BBC comes under fire over plans to blow £1m on staff surveys asking workers how it can get better
- The BBC has earmarked the sum to get feedback on ‘culture and engagement’
- Price of software for staff surveys could pay 6,300 licence fees at £157.50 each
- MPs and campaigners branded the contract a ‘colossal waste of money’
The BBC is under fire over plans to spend up to £1million of taxpayers’ cash setting up staff surveys.
In a move likely to anger the 3.7million over-75s stripped of their free licence fees, the corporation has earmarked the sum to get feedback on ‘culture and engagement’.
The price of the software for ‘staff surveys, exit surveys and regular pulse surveys’ could pay for 6,300 licence fees at a cost of £157.50 each.
In a move likely to anger the 3.7million over-75s stripped of their free licence fees, the corporation has earmarked the sum to get feedback on ‘culture and engagement’
The broadcaster billed the move as a way to ‘deliver one of the key objectives of making the BBC an even greater place to work’.
Last night MPs and campaigners branded the contract a ‘colossal waste of money’ and urged the BBC to ‘sort its priorities out’.
The plans were posted on the corporation’s sourcing website days before Tim Davie took over as the new director-general.
The procurement document read: ‘The BBC is looking to purchase a staff survey and engagement software-based platform solution.’
It added that collecting such data is ‘critical in ensuring we can respond to the areas people are telling us we need to improve on’.
The contract is for three years – with the possibility of extending to five. The £1million fee would be spread across the five years.
It comes as Downing Street piled pressure on Mr Davie to ‘look again’ at the decision to axe universal free TV licences for the over-75s.
The BBC paid for 3.7million older people to receive free licences from 2015 when a new financing deal was brokered by the Government.
But the corporation claims it can no longer afford the £750million annual cost.
As of August 1, most over-75s will have to pay, though those receiving pension credit are exempt.
Conservative MP Peter Bone, pictured, branded the proposed £1million contract as a ‘colossal waste of money’
Conservative MP Peter Bone branded the proposed £1million contract as a ‘colossal waste of money’.
Tom Hunt, MP for Ipswich, said: ‘I don’t know how surveys can cost that much money. The BBC doesn’t seem to be making every effort to minimise cost.’
Dennis Reed, director of campaign group Silver Voices, said the news would only anger over-75s ‘militant’ about fighting the licence fee.
He said: ‘The BBC needs to sort its priorities out.’
A BBC spokesman said: ‘Like most large organisations we use staff surveys to gain valuable feedback on our performance and respond to the areas people are telling us we need to improve on.’
LICENCE FEE CANNOT SURVIVE, SAYS DYKE
The BBC will be forced to find a unique funding method as the licence fee model will not survive in the long term, a former boss has claimed.
Greg Dyke said he does not see a blanket £157.50 charge being around in the future.
The 73-year-old, who was director-general from 2000 to 2004, suggested a subscription service could work instead but said it would take away from the BBC’s ‘universality’.
‘It’s very difficult to find another way to adequately fund the BBC,’ he told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.
‘But personally I doubt whether it [the licence fee] survives very long-term, no.’
Asked about an alternative, Dyke said: ‘Subscription of certain services is always a possibility.’
Greg Dyke, pictured, said he does not see a blanket £157.50 charge being around in the future