Today, the BBC Trust published an NAO report on the Digital Media Initiative (DMI), which was designed to improve efficiency by making it easier for staff to share and manage content, but ultimately suffered massive delays and technical issues.
The NAO, commissioned by the Trust to investigate the DMI, noted that the early stages of development suffered a 21-month delay, leading to £26m of benefits not being achieved.
In its initial cost-benefit analysis, the BBC estimated a net benefit of £17.9m from the DMI by 2015, but the latest forecast is estimated at a net cost of £38.2m by March 2017.
The loss is partially offset by a £27.5m financial package agreed with Siemens - which handled the development until its contract was terminated by mutual agreement in July 2009 - but the BBC is still down by £10.7m. The estimated gross cost of delivery and implementation of the DMI by the end of March 2017 is £133.6 million.
In its analysis, the NAO criticised the BBC for handing Siemens the DMI contract without effectively reviewing whether it could have been better handled in-house.
Despite noting that the financial benefits of the project had been "initially overstated", the NAO also acknowledged that the DMI has "progressed well" since the BBC took over its development.
"The BBC's approach to the early stages of this programme was disappointing and did not achieve value for money," said NAO head Amyas Morse.
"However, since taking the programme back in-house, delivery of the system has progressed well, and users have responded positively. The real test of value for money of the programme as a whole will be the take up by users across the BBC and elsewhere, and on this it is too early to conclude."
BBC trustee Anthony Fry added: "The DMI is a cutting-edge project that will improve the way the BBC operates and transform the way it makes programmes and content.
"The Trust agrees with the NAO that the early phase of the project ran into significant difficulties, but the BBC reacted with speed and efficiency, and since bringing it in-house delivery is progressing as planned.
"Clearly there are lessons to be learnt and the Trust will continue to monitor progress against the action plan we've asked the BBC Executive to produce."