Outsourcing company Xansa has won preferred supplier status with the BBC for finance and accounting services, which includes offshoring work to India.
The contract, worth about £85m over 10 years, will save the BBC in excess of £200m over the lifetime of the deal, it is claimed.
It is the first time any outsourced BBC work will be sent offshore. Broadcasting union Bectu has said it is seeking an “urgent meeting” with Xansa over the plans.
Xansa will deliver finance and accounting services across the corporation, including purchasing and sales transaction processing, artist and contributor payments, financial management and project accounting, payroll processing and expenses. The majority of services will be carried out at the firm’s shared service centre in Chennai, India.
The new contract is expected to be signed in November, with Xansa taking over responsibility for the services in July 2007.
Zarin Patel, BBC group finance director, said: “By moving our transaction processing to India, we are demonstrating that we are prepared to take bold and imaginative decisions that offer the licence-fee payer great value for money, while still maintaining the highest quality of service delivery.”
Bectu fears that offshoring could lead to redundancies among its members.
Luke Crawley, the union’s supervisory official, said: “Outsourcing is something we have always been opposed to, but this situation is even more serious as some of the jobs may be going offshore. Bectu will fight to protect our members’ terms, conditions and pensions, and resist any compulsory redundancies.”
Earlier this year, the BBC awarded Capita a 10-year £100m deal which saw a number of HR services outsourced, including recruitment and occupational health.