15 July 2008 | Jake Kanter
The cost of the BBC's use of taxis has grown by £800,000 in the space of a year.
In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the broadcaster revealed its taxi bill has increased from the £13 million spent between April 2006 and March 2007, to reach £13.8 million in the period of April 2007 to March 2008.
In addition to this, £5.2 million was spent on private car hire, an increase of £500,000 compared with last year's figures.
The breakdown of the £13.8 million spent shows the taxi bill for transporting guests and contributors to BBC programmes rose to £5.3 million, £2 million more than in the previous year. A further £4.5 million was spent on taxis for staff on business, and the remaining £4 million on transporting staff working early or late shifts.
The BBC Journalism division topped the expenses chart after spending more than £7 million on taxis. It was reported the demand for "talking heads" in the broadcaster's 24 news coverage was to blame for the cost, but the BBC would not confirm this.
A spokesman for the BBC told supplymanagement.com: "The vast majority of taxi journeys are programme-related and the number taken will fluctuate depending on what programmes we are making. We constantly monitor the use of taxis to ensure we negotiate the best deals with suppliers and keep track of how taxis are used."