'Face of Olympic village' resigns, auditors probe work practices, ODA credit checks suppliers

Nigel Hugill, chair of Lend Lease Europe and face of the company's 2012 Olympic village project, has resigned. He leaves the role in December and will not be replaced.

This is the latest in a series of blows for the project, which is facing a £400m funding shortfall and has had to reduce capacity from 4,200 rooms to 3,000 to cut costs, reports Building magazine.

Contract Journal writes that auditors from KPMG have been asked to investigate construction working practices on the 2012 games after unions alleged that contractors have not followed employment terms and conditions agreed with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Main groundworks contractor Nuttall has instructed KPMG to lead the probe, which will focus on working practices and conditions and how labour is recruited on site.

It seems the impact of the credit crunch has also spread to the Olympics site, with news that the ODA is now carrying out credit checks on its suppliers.

In an interview with Building, ODA chief executive David Higgins said: 'Subcontractors are obviously a concern. We do our own credit checks to make sure we're not too exposed to companies...We haven't introduced new criteria, but we are monitoring our exposure to individual contractors very closely.'

Finally, five contractors have made the shortlist to upgrade Dorney Lake for 2012 rowing events. They are: Morrison, Carillion, Edmund Nuttall, Norwest Holst and Balfour Beatty. The contract for works is due to be awarded in early 2009, with work starting on site later in the year.