Value for money reviews

Here you will find links to the value for money reviews we commission from independent experts.

As Trustees it is our responsibility to make sure that every pound of the licence fee works as hard as possible. One of the ways we do this is through a programme of in-depth value for money reviews carried out by the National Audit Office and other independent experts. We always publish these reports and explain how we plan to respond to the recommendations made. You can find the reports using the links below.

The BBC’s distribution arrangements for its UK Public Services (2013)

The review considers whether the BBC is meeting its obligations for distributing its UK services across television, radio and online, and how well placed the BBC is to meet its future UK distribution challenges.

Severance payments and wider benefits for senior BBC managers (2013)

This report examines the BBC's existing approach to setting severance conditions and wider benefits for its senior managers, and how it applied its policies in practice.

Supplementary note

The original report examined a sample of 60 of the 150 severance payments given to BBC senior managers in the three years to December 2012. In response to a request from the BBC Trust and the Public Accounts Committee after this report was published, the NAO agreed to examine the remaining 90 payments and one additional case that has come to light, and provide a supplementary note on its findings.

The BBC's move to Salford (2013)

This report addresses whether the BBC's management of its relocation to Salford has been cost-effective and on-track to deliver value for money.

Financial management at the BBC (2012)

This report examines whether the BBC's finance function is fit for purpose and equipped to meet the challenges ahead.

The BBC's approach to managing the cost of its support functions (2012)

This report looked at whether the BBC's approach to managing the cost of its support functions supports the achievement of value for money, and whether the BBC's reporting of overhead costs improves transparency.

The BBC's efficiency programme (2011)

This study looked at the BBC's progress to date in delivering the efficiency savings required under the target set by the BBC Trust following the licence fee settlement in 2007.

The BBC's management of the costs of producing continuing drama (2011)

This study, commissioned by the Trust's Finance & Compliance Committee on behalf of the Trust and undertaken by the NAO, looked at the BBC's management of the costs of producing continuing drama, specifically Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City.

The BBC's processes for the management of sports rights (2011)

This study looked at the BBC’s processes for the management of sports rights. The Trust recognises that sports broadcasting is central to the delivery of some of its public purposes, but the BBC and the Trust are also under an obligation to ensure that this is carried out in a way that provides value for money to licence fee payers.

Implementation plan

After every value for money study in which recommendations are made, the Trust requires the Executive to produce an implementation plan setting out how they will put the recommendations into practice. The table below was presented to the Trust by the Executive, and was approved by the Trust's Finance & Compliance Committee. It shows the actions the BBC Executive are taking / will be taking in response to MTM London's recommendations.

The BBC's management of its Digital Media Initiative (2011)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at the BBC's management of its Digital Media Initiative (DMI) programme. The DMI is an IT project designed to allow BBC staff to develop, create, share and manage video and audio content and programming on their desktop, and intended to improve production efficiency across the BBC. The estimated gross cost of delivery and implementation to the end of March 2017 is £133.6 million.

Report on the BBC's management of three major estate projects (2010)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at the BBC's management of the Broadcasting House, Pacific Quay and Salford Quays projects and whether they are being delivered in line with both the expectations at the time the commitment of resources was approved and the latest agreed budget and timetable.

Implementation plan

After every value for money study in which recommendations are made, the Trust requires the Executive to produce an implementation plan setting out how they will put the recommendations into practice. The table below was presented to the Trust by the Executive, and was approved by the Trust's Finance & Compliance Committee. It shows the actions the BBC Executive are taking / will be taking in response to MTM London's recommendations.

The BBC's management of its coverage of major sporting and music events (2010)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at the effectiveness of the BBC's management of its coverage of major sporting and music events, once the decision to cover an event had been taken. It considered how the BBC initiates, plans, delivers and reviews this coverage.

Implementation plan

After every value for money study in which recommendations are made, the Trust requires the Executive to produce an implementation plan setting out how they will put the recommendations into practice. The table below was presented to the Trust by the Executive, and was approved by the Trust's Finance & Compliance Committee. It shows the actions the BBC Executive are taking / will be taking in response to MTM London's recommendations.

The BBC's management of strategic contracts with the private sector (2009)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at the effectivnes of the BBC's arrangements for managing its various strategic contracts with the private sector.

Implementation plan

After every value for money study in which recommendations are made, the Trust requires the Executive to produce an implementation plan setting out how they will put the recommendations into practice.

The efficiency of radio production at the BBC (2009)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at what the BBC is doing to maximise the efficiency of radio production across its different stations.

Implementation plan

After every value for money study in which recommendations are made, the Trust requires the Executive to produce an implementation plan setting out how they will put the recommendations into practice. The table below was presented to the Trust by the Executive, and was approved by the Trust's Finance & Compliance Committee. It shows the actions the BBC Executive are taking / will be taking in response to MTM London's recommendations.

BBC in-house television commissioning (2008)

This study, undertaken by Ernst & Young, looked at the BBC's in-house commissioning processes in order to provide insight into the way in which they drive Value for Money and to provide recommendations for improvement.

The BBC's on-air and on-screen talent costs (2008)

This review provides an in-depth examination of the BBC's use of on-air and on-screen talent.

The BBC Trust commissioned an independent review, conducted by Oliver and Ohlbaum Associates Ltd (O&O), in November 2007 to provide an in-depth examination of the BBC's use of on-air and on-screen talent. This followed press reports about presenters' salaries during the course of 2006 which aroused industry and public concern and led some people to question the BBC's approach to the talent it employs. This debate was still live when the Trust was established as the BBC's governing body in January 2007. It was, and has remained, a topic raised by the public with Trustees during our appearances on radio phone-ins and at public meetings in all parts of the UK.

The Trust posed O&O three specific questions:

  1. How do the size and structure of the BBC's reward packages for talent compare with the rest of the market?
  2. What has been the impact of the BBC's policy on the talent market, particularly in relation to cost inflation?
  3. To what extent do the BBC's policy and processes in relation to investment in, and reward of, talent support value for money?

We are publishing O&O's report which seeks to answer these questions, the BBC management's response to the points it raises and our own judgements informed by this evidence. 

BBC Trust conclusions

BBC procurement (2007)

This study looks at how the BBC manages spending on goods and services and whether it is organised and equipped to deliver best value from its procurement. 

The BBC's efficient and effective use of spectrum (2007)

This study, undertaken by Deloitte & Touche, looks at how efficiently and effectively the BBC uses the spectrum available to it, and provides insight into the future challenges and opportunities facing the BBC in the use of the spectrum.

The BBC's preparedness for digital switchover (2007)

This study, undertaken by the NAO, looks at the BBC's preparations for digital switchover and, in particular, at how it plans to meet its obligations set out under the Royal Charter and Agreement.