MPs call on BBC to drive greater savings

13 May 2008
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14 May 2008 | Jake Kanter

The BBC could do more to secure savings in areas of critical spend according to a group of MPs.

Members of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said although the BBC is significantly reducing its costs, more savings could be made on goods and services such as production resources, broadcast equipment and marketing.

A National Audit Office (NAO) report earlier this year revealed the corporation spent £232 million in these areas in 2006-07, and saved £7 million (News, 3 January).

The PAC also said the broadcaster should make cuts to the price of temporary staff and reduce its supplier management costs by using more central contracts. In 2006-07 the BBC spent more than £26 million across 14,000 vendors. The MPs also urged the organisation to embrace e-auctions, having run only five between 2007 and 2008.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC, said the BBC could do more to trim its procurement bill. "I welcome the finding that the BBC is on course to hit its own target of saving a total of £75 million over three years in respect of its spending on goods and services. A closer analysis reveals, however, that the percentage savings were lowest in the areas where the BBC spends the most," he said.


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