Public believes Olympics will run over budget

22 May 2007
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23 May 2007 | Antony Barton

Almost two thirds of the British public say the Olympic site will exceed the current budget, with over half blaming poor project management.

A survey of 413 people conducted last month reveals 62 per cent are certain the site will exceed the budget, while an extra 27 per cent lack confidence that costs will be kept.

The budget for the 2012 London Olympics increased to £9.35 billion in March, nearly four times the £2.4 billion estimate given when the bid succeeded two years ago. Construction is budgeted at £5.3 billion.

More than half (52 per cent) of respondents say poor project management is the single biggest reason for escalation in costs. Some 70 per cent say a head contractor should be appointed on a fixed-price contract to prevent further public liability.

Professor Eddie Obeng, director of management consultancy Pentacle, who conducted the survey, said the Millennium Dome and Wembley projects have dented confidence in large public undertakings.

He added: "Wanting accountability is natural and having a central figure feels more reassuring. The irony, of course, is that this is ludicrous. We know from Wembley that head contractors simply bring huge delays."

Despite cost concerns, two-thirds of the public think the government made the right decision in backing the bid.


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