Committee comments on preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games

20 July 2012

The Commons Public Accounts Committee published its 9th Report of Session 2012-13, Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as HC 526 on Thursday 19 July.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said:

"As the world's eyes turn to London, we wish every success to all the many organizations involved in making the Games happen.
But the chaos which has emerged over the security contract was predictable and undermines confidence in those responsible for managing the Games. There is now a last minute scramble to make sure there will be enough security personnel on the ground. In evidence to us before Christmas, all those concerned gave assurances that the contract could be met despite more than doubling the number of guards before the ink was dry on the original contract.
No credible explanation has been given for an astonishing twelve-fold hike in management costs, from £10 million to £125 million, and G4S still has not been able to deliver. Now troops are having to be drafted in. The Home Office needs to get a grip on LOCOG and G4S urgently.
The Department would win no medals for transparency.  We still don’t know just how many security guards will actually be delivered or whether G4S will face any penalty. We will carry out a post-mortem in September.
We are not happy with how the DCMS has engaged with this Committee. Legitimate monitoring of implementation has been an unnecessarily frustrating process, characterized by a resistance to giving us clear and consistent information and a readiness to depart from proper ways of conducting public business.
We have faced considerable difficulty in pinning down just how much the Games is costing the taxpayer and how much risk there is.
A big concern is that the Department has no intention of producing a single auditable account for the Games, drawing together both the costs within the Public Sector Funding Package of £9.3 billion and those outside. Such an analysis must be produced."

Margaret Hodge was speaking as the Committee published its 9th Report of this Session which, on the basis of evidence from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, examined the preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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