Andrew Lean becomes Olympic co-ordinator for the civil service, as ODPM undergoes wide-ranging shake-up.

Andrew Lean, the ODPM’s finance director, has been made the civil service’s Olympic tsar, Building can reveal.

The news was revealed in an internal memo that also discloses a wide-ranging shake-up at the ODPM. This will include a beefed-up role for Richard McCarthy, whose Sustainable Communities Group is responsible for pushing through the ODPM’s housing growth plans.

In the memo, sent to ODPM staff on Tuesday, permanent secretary Peter Housden said Lean would leave at the end of the year to take up the post of director of the Olympic Games unit in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Lean’s Olympic role, according to the DCMS’ job specification, will be to ensure that there are effective project and programme management arrangements in place for the Games. He will be the government sponsor of the Olympic Delivery Authority, which will manage the building of the key Olympic venues, facilities and infrastructure.

In his memo, Housden said Lean had successfully streamlined the ODPM’s financial management and had helped improve the department’s budgeting and spending. Lean will be replaced by Clive Norris from the ODPM’s fire directorate.

The shake-up at the ODPM will be seen as confirmation that communities minister David Miliband and Housden, his recently appointed ally, have stamped their authority on what is ostensibly John Prescott’s department.

The most significant change concerns the Sustainable Communities Group, which will take responsibility for regional economic development and European structural funds, and be renamed Places, Planning and Communities Group.

These greater economic responsibilities will help McCarthy to get the funding he requires to pay for the infrastructure and regeneration schemes in the housing growth areas.

Housden hinted strongly that this was a result of Miliband’s decision earlier this year to revamp the ODPM. He said: “The summer’s ministerial stocktake gave the ODPM an unambiguous focus on sustainable communities as our common task.”