BBC: Met Office

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 24th September 2015.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, when Ministers were informed of the BBC's decision to terminate its contract with the Met Office; and by what means they were so informed.

Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with (i) their counterparts in the Department for Culture Media and Sport and (b) the BBC on the termination of the BBC's contract with the Met Office.

Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he has made of the budgetary implications for the Met Office of the termination of its contract with the BBC.

Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what proportion of the funds generated by the Met Office's contract with the BBC was spent on research in the last 12 months; and what research projects undertaken by the Met Office in that period the BBC has (a) collaborated with or (b) participated in.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Universities and Science)

The BBC’s decision not to shortlist the Met Office for its next contract was a commercial decision by the BBC and was communicated by Met Office to my officials and myself as soon as they became aware that they were not being selected for the next stage of the procurement. The ending of the contract in autumn 2016 is not expected to have significant budgetary implications.

Since the communication of the decision I and my officials have been in dialogue with the Met Office and colleagues elsewhere in government in connection with National Severe Weather Warning service, and in turn with the BBC. The Weather Services Agreement between the Met Office and BBC does not include a research element.

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