Monday, June 12, 2006

Olympics Update

Legacy of Doom

The 2012 Olympics remains well on course for financial disaster (see here for cost primer).

Set aside the fact that our "Olympic heroes" are about to be relegated from the top division of European athletics. Much more concerning is the fact that Lord Coe's merry band have not yet agreed what they want. Those grandiose computer simulations have already been heavily revised:
  • The main site has been downsized. Lord Coe says the latest plans will give us "a compact and exciting site": ie they're now trying to squeeze it into the carpark behind Stratford Costcutter
  • The journo centre is being moved out to some distant and dodgy corner of Hackney: they won't like that
  • The volleyball is being shipped out completely: other sports will doubtless follow

Meanwhile, we're all finding out how those much touted "fixed price" contracts actually work. Over-running, over-budget Wembley was supposedly fixed price, but constructors Multiplex are now claiming up to £150m from Wembley National Stadium Ltd for additional costs they incurred from WNSL's many flip-flops on the spec. And the NHS is discovering their IT contractors are making similar demands in connection with the meltdown on the supercomputer.

The Paddington Health Campus fiasco shows what can happen when quangocrats can't agree what they want. That resulted in the whole thing falling years behind schedule and finally being abandoned. Alas, that won't be an option in 2012.

Keep those cheque books handy.

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