The BBC has taken the first step in the process to find an outsourcing supplier for parts of its HR services.
The publication of a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union follows the findings of an internal BBC review in December 2004, which proposed that a number of services should be outsourced.
Stephen Dando, director of BBC People, said: "I am confident that we will be able to find a long-term partner that can not only help us continue to deliver outstanding quality of service back to the BBC, but also help us to develop and improve that service."
Following the protracted and ongoing negotiations with BBC unions over plans to cut 4,000 jobs, Dando stressed that employee issues will be a central part of any agreement.
"I want to make it clear that staff issues and achieving the right cultural fit will be an important part of this deal," he said.
Dando came under fire this week for accepting a £65,000 bonus while overseeing the job cuts, which equate to 20% of the BBC's workforce.
Under the BBC"s proposals, the outsourcing supplier will take on responsibility for:
- Remuneration (excluding pensions)
- HR administration services
- Occupational health services
- Disability access services
The preference is to award one contract for all of the services, although the BBC will award more than one contract where it is deemed commercially advantageous to do so, or where this is necessary to achieve the required service standards.
The corporation expects a response to the advert by mid-August and hopes to publish an initial 'long list' of interested parties by the beginning of September.
Final negotiations are expected to take place at the end of the year and the contract with the successful supplier is due to become operational from spring 2006.