1.On 5 July 2016, the BBC announced that it had “outlined plans for an extensive restructure of BBC Monitoring to provide a more responsive service for users in a rapidly changing media landscape, to increase commercial activity, and to meet savings targets”. The restructuring plan is triggered by a £4 million reduction in funding for BBC Monitoring, which is expected to lead to the loss of 98 posts and the eventual relocation of the organisation from Caversham Park, near Reading, to London.
2.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Ministry of Defence and the intelligence agencies are the main users within Government of the information gathered by BBC Monitoring. Our interest lies in the impact of the BBC’s restructuring plan on the FCO’s capacity to gather the information it needs to inform policy. The Defence Committee is undertaking a parallel inquiry, concentrating upon the implications for the Ministry of Defence.
3.We held a joint oral evidence session with members of the Defence Committee and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on 11 October. The following witnesses gave evidence:
We are grateful to all those who took part.
28 October 2016