The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Friday, 24 September 2004

Hands In The Till, Surely Not?

It seems that there is something of a row going on, over the handling of the finances of the Athens Olympics.

Aside from massivley overspending, current estimates put the total costs at around $12BN, there are now accusations about the honesty of the bookeeping.

An audit report issued this week has caused the Athens Games chief, Gianna Angelopoulos, to state that the report into the 2001 accounts does not give an accurate picture.

Angelopoulos is quoted as saying that every euro would be accounted for.

The audit report claims that the Games organising committee (ATHOC) did not follow proper hiring procedures, awarded tenders without signing contracts and had several thousand euros in unaccounted payments. As an experienced fraud investigator, I can say that these are very serious control weaknesses; which would not be tolerated in a listed, reputable comapny.

It seems that the charges include the following:

  • Large sums were spent on receptions and out of town expenses

  • 39 of the 41 directors and general directors were hired by bending local labour laws offering large salaries, and awarding considerable compensation for employees who resigned and were not eligible for payment

  • Payments were made of about 4,000 euros for flowers sent to ATHOC itself, and several hospitals.

Angelopoulos has said that all unaccounted expenses would come out of the salaries of the relevant employees.

The audit reports for the years ending 2002, 2003 and 2004 will make very interesting reading.

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