Mark Thompson faces questions again over the costly project, but the whole concept was over-optimistic in the first place
The BBC‘s ill-fated Digital Media Initiative (DMI) – the plan for an end-to-end, all-encompassing digital production and archive system – looks for all the world like (another) story of managerial ineptitude, compounded by a catastrophic failure of governance which together have cost licence payers nearly £100m.
Just to give some sense of scale, that is roughly equivalent to 700,000 licence fees, the total cost of Radio 4 for a year or 100 hours of top-flight TV drama.
Another NAO inquiry, along with BBC commissioned pieces by Accenture and PwC, established that the deteriorating fortunes of DMI were not adequately reported either within management or, critically, to the BBC Trust. A “code red” warning of imminent project failure for example, from the BBC’s own internal project management office from February 2012 wasn’t reported to the trust until July that year. The PAC will inevitably – and rightly – focus on the process and governance failures that led up to DMI’s collapse.