BBC to halve its finance department

The BBC has halved its finance division as part of the corporation’s drive to
cut overall costs and reinvest in programming.

BBC director of finance, and Accountancy Age 2005 Awards judge,
Zarin Patel, has announced that BBC Finance will reduce its head count from 650
to 310 over the next year, and to 260 by 2007. Part of this will involve
outsourcing about 40 posts in 2007.

Patel also announced the creation of a specialist Finance Centre in Ty
Oldfield (at the BBC’s headquarters in Cardiff) and ‘ the introduction of new,
simpler business procedures and a reduction in internal trading’.

She said: ‘these proposed changes will enable the BBC to simplify the
business side of making programmes and to spend more money on meeting the needs
of our audiences.

‘The proposals will also enable us to maintain and develop consistent
business procedures as well as drive continuous improvement. I believe that,
difficult though this is, we are making the right decisions for the whole BBC
and our licence fee payers.’

The cuts are aimed at saving £20m within BBC Finance by 2008, and are part of
BBC director-general Mark Thompson’s broader drive to make annual savings of
£320m within three years – to be reinvested into programme-making.

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