Trust's service review of

The BBC Trust has completed a service review of This is the first service review undertaken by the Trust as part of its ongoing programme of reviews of all BBC services under the terms of the new Charter and Agreement. The review's findings will inform the service's development over the next few years.


The review considered how performed against its service licence, the service's governance and accountability and whether its Service Licence needed to be developed in order to reflect changes in the market and users' needs.

Next steps

The review set out a number of actions for BBC management and for the Trust. These include:

  • Improving the performance in terms of demonstrating distinctiveness, linking, search and navigation and meeting users' expectations of dialogue.
  • Introducing better financial and management control:
  • Proposals for a new system of management control to be submitted to the Trust within six months
  • The effectiveness of the new management structure will be reviewed within one year of its implementation
  • Baseline budget for will be revised to £114.4 million for 2008/09
  • Service Licence for will be revised to ensure greater accountability
  • We will create separate annexes covering the main editorial areas: news, sport, nations and local, formal learning, audio and music and vision.

Evidence base

You can find links to information gathered during the public consultation as well as research we used in reaching our conclusions on the supporting evidence page.

Terms of reference

Equality impact assessment

In fulfilling its equality duties the BBC must make arrangements to assess proposed policies for any effects they might have on the promotion of equality. A retrospective equality impact assessment has been conducted on the service review consultation, a summary of which can be found below.

Update on external search

One of the areas the review considered was what role the BBC should have in providing external websearch. We asked BBC management to take a decision on the future of the search function following the review. (See action 2 on page 16 of the report and pages 53-54 for more detail on the Trust's view on this matter). We stated that we would report publicly on any decision taken.

In December 2008, BBC management informed the Trust that after consideration it intended to remove the external search engine on BBC Online. The Trust noted that this was in line with its own assessment and that the external websearch would cease on January 29 2009

Approval of new investment

Following the approval of the new management controls for, the BBC Executive applied to the Trust for permission to increase BBC Online's budget by £52.7m over the next three years. After consideration of the Executive's plans, by the Trust has agreed an increase in BBC Online's budget of £30.7m over three years. This increase will be subject to the conditions set out in the letter below from the Chairman to the Director-General.