Beeb’s finance function faces more cost-cutting

THE BBC’S FINANCE FUNCTION faces the tough task of making 20% efficiency savings by 2016/17.

The latest NAO/BBC Trust report into managing the cost of the broadcaster’s support functions found they cost £500.5m in 2010/11. These eight functions made overall 23% in savings for the five years leading up to 2011. Finance cost the BBC £40.3m in 2010/11.

The finance function aims to reduce costs a further 12% by 2013, to 20.3% by 2016/17, as part of the overall target for cost reductions of 25% in the BBC’s support function over the next five years.

Finance has launched a restructuring exercise, the Finance Effectiveness Programme, to help meet its targets.

However, the BBC warns that by setting targets aimed at meeting the overall savings target, rather than establishing what the support services should cost to deliver by identifying a minimum cost, it “cannot be confident” the targets are pitched at the right level.

BBC trustee Anthony Fry said: “We’re pleased the NAO has judged the BBC to be broadly effective in improving value for money, given the success it has had in cutting its support costs in the past five years.”

NAO head Amyas Morse said the BBC needs to be “consistent and rigorous” in defining the service it provides from its support functions, identify the cost and adjust costs accordingly.


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