NAO Report Reveals Two 2012 Venue Deadlines are Tight

February 17, 2011

According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), Britain’s spending watchdog, construction of all the main London 2012 Olympic venues is on track, but the deadlines for the Aquatics Centre and part of the Athletes’ Village are becoming tight.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is currently on track to meet its budget and construction targets, with all 24 main infrastructure and venue projects due to be handed over to London 2012 for testing on or ahead of schedule.

5 of the 24 have already been finished, though construction on the Zaha Hadid-designed aquatics centre has slipped by two months to June 2011 because of complications with its wave-shaped roof. Additionally, two of the 11 residential blocks in the athletes’ village have taken 15 weeks longer than planned.

Despite the construction progress being on track, the NAO continued to express concern about London 2012 finances with question marks still surround funding for some projects.

The overall cost to the public purse of security during the Games has increased well over US$1bn from $967.85m to $1.22bn. 

This is mainly because the Government has now agreed to provide $454.9m from the $15bn Public Sector Funding Package for work to secure the perimeter of the Olympic Park and venues during the Games, offset by expenditure on wider security and policing which is now forecast to be $201.6m less than it was in March 2007, the report said.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, stated: “Good progress is being made in the preparations for the 2012 London Games which will begin in 17 months.

“All construction and infrastructure projects are forecast to be completed on time, albeit in two cases with little room to spare before the deadline for handover to LOCOG, the Games organiser, and operational planning has improved.

“However, the final cost of the Games to the taxpayer is inherently uncertain and as the Games near there will be less flexibility to make savings in response to any unforeseen financial pressures.”