Olympics on track

31 January 2011

1 February 2011 | Angeline Albert

Buyers at the Olympic Delivery Authority will have completed most of their work by the end of this year, according to the deputy head of procurement, John Fernau.

The ODA, which is responsible for the delivery of London’s Olympic venues and infrastructure, has slimmed down its buying team from around 100 to 10. Fernau said this reduction reflects that most of its purchasing has been completed.

From next year, a core team of procurement professionals will be available to handle issues that may arise with suppliers, he said. Some ODA buyers have already been transferred to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), which manages operational requirements.

Fernau, who took up his current role in October 2006, said: “Our last construction milestone ends this summer, when we will have completed the main venues.”

Most of the tendering was done at the end of 2006 and early 2007. Fernau said that “fixed delivery deadlines and the time needed for the procurement process had forced buyers to go to market early”.

Early procurement meant that if the ODA changed its specifications, he said, suppliers would be less able to put up prices in order to meet set deadlines.

The use of target price contracts, which could change with the specification, “gave suppliers an incentive to be more efficient and deliver under the target price or face paying towards the cost of any overspend”, he said.

“We’ve let over a thousand contracts, including about 150 major (OJEU) tenders, all without challenge [from suppliers] and within programme timescales,” he added.

 

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