Feeds

back to article BBC lied to Parliament about doomed £100m IT monster, thunder MPs

The BBC lied to Parliament by giving MPs and auditors glowing progress reports on a £100m computer project that embarrassingly flopped, it is claimed. The project in question, the "strategic" Digital Media Initiative (DMI), has now been abandoned at a cost of at least nine figures; a rapid decision by the new BBC Director- …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge
Meh

The BBC tend to lie to everyone when it's all about self preservation.

MP' are just the same, they lie too when it's all about self preservation.

12
0
Devil

I never lie.

Nope. Never told a lie in my whole life. Ever. And never, especially, when my self preservation depended on it. Why, what kind of crazy lunatic would even consider lying in an attempt to preserve their selves?

Liar!

0
0
Bronze badge
Facepalm

The day we stop subsidising the BBC through our license fee can't come quick enough to my mind.

10
14

I already have. The 'privilege' of watching broadcast TV lost its appeal a long time ago.

1
0
xyz

I've seen this sort of thing before...

You write a report saying the project is a 3 legged rabid dog with mange that should be put down immediately, but that report has to traverse the greasy pole of self interest and career advancement, so by the time it's half way up the pole, the phrase "fucking disaster" is translated into "challenges to be navigated" and "risk containment" and by the time it gets to the top brass, it's the second coming with knobs on; because no one wants to admit they've been responsible for a complete cock up. That coupled with the fact that "those of import" were contemporaries at Eton (bugger buddies) means the mess sails camly on until it becomes a major juicy worm for for some other self serving bunch to make a name from by ripping it to pieces. I'm getting too cynical

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: I've seen this sort of thing before...

Yup, seen it too, in government.

It was called "National ID card", and it was such an unbelievable mess that in the first couple of weeks, expensive consultants were doing absolutely sweet fa but their consultancy received millions for that from the taxpayer anyway.

Here too, the NAO walked right past it, and the stench only got out later. Some people retired off that one.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: I've seen this sort of thing before...

THE PLAN.

In the beginning was the plan.

And then came the assumptions.

And the assumptions were without form.

And the plan was without substance.

And darkness was upon the face of the Workers.

And they spoke amongst themselves, saying, ‘It is a crock of dung and it stinketh.’

And the Workers went unto their Supervisors and said, ‘It is a pail of manure, and none may abide the odour thereof.’

And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying ‘It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none can abide by it.’

And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying ‘It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide by its strength.’

And the Directors spoke amongst themselves, saying to one another, ‘It contains that which aids growth and it is very powerful.’

And thus the Directors went unto their Chief Executive, saying unto him, ‘This plan will actively promote the growth and vigour of the company with powerful effects.’

And the Chief Executive looked upon the plan, and thought that it was good.

And the plan became Policy.

18
0
Bronze badge

Re: I've seen this sort of thing before...

The self interest and career advancement stuff that buries bad news is true of all big organisations, both public and private. Which is why I never want to work for a large organisation ever again.

2
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

Simple (cheaper) solution?

Pay some school leavers minimum wage to rip all the tapes into one or more Petaboxes.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Simple (cheaper) solution?

That's the easy part. Organising, controlling and delivering the content is a very big job.

0
0
Boffin

Re: Simple (cheaper) solution?

If only it were that simple!

There is a lot more involved - especially when the box of tapes (lots of) plus notes (many notepads plus scraps of paper etc.) are in one part of London, the tape machines are in another part of London, and the people that need access to the video are in Manchester and Cardiff. There are loads more complications too - but yes this was not a good solution!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Simple (cheaper) solution?

Been done before in a North American firm, whole project took about 2 years!

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

Decisions, decisions? Do I give +1 for sarcasm or -1 for Eadon?

0
0
Facepalm

Re: "BBC lied"

Is that the same BBC who went after Labour's sexed-up dodgy Iraq dossier?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/jun/26/broadcasting.politicsandiraq

The place is a nest of lefty-liars!

Boooo!!!!

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

You really do astound me: With your rabid right wing views, you should really be anti-linux, after all it is collaborative, which is socialism, next to communist, you know? Of course, we all really know you're anti-Microsoft, and don't give two shits about FOSS, otherwise you'd be all over the Linux stories bigging it up, rather than just slagging off MS all the time.

Still, back to the subject: You may want to ask Alister Campbell how he and Tony feel about the BBC? You know, after the reporting of the 45mins reports etc?

As long as Labour think that the BBC are too right wing and the Tories think that the BBC is too left wing, I'm happy.

6
1
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: "BBC lied"

Another one of those who thinks universal hatred = doing the right thing.

I take it you think Iran's Press TV is the world's best broadcaster, since they're not only despised but ridiculed by world+dog...

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

Decisions, decisions! Do I give +1 for sarcasm or -1 for Eadon?

1
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

World's best broadcaster

@gazthejourno On your criteria, surely that should be Al Jazeera, no ?

0
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: World's best broadcaster

I've gotta say, Al Jaz do at least make an effort to cover serious news from their neck of the woods. Of course, their foreign coverage makes Russia's RT look fair and balanced, but I think the days when Al Jaz was synonymous with mobe-filmed videos by ranting beardy types holed up in Middle Eastern caves are over.

0
0
Silver badge

@AC 09:43

The Beeb came to loathe Tony (and Alastair) because they destroyed their beloved Socialist party (as well as carrying us into an illegal war), and the feeling came to be mutual (after a short-lived first term lovefest of 'our side finally won'). I'm pretty sure if you ask an honest Blairite (assuming you could find one), they'd claim that the BBC is too left wing.

The BBC honestly believe they're thoroughly neutral, and are genuinely appalled at the suggestion they might be biased, because they mostly live and move within a North London elite bubble, who all share their views. You can find much the same thing in academia.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at? How did I suggest that universal hatred is the same as doing the right thing?

0
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: "BBC lied"

"If Labour think it's too right-wing and the Cons think it's too left-wing." (paraphrased)

OK, hate is probably too strong a word to use, but you get the gist.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

Oh, I think I understand now: You're suggesting that because I think that two political parties from different ends of the moderate political spectrum think the BBC covers the other too much, I somehow think that this is the same as Press TV, because Press TV are rightly thought of as being a transparent tool of the state by pretty much everyone the world over? You also somehow think that this equates to universal hated?

It's not quite the same, really, is it? forgive me, if I misunderstand, though.

0
0
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: "BBC lied"

You're deliberately misunderstanding me by setting up a strawman argument. Your position, as I understand it, is that because Left and Right equally dislike the BBC, the BBC is, ipso facto, doing a good job.

I say to you that dislike from various sides of the spectrum does not, and never will, equate to doing a good job, and I cite Press TV as a prime example of a universally disliked and ridiculed outlet which (by your logic) must be doing sterling work.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: "BBC lied"

You said "Another one of those who thinks universal hatred = doing the right thing." and then you accuse me of being the one setting up a straw man?

You then go on to say that "I cite Press TV as a prime example of a universally disliked and ridiculed outlet which (by your logic) must be doing sterling work." Again a straw man, as it's not what I said at all.

My position is that if both major political parties think that the BBC covers the other too much, we're probably ok. Not that if everyone hates the BBC from all angles it's probably ok.

1
0

Re: "BBC lied"

Shame on you Sir, the BBC rarely lies. Mostly it doesn't need to. (One exception being the Global Warming Scam on which its future pensions depend). All it needs do is be economical with the truth. If you believe that every coin has two sides, the Intertubes will show you BBC journalist economics in minutes. For that reason I've refused to pay the BBC tax since I've had domestic broadband.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

give them a break!

what's a 100 million here or there. Let them say in public it was an unfortunate case of underperformance by a junior, part-time cleaner's assistant, who left the company 17 years ago anyway, and they will make the best effort to learn from the lessons (until next time), etc. etc.

Alternatively, you'll give justification for the existence of this parliamentary committee for the next 3.5 centuries, and the investigation bill will have reached 200 million....

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Re: give them a break!

Eadon, I think you missed the sarcasm?

0
0

Not surprising

The culture at the BBC was always one insulated from the reality that they are spending our money.

Council jobs for the middle classes

1
0
Silver badge

No TV License here.

It's not my money they are pissing up the wall.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: No TV License here.

Same here. Got rid of the freeview box a few months ago. Still have a screen, but just use it for watching films downloaded to an Apple TV (first generation one that my fanboi brother gave me when he upgraded - amazingly it still works, although there's been no software updates for yonks). Still get annoying letters from the TV license people though.

0
0
Silver badge

And MPs lied...

...about their expenses yet faced no real censure or further control.

3
0
Silver badge

Never speak truth to power

Of course the BBC told people what they wanted to hear - to do otherwise has (historically) never been a good way to keep your head on your shoulders.

However the problem goes deeper. Whether Mark Thompson "lied" to parliament is a multi-layered question. Did he lie like a car salesperson does when he/she/it claims the car has only done 30,000 miles - while knowing full-well that it's done treble that mileage. Or did he lie like a computer manager lies - by simply not having a clue what he's talking about and being reliant on minions to feed him the truth (see above).

We all know that if you want to find the truth about an IT project (though, in reality few people ever want THAT much truth) you ask the programmers. I would suggest that if those people had been quizzed, either by the BBC trust or by the parliamentary committee they would have heard more truth than they could possibly deal with - and been told exactly how borked the project was - even when it had only been running a month or two.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

Do you want all your broadcasting created and deliverd by Messrs R Murdoch & R Branson?

That does not sound much fun to me.

3
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: Do you want all your broadcasting created and deliverd by Messrs R Murdoch & R Branson?

So the alternative to Murdoch and Branson is to put up with incompetence and half-truths?

Isn't there another option? Like a well run BBC?

2
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

"The UK is arguably the most tech-savvy nation on the planet."

[citation needed]

2
0
Silver badge

Re: "The UK is arguably the most tech-savvy nation on the planet."

Yeah, that's a hard argument to make. Andrew usually has some kind of source when he says something way out like that.

1
0
(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Re: "The UK is arguably the most tech-savvy nation on the planet."

Technology adoption closely tracks GDP, disposable income and urbanisation - as you'd expect. The WEF tries to do proper numbers here: http://reports.weforum.org/wp-content/pdf/gitr-2011/wef-gitr-2010-2011.pdf - but not for consumer technologies.

The UK very rapidly adopted micros, VCRs and DVDs, mobile phones, SMS and a whole bunch of other stuff. Except DAB ;-)

1
0

Re: "The UK is arguably the most tech-savvy nation on the planet."

I'll trade you my synecdoche for your metonymy. Rather than the number of gizmos per unit pleb, perhaps one should count inventors - using as a proxy perhaps (not altogether accurately in this age of climate scientology, tho) scientific papers published per unit boffin, in which the UK comes out quite well. Or, more entertainingly, National Treasures in the Tech Dept of UK plc? Y'know, like SirTim. </blush>

0
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: "The UK is arguably the most tech-savvy nation on the planet."

"but not for consumer technologies"

..and yet your examples listed are consumer technologies.

"The UK very rapidly adopted micros, VCRs and DVDs, mobile phones, SMS and a whole bunch of other stuff. Except DAB ;-)"

And rest of the europe (as an example) didn't? Whilst there may not have been quite as many manufacturers, I don't believe adoption of micros any less in mainland. Likewise I don't believe the take up of VCRs and DVDs was any less elsewhere.

As for mobile phones...

How many people were using mobile/car phones in UK in 70s-80s? The analog ARP carphones were quite popular in Finland and was launched 1971 (IIRC). In fact Swedes had similar MTD based on MTA that was launched in 1950s. Similarly Norwegians had a system (OLT) that originates from the late 1960s. Guess there is no suprise GSMs predecessor NMT was developed in the Nordics and mid mid 1980s had over 10000 subscribers most in Norway which made it the largest mobile network at the time. NMT was followed by GSM in mid 1980s and first GSM call was made in Finland on network built by Nokia and Siemens. SMS was pretty much development by France and Germany. Granted first SMS was sent on Vodafone UK, however first commercial SMSC was Telia's (in Sweden) and first commecially sold SMS service was in Finland.

Except DAB? Really? It's the one technology where UK actually was ahead at least in numbers of stations. Of course the downside is that its still the old DAB with MPEG-1. DAB+ with AAC+ and better error correction resolves the most common complaints about DAB. In addition to much better sound quality it actually makes commercial sense as it would allow for much more stations to be carried. The error correction is vastly improved with the addition of Reed-Solomon on the audio frames.

So I guess that just leaves "other stuff" :-)

0
0
Stop

Must get in on this scam

£100 mil you say?

Nothing delivered you say?

Where does one sign up to be the provider of such "services" ?

0
0
(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Must get in on this scam

I would suggest starting here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/careers/what-we-do/future-media

1
1
Silver badge

Re: Must get in on this scam

> Where does one sign up to be the provider of such "services" ?Where does one sign up to be the provider of such "services" ?

Ahhh, but to get to pole position you have to sit through endless meetings with BBC luvvies who have risen far beyond their competency, yet whom have a vastly inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities ... and vision. You have to listen to their half-arsed descriptions of what they think they need, or just want. You have to nod sagely at the most ridiculous suggestions and ideas. But worst of all you have to keep quiet and NOT tell them what a bunch of inept, clueless WASTERS they all are.

The only time I got involved at a Beeb-meet, I had to excuse myself for a cooling down 5 minute break. £100 Meg is probably a small price to pay if it keeps them in the institution and stops them escaping into the real world where they could do untold damage.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

For who's benefit and at who's expense was this undertaking?

“So the idea is to try and get as much value out of this investment as possible. So that's not just the BBC, but independent, commercial companies in this country, and also other public bodies, get the same kind of state-of-the-art ways of manipulating content.”

This paragraph follows the description whereby the content is easily accessible for 'mash-ups' etc (it was reported elsewhere and in El Reg that the digitised version of the media assests would not have DRM...) - How come we, the license fee payers, have to suffer all the 'copy spoiling' voice over the credits, sign-posting (etc) to help protect the copy revenues whilst, at the same time, the BBC were planning to make access clean and easy for these "other bodies"?

0
0

Re: "value" - or, how to be lost in space/time

I suspect less that senior Beeboids are all fans of Zen & the Art of M/cyle Maintenance, more that they've all imbibed (passively by osmosis for the most part I suspect) far too deeply of the kool-aid that is hegelianism. From where it is just a short intellectual hop to marxism, and then onto the Garden of Delights that is fabianism and communitarianism. (I say 'hop', probably better is 'inadvertent trip').

A curious thing about all those -isms is that none foster self-awareness - in all of them, someone else not you determines what is true/valuable on account of self-proclaimed superior self-awareness. (Goodness, even St Richard of re/con/d/Evolving doesn't claim that for himself exclusively).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

No mention of Siemens in the article, the BBC's outsourcing partner, who started on the project and then had it taken off them and moved in house because they weren't up to the job.

1
0

no accountability

The main issue is the bbc is run like a poltical party; people are shuffled around like clockwork so that by the time glaring incompetence is seen the person responsible has moved to a new job.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.