10 July 2007 | Antony Barton
Suitable incentives must be offered to London 2012 contractors to ensure the Olympic Games open on time, according to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Launching the latest PAC report, chairman Edward Leigh MP said it was "worrying" strong arrangements for monitoring progress and managing risk are not in place for the Olympic preparation.
He added if the delivery timetable slips, there is more chance of delivery organisations paying more to contractors or reducing standards to ensure the games begin on schedule.
The report is based on a PAC meeting with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which co-ordinates government involvement with the games, and the Olympic Delivery Authority.
Referring to the DCMS, Leigh said: "At the time of the bid, the department seriously underestimated the costs of the games and was far too optimistic about the extent of private sector funding. The truth is that the government is financially exposed."
Tessa Jowell, the DCMS secretary of state, announced a revised Olympic budget of over £9 billion in March. This is almost four times the £2.4 billion estimate when London's bid succeeded in 2005.
Leigh also said there were no plans to ensure Olympic facilities will meet the needs of users after the games.