Key members of the procurement team charged with selecting a delivery partner for the London 2012 Olympics have been moved to a "secure" location.
With less than a fortnight to go before the shortlist for the contract is announced, staff have been transferred to a new central London address in order to remove the risk of external influences affecting their decision making process.
As reported by supplymanagement.com in February, the bulk of the project management of the event is to be outsourced to a delivery partner. This partner will be responsible for the infrastructure within the Olympic Park and the legacy of developments associated with the games in the East End.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which is charged with creating the infrastructure for the games and is choosing the partner to do so, said more than 60 companies have expressed interest, including some of the biggest global names in construction.
The ODA told supplymanagement.com that while it does not anticipate any problems occurring at its offices, purchasers working on the deal have been moved to pre-empt any difficulties.
David Higgins, ODA chief executive, said in a statement: "We have in place a selection process that is rigorous and copper-bottomed in its integrity."
A spokesman added: "We want to make sure the process is completely impartial. We decided to deal outside our main offices to add an extra layer of security."
In addition, external procurement experts have been drafted in to support the team in drawing up a shortlist.
"It will be a big job to go through all the applications, so we are taking an extra layer of advice," the ODA said.
The contract, which will be awarded this summer, is expected to be the largest of its kind awarded in Europe this year.