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19 October 2011 | Angeline Albert
Buyers at the BBC are expected to deliver annual savings of £80 million by 2017.
The need to secure more savings follows a decision to freeze the licence
fee settlement until 2017. The
level of the TV licence fee is set by government and funds the BBC’s domestic
The BBC plans to save around £670 million a year by 2016/2017 and estimates 2,000 jobs across the organisation will go.
In a statement earlier this month, the BBC Trust
said “the planned programme of efficiencies will encompass both the back office
functions and content and programme-making areas”. Speaking to SM, Gareth Nugent,
head of strategic
relationships BBC Procurement, said this week it was “too early to say” whether buying jobs would be hit. “The jobs will
not be lost in one go but across the next five years and the BBC will seek,
wherever possible, to implement the reductions through turnover, redeployment
and voluntary redundancy.”
As part of a package of purchasing
actions designed to achieve the £80 million-a-year savings target, procurement is
working to reduce the supplier base, volumes and specifications linked to
internal stakeholder demands. The proposals aim to make efficiency savings
in order to limit the impact on programmes and content.
The procurement team is working on
consolidating spend with fewer suppliers, moving more categories of spend to
managed service providers and making savings across its strategic contract
portfolio, which specifically includes its major contracts for technology, TV
licensing, property and distribution.
January, BBC director-general
Mark Thompson launched Delivering Quality First, a consultation with staff about how
the organisation can deliver high quality. It follows the licence fee
settlement agreed with the government in October 2010, which sees the fee frozen
to 2017 and the BBC assuming new funding responsibilities, including for the
World Service and local TV. To meet this settlement, Thompson set a savings
target of 20 per cent.