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Preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Progress report June 2008

In its progress report on the Olympic and Paralympic Games the National Audit Office has found that with four years to go until the start of the Games, the preparations have progressed in important ways. In particular, there has been good progress in preparing the Olympic Park site and construction activities are broadly on track. The report draws out the areas where attention should now focus to achieve the objectives for the Games.

There is now a clear basis for tracking costs; and work to keep the costs within the agreed £9,325 million budget is continuing. The latest forecast costs for the high profile venues, including the Main Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, are higher than expected, offset by reduced forecasts elsewhere including on site preparation and infrastructure.

Beyond the imperative to deliver on time and budget, the report identifies four areas where continuing attention is going to be particularly important to achieving the successful delivery and lasting benefits of the Games:

  • finalising a good value deal with the private sector for the Olympic Village – the largest single project in the London 2012 programme – which will be challenging given the current uncertainties in the financial and property markets;
  • fully developing and then integrating policing and wider security into the planning for the Games so that requirements can be met cost effectively;
  • providing clarity about the park and the venues legacy benefits beyond 2012 – the longer the requirements are unclear the higher the risk that legacy will be compromised by the need to deliver the Games on time; and,
  • the need for programme-wide risk management besides that already in place for individual projects.

“The preparations for the Games are well underway. But important challenges remain which will become more formidable as the spotlight turns to London after the Beijing Games. Uncertainties over the deal for the village, legacy requirements and policing and security may add cost or compromise the preparations for a successful Games. The delivery bodies need to maintain a firm stance on cost and keep in sight the intended legacy benefits too.”

Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office

Notes for Editors

  1. Press notices and reports are available from the date of publication on the NAO website, which is at www.nao.org.uk. Hard copies can be obtained from The Stationery Office on 0845 702 3474.
  2. The Comptroller and Auditor General, Tim Burr, is the head of the National Audit Office which employs some 850 staff. He and the NAO are totally independent of Government. He certifies the accounts of all Government departments and a wide range of other public sector bodies; and he has statutory authority to report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and other bodies have used their resources.

PN: 28/08