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By John Plunkett: The BBC Trust has frozen the budgets of three of the BBC’s online learning services pending a review of their market impact.
The investment freeze follows a complaint from the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) which was partially upheld by the trust.
The trust found that BBC management had “failed to conduct appropriate competitive impact principle assessments” of its spending on Bitesize, Learning Zone Broadband and the Learning Portal since 2007.
It also found the BBC “did not engage sufficiently with the wider industry concerning its new service developments”.
However, the trust rejected a number of other complaints from BESA, including a claim that the three sites had been developed without sufficient regulation prior to 2007.
In its judgement published today, the trust said that management must report on proposals for improving its level of engagement with the wider education industry by January next year.
A BBC spokesman said: “We note that the trust has rejected the majority of BESA’s complaints, specifically the allegation that the governance process around the launch and subsequent development of these learning services had failed.
“However, we accept the shortcomings in process identified by the BBC Trust, and have already put in place a new governance system for BBC Online.
“We have appointed a single senior manager to take charge of BBC Online and have made significant enhancements to the competitive impact process for every single proposed development to the service. We have also significantly improved how we engage with the industry, an example of which was our recent Open Day to discuss common issues and plans.”
This article originally appeared in Â© Guardian News & Media Ltd..