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Friday, 9th March 2012

UK: Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Source: House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts(UK)

From the Summary:

The Olympic Games are a huge endeavour against a fixed deadline and under the eyes of the world. The Government’s preparations and management of the £9.3 billion Public Sector Funding Package are led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The Department works with a wide range of bodies including the Olympic Delivery Authority, which is responsible for the construction of new venues and infrastructure required for the Games, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), which is responsible for staging the Games.

The Olympic Delivery Authority’s programme is on track and within budget. The Delivery Authority’s management of its building programme has been exemplary. However, due mainly to significant increases in the cost of venue security, the likelihood of staying within the overall £9.3 billion Public Sector Funding Package is very finely balanced once the Department’s own best estimates of the most likely costs are taken into account. The Funding Package of £9.3 billion allocated to the Olympics does not cover the totality of the costs to the public purse of delivering the Games and their legacy, which are already heading for around £11 billion...

The number of security guards required in and around the venues has more than doubled from LOCOG’s early estimate of 10,000 guards to 23,700. Consequently, the total cost to the Public Sector Funding Package of venue security has nearly doubled in a year from £282 million in 2010 to £553 million in December 2011. 7,500 of the extra guards will be military personnel. LOCOG and its security contractor, G4S, now face a significant challenge to recruit, train and coordinate all the security guards in time for the Games.

LOCOG has had to renegotiate the contract for venue security it awarded to G4S in December 2010. However, there is no evidence that the Government has secured any price advantage, even though the value of the business it is putting to its contractor has increased from £86 million to £284 million...

With only 109,000 new people regularly participating in sport against an original target (which the new Government chose not to adopt) of 1 million by March 2013, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has got poor value for money for the £450 million spent through sporting National Governing Bodies. It is unclear what the sporting participation legacy of the Games is intended to be.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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