05 November 2009 | Rebecca Ellinor
The CPO of London's Olympic organising committee hopes the legacy of its work with suppliers will be that British businesses are "fitter and more competent".
Gerry Walsh, recently appointed CPO at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), was speaking to SM
ahead of the 1,000-day countdown to the start of the event. He is in no doubt about the scale of his task. "It's like 20 World Cups, with 26 events [sports] in the Olympics and 20 or so in the Paralympics, massive audiences attending and four billion viewers around the world. There are some significant challenges. Next year is the big year, but that's really starting now," he said. This includes buying more than one million items of sports equipment, arranging catering, cleaning, waste, transport and security deals. How the games are remembered in years to come in part depends on Walsh's team securing all these contracts to schedule and budget. But he hopes the procurement legacy of the Olympics will go beyond the organisers themselves to the companies that have become part of the supply chain. "Come 2012, in many instances the relationship with our suppliers terminates. However, the great thing potentially for suppliers to us is that we can help them become fitter and more competent to the point where they could then supply to the next Olympics in Rio. I think we'll be making British industry more capable and more competent." The organisers of the games yesterday announced that they are putting £700 million of contracts out to tender. The eight categories are facilities management and catering; production services for ceremonies; security; services; sports; technology; transport and logistics; and venues and venue logistics.
Most of Locog's procurement will go through the website CompeteFor, which matches potential suppliers with games-related business opportunities.