BBC efficiency plans 'highlight the role of purchasing' says CPO

3 November 2005
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03 November 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor

The £355 million cost-cutting programme at the BBC has put procurement firmly on the map.

Chief procurement officer Beverley Tew said that following a meeting with Mark Thompson, director-general, she is now experiencing "a level of engagement" she has never had before.

"We've never been so in demand and so public. People talk about procurement now who I never thought would."

In an interview with SM, Tew said the efficiency plans announced last December highlighted purchasing's role. The plan will raise money by closing or outsourcing 3,780 posts, making savings on how the BBC buys, and improving the use of technology. It involves procurement at every stage.

"There is a recognition that procurement is needed to support many central change initiatives," she said. Procurement is specifically to account annually for £93 million of the target, a steep increase from its previous three-year cumulative target of £67 million.

Tew said while some departments have lost staff to cutbacks, her team has expanded to 65, of whom 45are professional buyers. "I've taken on more people in the last 12 months, another 10 to 15 into buying, to deliver the new contracts and savings. "

She added: "This year we've had a step change for a number of reasons - because of the support at board level and because of some of the technological changes helping to improve the existing structure to make it fit the new world."

For the full interview, see feature


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