Detailed Olympics IT costings edge closer with NAO breakdown

The National Audit Office has shed more light on the costs of IT systems for the Olympic Delivery Authority, which the government failed to include in its bid for the 2012 Olympics.

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The National Audit Office has shed more light on the costs of IT systems for the Olympic Delivery Authority, which the government failed to include in its bid for the 2012 Olympics.

New figures from the public spending watchdog offer a breakdown of the £570m programme management costs for staging the games in London.

The government’s failure to include the ODA’s IT costs in its original costing for the Olympics – and the fact that it did not budget for them until 16 months after the games were awarded to London – was revealed in a report by the powerful Commons Public Accounts Committee.

The MPs probed a £900m cost hike on the original £3.3bn cost of the Olympics, announced in November 2006 by the then culture secretary, Tessa Jowell.

“This increase included some £400m for IT and site mobilisation and the costs of the CLM Consortium, appointed by the Olympic Delivery Authority as its delivery partner to assist in project managing the delivery of the venues and infrastructure,” the committee’s report said.

A note from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) provided to the committee revealed that the total programme delivery budget outlined by Jowell on 21 November 2006 was £570m, of which the combined staffing, accommodation and IT costs of the ODA and its delivery partner CLM was £476m.

But neither the ODA nor DCMS could confirm how much of the £476m was expected to be spent on IT.

In a new report, the National Audit Office has offered a further breakdown of the £570m sum.

It gives a figure of £132m “for IT, rent, other property, communications, and other overheads”, plus a relatively small amount for planning development control covering the ODA’s planning authority function.

ODA staff costs and the costs of the delivery partner CLM will amount to £344m, while £94m will be pumped into on-site logistics, including facilities for thousands of construction workers.

The DCMS has promised a full breakdown of the costs showing the ODA’s IT budget “when the official accounts are published”.

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