British consultants hoping to win 2012 Games project management job say overseas firms should not win.

British consultants hoping to project-manage the construction of London’s Olympic masterplan have expressed disquiet that several foreign firms are bidding for the contract.

The London Development Agency has recently published an Official Journal notice to recruit a consultant to look after the whole of the Olympic site should the capital’s bid be successful. The LDA is also looking for a designer for the Olympic stadium, which is to be located in the lower Lea Valley in east London.

Mace is currently working for the LDA overseeing construction programming arrangements for the 2012 bid. However, foreign-owned project management firms such as Bechtel and Fluor Daniel are expected to bid to oversee the entire construction programme, if London wins the 2012 Games. It is also understood that Bovis Lend Lease will bid for the contract.

UK-based firms looking to win the bid are unhappy that such an iconic contract for London could go to a foreign company. It is understood that behind-the-scenes negotiations are going on to promote the case for British firms, however under European Union competition rules, a public sector contract must be open to all bidders.

One senior source at a UK company said: “The bid should go to a UK company – the Olympics is a showpiece for London so it is only right that a London firm should oversee it. We will be pressing this as an issue to the powers that be.”

The LDA has posted a document on its website inviting firms to complete a pre-qualifying questionnaire. It says that the contract would come under the remit of a new body called the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Meanwhile London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, in an article written for the supplement for the Building Awards held on Tuesday night (see below), backed the industry’s ability to deliver the Games. He said Coe said: “If we are successful on 6 July, we then face our next challenge – delivering the £8bn worth of investment in new buildings, landscaping and infrastructure. That’s where you come in. Britain’s construction industry is now widely recognised as truly world-class.”

He added that the 1 million people who have formally registered their support for the bid “recognise the wider benefits the Games would bring to the UK – improved infrastructure and the regeneration of a large area of east London”.

“They can also see the wonderful legacy that would be left after the games – fantastic sports facilities in London and across the rest of the UK, thousands of affordable homes, business facilities, excellent training centres … the list goes on and on”.

The role would include: the pre-Olympic construction phase, from when the schemes receive planning permission to their completion; the Olympics Games phase, running up to 2012; and the legacy phase, when temporary facilities are transformed.

Bidders are required to respond to the questionnaire by 20 May. A winner is expected to be appointed in August and the contract will last from then until 31 December 2013.
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