I am making a
call for the government to set up a public access database showing the costs of
Britain hosting of the Olympic Games in 2012.
I am going to
write to Tessa Jowell, outlining why I believe that the only way she can
possibly gain public support for taxes to be used to pay for this, is if the
public have complete faith that the money being spent is being used properly.
One of the
problems is that the public don’t believe that government is capable of
handling such a large project, and costs have risen on almost a weekly basis.
The latest shock
use of our money is a £400 million charge for a “delivery partner to
exercise cost control”.
Every penny of
the costs involved in our nation hosting these Olympic games should be open to
public scrutiny. Not after the event,
but during the planning, building and delivery of all of the Olympic
facilities, including any ‘consultants fees’.
must be made available, clearly showing spend to date, contracts awarded, cross
referenced to those contracts, consultants fees, cross referenced to the
consultants, their contracts and what is expected of them, and where ‘incidental
costs’ are shown, a full breakdown of those costs and who receives them.
must be kept up to date in real time, so that we can see the spend as it
Not a single part
of this Database must be allowed to be exempt from the Freedom of Information
Act, it must be totally transparent showing absolutely everything.
Only then will
the British public feel that this government and its ministers does not have
its fingers in this part of the public pie, either directly or indirectly.
We must also
insist that contracts being drawn up with suppliers for this monumental project
must include ‘fixed price’ clauses which include no amendments availability for
inflation. They should have made
allowance for inflation in their original bid, like any other businessman.
not be allowed to bid low to win the contract, knowing that they can make up
the money with change requests. This is
the norm for government IT projects, and must not be allowed during the Olympic
Severe financial penalties
must be included to deter Contractors bidding, knowing that they cannot fulfil
those contracts without asking for extra funds.
We must also
insist that failure to meet gateway reviews will result in the contract with
that particular supplier being cancelled, not renewed as is the case with the MoD
contract for the MoD's defence Information Infrastructure (DII) project.
By spending vast
amounts on hiring consultants to manage your cost controls, you are admitting that
government is not fit for purpose. By initiating a database of this kind, you
wont have to spend £400 million on cost control, the public will do that for
If the government
wants to build databases, this is the kind of database that we want to see, and
display true open government. If you