As someone involved in Information and Archives where this project was based, it serves as both a cautionary tale on outsourcing and a good example of when to recognise a sunk cost. This has been rumbling on for years ever since Siemens received the contract without competition due to an outstanding deal. The technology surrounding what they were trying to achieve has changed massively in that time frame but doesn't excuse them from delivering nothing of value. These projects have since come back in-house where the BBC has a history of delivering excellent technical products.
The new Director General, Tony Hall, has had to recognise this project as a failure and put it on the books. No doubt the conservative press are going to tear him apart for it but he's made a tough decision that had to be made. Continuing to pour money into the project would have left an even greater mess for somebody to take a bullet for later on.
I had understood that to be the total cost but you're right, the article does seem to imply that was only after it had come back in-house. The blog says 'total cost'. If the article is correct then it seems it's ignoring whatever Siemens were paid.
It's neutral at best. Failing to report on it would be very bad, but reporting on it isn't a particular mark of integrity.
It seems the integrity is less impressive when the controversy is closer to home (the people running the failed DMI project and the journalistic ends of the BBC are likely to be very far removed from each other) - see the Pollard Report.
You have a valid point there, but still; how could you let it go that far? They say basically that the money is gone and they have nothing to show for afterwards... Does this mean they spent the bulk of that 98m on consultancy fees???
It's funny how the more money that gets spent, the less willing anyone is to pull the plug. I would venture to guess they probably had to dig out of a hole created by the contractors originally hired for the job, then got stuck trying to catch up with the state of the art.
Kudos to the guy willing to step up and say enough already, but yea... I would love to know more details.
> The cost is so great because much of the software and hardware which has been developed would only have a value if the project was completed and we cannot continue to sanction any additional spending on this initiative.