ODA and Locog lock horns over ‘£90m’ cost of running facilities between completion and Games
A debate has broken out between the body building the Olympic park and the organisation charged with running the Games over the cost of managing the venues after they are built.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is on course to finish building the bulk of the venues a year in advance of the Games, in time to run test and community events.
However, sources close to the programme have said neither the ODA nor the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), which is charged with running the event, have any budget for the management of facilities, upkeep and security of the park for that period.
The full cost of upkeep is not known, but one source suggested it was in the region of £80-90m.
A second source said: “Locog and the ODA have caused a problem by being ready before they strictly need to be – and there’s never been a budget for management and upkeep. It’s an unheard-of problem, but I can’t imagine ODA chief executive David Higgins for a minute wants to slow down construction, because he has pledged to get the park open to the community.”
The ODA denied there was no budget for the services but admitted discussions were taking place about who will manage the park after it is finished.
A spokesperson said: “The government, Locog, the ODA, the Olympic Park Legacy Company and Olympic Security Directorate are discussing what activities need to be undertaken and who should be responsible for them.”
Sources said the Metropolitan Police were opposed to opening the park for community events before the Games. The source said: “The Met are worried about security risks.”
A Met spokesperson said: “Discussions are ongoing as further detail emerges. We’re confident we’ll resolve matters.”
It is also understood that bidders for remaining work on Olympic projects, such as the athletes’ village, are being asked to prove they have a facilities management capability in case negotiations leave the ODA responsible for upkeep.
The future of the park after the Games was also debated last week. The body in charge of redevelopment after the event is fighting to have the £1.1bn cost of buying the Olympic site passed on to central government.