The BBC’s preparations for digital switchover
The UK’s digital switchover programme involves several public and private sector organisations including government departments, Ofcom, other public service broadcasters and Digital UK.
The NAO notes that the BBC will play a leading role in delivering the UK’s switchover to digital television by 2012, and the Trust commissioned the report to ensure that the BBC is well placed to fulfil its commitment to licence fee payers to deliver a UK wide network of digital television.
The NAO has identified three areas where the BBC should act to protect its position.
- The NAO recommends that the BBC could further strengthen its oversight of switchover work with independent representation on the project governance board.The Trust endorses the BBC Executive’s decision to involve a non-executive director with appropriate expertise in the overall governance of the switchover programme.
- The NAO also recommends measures are put in place for measuring the value for money of the BBC’s £200 million funding of Digital UK.The BBC Executive has undertaken to bolster its existing programme of evaluation following the end of the switchover in the Copeland region and the Trust will monitor progress.
- The NAO’s final recommendation is that lessons from the Copeland scheme are incorporated in the procurement of the National Digital Switchover Help Scheme.The BBC Executive notes that there is a weekly updating of information from the Copeland scheme to the national scheme but adds that there is a balance to be struck in terms of waiting for all the data to be available and allowing the successful bidder maximum implementation time before the start of the national scheme. The Trust will also put in place performance indicators for the Help Scheme and ensure that where possible the Copeland experiences feature in the contract.
Additionally the Trust will commission a review to monitor the operational value for money of the Digital Switchover Help Scheme around 2009.