BBC buyers 'will not escape cull'

16 December 2004
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16 December 2004 | David Arminas

Procurement at the BBC is in line for major efficiency savings and possible job cuts in the broadcaster's attempt to double its savings target.

In what analysts said is the biggest shake-up of the corporation in a decade, the BBC has raised its cost-savings target from £155 million to £320 million a year. All departments have four months to come up with plans to meet a 15 per cent savings target.

Up to 2,900 of the corporation's 27,000 employees could be made redundant and some areas of the business will be outsourced.

The BBC's procurement department would not comment on possible job losses.

However, cuts would be made across the corporation and include the business affairs and finance departments, of which procurement is part, according to a BBC spokeswoman. "Purchasing as part of business services will be evaluated like all other departments," she said.

"But there are many ways of making efficiency savings, not necessarily by cutting jobs but through how you buy things."

Announcing the cutbacks, Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, said the restructuring was a result of internal efficiency reviews and could cause "considerable pain and disruption".

The plan also involves selling non-core businesses and moving large parts of the BBC to places outside London, including Manchester, which is set to get 1,500 jobs in the next five years.


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