The Olympics

The Olympics


News, information and stories about the Olympic Games.

Friday, 18 April 2008

The Olympic Catastrophe

The budget and management of the London 2012 Olympics will get another well deserved kicking next week.

The Commons public accounts committee will publish a scathing report next Tuesday about the Games.

Don Touhig, who is on the committee, branded the ever spiralling budget as likely to go "into the Guinness Book of Records for the most catastrophic financial mismanagement in the history of the world".

Amongst the many budget concerns it seems that the cost of buying land for the Games, and compensating its previous owners, will be £30M higher than originally forecast.

The London Development Agency said the original budget for taking possession of the Olympic Park site in Stratford had been £594 million, but by the end of the last month £578.4million had already been spent.

In reply to a freedom of information request it added:

"The current estimated outturn budget for land and disturbance compensation payments is £624.41 million, with the increase of £30.37 million funded from the approved budget contingency."

Rather perversely the extra costs do not form part of the Olympics budget (which I believe will rocket to £20BN). An LDA spokesman said:

"Such costs are not included within the overall Olympic budget but, in any event, this does not affect in any way the £9.3 billion total outlined by Tessa Jowell to Parliament last year."

Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has said that the Olympic project was equivalent to building something twice the size of Heathrow Terminal 5 in half the time.

Well, we all know how "successful" that has been don't we?

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