The role of the Operations Group is to help the BBC deliver transformational change – whether it is concerned with technology, strategy, property or our people – or with understanding audiences.
It does this while supporting the rest of the organisation with an efficient, best-in-class service and implementing its own plans to reduce much of its costs by 25%.
Following the creation of a single Operations Group at the start of 2011, we have worked during the year to provide simpler, more efficient support to the rest of the organisation. Taking advantage of the synergies between departments, we are now able to offer a more joined-up service, whether that's Technology and Workplace collaborating on the move to New Broadcasting House or Editorial Policy and Editorial Legal providing shared compliance advice.
At the same time as leading the Delivering Quality First programme, Operations has developed and now begun to implement its own savings plan, cutting 25% of its non-contract costs. These savings targets will be achieved by spring 2013. By that time, we estimate that approximately 300 jobs will have gone. In addition, Operations is also looking for opportunities to make savings on its major contracts.
Alongside all of this change, we remain focused upon building trust and appreciation for the BBC directly and by working with output groups to delight audiences. We deliver high-quality, innovative technology, services and advice that inform and support the BBC's strategic goals whilst keeping us on air.
Operations is responsible for all of the BBC's major contracts and projects, including the migration into London's New Broadcasting House which began in earnest at the beginning of this year, with several of our global services now broadcast from that building. This allows us to substantially reduce our property footprint in central London as well as bring the BBC World Service physically closer to our domestic services. In Salford, the first phase of moves is now complete, with a wide range of output from CBeebies and BBC Radio 5 Live to BBC Breakfast coming from MediaCityUK.
Over the year we have worked with Government and other stakeholders to deliver on our roadmap for digital terrestrial television. We have kept digital switchover on track, with over 90% of the country now digital-only. The Switchover Help Scheme has now provided assistance to over 1.2 million people in total, ensuring they continue to be able to enjoy their television services uninterrupted.
We have continued to build on the partnerships we've established in recent years, with the Bristol Anchor City Partnership leading to the BBC Radio 4 More Than Words festival broadcasting live from the city in March alongside much closer ties between the BBC and the local community. We hope to establish a similar creative partnership in Birmingham in 2012.
I'm also proud of the recent launch of 'The Space', a joint project with Arts Council England, to make the best of the glorious summer of arts that surrounds the Jubilee, the Olympics and the Paralympics, on as many screens as possible. With our partners The Space we will showcase a wealth of new art and will provide access to much more, including some of the events of London 2012.
But we can't rest on our laurels. Looking ahead, we still have significant financial challenges to meet, major projects to deliver as well as ensuring we remain close to our audiences. 2012 promises to be a historic year for the UK and I know the BBC will play a critical role in letting the whole country share in that excitement.
Chief Operating Officer
21 June 2012
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