The BBC technology chief who oversaw a disastrous project that wasted £100m of licence fee money is suing the BBC after it ended his employment.
John Linwood was suspended as the BBC’s £287,000-a-year Chief Technology Officer in May when the failed Digital Media Initiative (DMI) was closed down. His contract was ended in July 2013 and he was not given a pay-off.
The National Audit Office reported today on how BBC bosses failed to react as the fiasco developed: “The BBC executive did not have a sufficient grip of the programme and did not appear to appreciate the extent of the problems until a late stage.”
The £100m of wasted public money is the equivalent to the price paid by rival broadcaster Richard Desmond for the whole of Channel 5 in 2010. In total, the BBC spent £125.9m on the digital archive project, although it claimed to have recouped £27.5m.
The spending watchdog reported that the total costs for the project were divided between contractors (paid £46.7m), information technology (£37.2m), partners Siemens/Atos (£24.9m), consultants (£8.4m), BBC staff (£6.4m) and other costs (£2.3m). At its peak in 2011, 184 contractors and BBC staff were working for DMI, which was never completed.
Source: The Independent