Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Beeb on track over financial savings says the Audit Office

The BBC is delivering value for money from its efficiency programme and is on track to exceed its target of delivering three per cent sustainable, cash releasing savings each year.

That's the conclusion from the National Audit office report on the BBC’s efficiency programme which has been released today.

As at March 2011,the commission says that the corporation has delivered £396 million of its £487m required and is forecasting it will deliver a further £164 million over the final two years of the programme.

Of the future savings, the BBC has classified £64 million as at risk, meaning that there is some uncertainty that the planned savings will be made, or performance maintained. However, the BBC is forecasting that it will achieve its target even if all of this risk materialises.

Head of the National Audit Office said in a statement

"The BBC’s efficiency programme is on track while its overall performance measured in terms of audience has not declined. The efficiency programme is therefore proving a clear success in the terms set for it. However, it is hard to say whether the target set was stretching enough and the BBC cannot say whether all the savings made amount to real gains in efficiency." and added

"To manage within its 2010 licence fee settlement, the BBC must strengthen its approach to targeting savings and create a culture of continually challenging how services are delivered."

The report also found that under the settlement the BBC will need to deliver further savings of at least 16 per cent over the period 2012-13 to 2016-17 to fund the new responsibilities transferred to it such as the World Service and S4C.

This will create a different financial context and the BBC considers that it will not be able to manage within its new licence fee settlement through delivering efficiencies alone.

Last month, the BBC unveiled a blueprint which includes selling off buildings, showing more repeats and shedding around 2,000 jobs by 2016 as part of its Delivering Quality First (DQF) programme that includes savings of £670 million a year by 2016/17.

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