BBC slammed over £100m “complete failure” IT project

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called an IT project started by the BBC "a complete failure" after costing license fee payers almost £100 million.

The BBC started the Digital Media Initiative (DMI) in an attempt to remove the company's reliance on using and storing video tapes. After five years of development, however, it has been scrapped.

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Chairman of the PAC, Margaret Hodge, said that the BBC needed to "overhaul" its approach in the future to "safeguard license fee payer's money."

"The BBC also told us that it was using the DMI to make many programmes and was on track to complete the system in 2011 with no further delays." Hodge added, according to Computer Weekly.

"In reality, the BBC only ever used the DMI to make one programme, called 'Bang Goes the Theory'."

Originally approved in 2006, the DMI was intended to produce new editing tools for the BBC. Siemens was hired to develop the project in 2008, with expectations of completion the following year.

After delays the project was finally brought back to in-house operations within the BBC, but struggled to get off the ground until incoming director general Tony Hall scrapped it in May 2013.

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In total the BBC is estimated to have spent around £125.9 million on DMI and recouped only £27.5 million.

A BBC spokesman said: "Tony Hall was right to scrap the DMI project when he took over as director general last year. As we said at the time, the BBC didn't get DMI right and we apologised to licence fee payers."

"Since then we have completely overhauled how these projects are delivered so that there is crystal clear accountability and transparency."