2006-2007, recommended that BBC commission 25 percent of eligible online services supplied by the independent sector. Deloitte’s review, although finding that BBC Online contributed to BBC’s ‘public purposes’, has found that the online external supply of quota is actually not doing good in practice.

Deloitte pointed to the “lack of communication around how the commissioning for online takes place, clarity around how the quota is calculated and tracked, and consistency and efficiency in commissioning practices.”

The consultancy firm also noted that the independent sector is gradually drawing the idea that “BBC Online commissioners select suppliers to pitch for commissions” out of personal knowledge rather than evaluating one’s capacity to “deliver quality and value for money.”

However, it recognizes that BBC and the independent sector have made the necessary options to address these issues.

There are already changes initiated by the Executive to how BBC Online commissions online services, and more information about the way it operated the quota is under ongoing publication, the review said.

 

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