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Post navigation BBCs £100m IT failings detailed

The DMI was designed to do away with tapes and digitise the BBCs archives
The governance of a BBC IT project that was scrapped at a cost of £100 million was not effective in dealing with its complexity, a review has found.

The Digital Media Initiative (DMI), the report continued, lacked an executive steering board to assess its progress.

The Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) study cited a lack of clear and transparent reporting that might have led to the project being scrapped earlier.

The BBC Trust, who commissioned the report, has welcomed its findings.

navigationPwC has concluded that weaknesses in project management and reporting and a lack of focus on business change meant that it took the BBC too long to realise that the project was unlikely to deliver its objectives, it said in a statement.

The 58-page report, it added, would help to ensure that there will be no repeat of a failure on the scale of DMI.

Dominic Coles, the BBCs Director of Operations, also welcomed the report, admitting the corporation had got this one wrong.

We know it is vital to spot problems early, which is why we have overhauled how these projects are run to ensure this doesnt happen again, he said.

The PwC report, which can be read in full here, said the functions of an executive steering board (ECB) were partly taken on by the Director Generals Finance Committee.

The committee, it said, lacked the technical knowledge to challenge progress on DMI from a technology perspective knowledge which could have provided a broader, more robust oversight of the Digital Media Initiative.

The DMI project was intended to transform the way TV and radio producers used and shared video and audio material.

It was supposed to eradicate the use of video tapes and digitise the BBCs archives, making them more readily available within the organisation.

The contract was awarded to technology company Siemens in 2008 but its development was taken over by the BBC two years later.

navigation2The project was abandoned in May 2013, with the BBCs new director general Tony Hall saying it had wasted a huge amount of licence fee payers money.The PwC report did not investigate why the DMI technology did not deliver or the specific decision to write off DMI assets at a total cost to the BBC of £98.4m.

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