The arts will play a crucial role in the cultural events supporting the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Cultural Olympiad will begin in 2008, offering an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the range of high class and diverse art from across the UK.
I have seen a copy of this report and I endorse the London Assembly's recognition of the importance of ensuring that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are equipped to benefit from the many opportunities that the 2012 Games will bring. Small businesses across the value chain, in a wide variety of sectors and throughout the nations and regions, have much to gain from the commercial opportunities arising from the Games. The Government are determined to maximise those opportunities both for SMEs and British business as a whole. All the Olympic partners and stakeholders are working together to identify the best model to achieve this, taking into account best practice from previous host cities.
The Government Olympic Executive (GOE) has been set up within DCMS to co-ordinate Government input into the 2012 games. The Executive acts as a link between Departments on the one hand and LOCOG (London Organising Committee) and the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) on the other. The GOE works closely with all Departments through the Inter-Departmental Steering Group (senior officials responsible for Olympic related activity in Departments), supported by Departmental Olympic Co-ordinators who handle the day-to-day liaison. Through these groups the GOE is ensuring a joined up inter-Departmental approach to delivering the benefits and legacy of the 2012 games.
[holding answer 25 May 2006]: Arrangements were agreed before the May 2005 general election in respect of the London 2012 bid. The principle of cross-party working still applies and is an important element of the success to date. I am committed to continuing to work openly and constructively with all parties in delivering the 2012 Games, and we have a series of working arrangements in place to ensure this happens.