ODA denies 'gagging' suppliers

3 February 2009

03 February 2009

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has rubbished claims that its confidentiality agreements with suppliers amount to "gagging orders" preventing them discussing details of ongoing work.

It follows a report by BBC London alleging Olympic construction vendors were expected to sign "draconian" terms that stopped them disclosing details of building projects for six years.

By agreeing, the BBC said, suppliers were prohibited from talking publicly about venue costs, technical plans, environmental issues and health and safety measures.It also claimed the contract enabled the ODA to search a supplier's premises and emails if it suspected a leak of information.

The ODA strongly denied the claims. A spokesman for the organisation said it was normal practice to insert confidentiality agreements into contracts with suppliers.

"As with any company or public body, ODA contractors sign a confidentiality agreement covering sensitive information, including security and commercial data which is vital to the success of the project."

By law, vendors also have to report serious accidents to the Health and Safety Executive, so the information is publicly available, it said.

SMfeb2009

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