Monday, 10 December 2007

London Olympics: "A robust baseline"

Not to worry - the costs of the London Olympics aren't really "rising", in fact they are "robust". While the original bid was put at over £2 billion, we now hear the costs will be more like £9 billion...or something like that. Don't worry - it all makes sense! And of course, there will be nothing like this sort of accounting confusion when it comes to Glasgow's Commonwealth Games!

From the BBC:

2012 Olympics budget 'on track'

The cost of hosting the Olympics has already risen dramatically.Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has said a "thorough assessment of all potential risks" has backed the £9.325bn budget for the games she outlined in March.
In a written statement to MPs Ms Jowell said "months of careful scrutiny have confirmed" the budget - four times the original estimate - would be enough.
She said: "The project has high levels of public support and is on track."
The statement came as the BBC learned a report to ministers said there was a 20% chance the budget would rise again.

"Now we look ahead to what will be a dramatic 2008, with the first building work starting on the Olympic Park site"
Tessa Jowell

Olympics minister

March: Budget hits £9.3bn
MPs attack Olympic costs
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Latest budget in detail

In November, the House of Commons public accounts committee attacked ministers over planning for the event, saying foreseeable costs had been "grossly underestimated".

Ms Jowell, who has faced widespread criticism over the escalating cost of the games, has now set out the most detailed breakdown of expected costs so far.

It shows that £500m of the contingency budget has already been allocated to the Olympic Development Agency.

Ms Jowell also said a "detailed account of progress across the Olympic programme" would be provided when the first Olympic annual report was produced in the New Year.

She said the delivery authority would also issue "a summary of the baseline scope, aligned budget, programme and risks".

'Obvious omission'

These figures "will provide a robust baseline for future reporting", she said.
Ms Jowell told MPs: "This statement shows... the budget is consistent with the funding package I outlined in March.

"Months of careful scrutiny have confirmed that the Olympic Delivery Authority has the money it needs to deliver the venues and infrastructure for a terrific summer of sport, as well as leaving a long-term legacy for one of the most deprived parts of the country.

2003: Consultants Arup put total cost of building and staging the Games at £1.796bn
2003: Tessa Jowell launches bid in May telling MPs it will cost £2.375bn - including a 50% contingency
2005: Bid succeeds in July with "prudent" estimate of preparing for games of £2.4bn
2006: Tessa Jowell says Olympic Park costs up to £3.3bn
2007: Olympic Park budget now at £5.3bn - including regeneration and infrastructure
2007: Total budget, including contingency, security and tax, reaches £9.35bn

(full article here:

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