Ministers urged to publish ODA chair’s critique of Olympic marketing rules for non-sponsors
The government has been accused of dragging its heels in the race to capitalise on the Olympic construction success by taking several months to publish a legacy report by Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman Sir John Armitt.
In February, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt who commissioned the report heralded it as a “blueprint for future British construction success”, which would help UK firms land lucrative contracts around the world thanks to their “on-time-on-budget” achievement.
However, although the report is understood to have been submitted in early April, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has now told Labour counterpart Tessa Jowell that it will be published “ahead of the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House”, which does not begin until the end of July.
The report is expected to back industry calls for a relaxation of the No Marketing Rights Protocol, which is enforced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) an organisation which will cease to exist after the Games.
Jowell who submitted the parliamentary question answered by Robertson last week was joined by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna in criticising the response.
“I see no good reason why the government would delay publishing,” Jowell said. “The next two months will be crucial to ensuring businesses reap the most they can from the Olympics coming to the UK.”
Umunna who added his support to Buildings wider 2012 campaign said the government should publish Armitts report “without delay”.
“Businesses in Britain have undertaken a hugely impressive job in getting the Olympics ready on time so we can put on a world class sporting and cultural event,” he said.
“We should be talking up and celebrating what businesses have achieved, particularly the success of the construction industry.”
New London Architecture chairman Peter Murray who has pushed for reform of the 2012 marketing rules since January called the publication timetable for the report “ridiculous”.
“To wait until the end of July is like firing the starting pistol after the race is over,” he said.
Announcing Armitts report in February, Hunt said: “We need to ensure that the companies who built the Olympic Park, and others, learn from the experience of London 2012.”
“I hope the report will pave the way for British businesses after 2012 and help secure a long term economic legacy for UK plc.”
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport declined to comment.