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Departmental Consultants

Volume 496: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) how much (a) the Olympic Delivery Authority and (b) her Office spent on consultancy fees in (i) 2007-08 and (ii) 2008-09; (274955)

(2) when she plans to answer Question 274955, tabled by the hon. Member for South-West Surrey on 7 May 2009, on consultancy fees.

[holding answer 12 May 2009]: The procurement of consultancy services by both Government Olympic Executive (GOE) and Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is a planned response to the need to deliver the Government’s commitments and guarantees to deliver the London 2012 games on time and within a budget of £9.325 billion.

The consultants provide valuable short term support or key specialist skills and expertise not otherwise readily available.

The use of consultants has enabled us to make excellent progress across the many facets of the Olympic programme and in particular in the construction of the Olympic venues and development of legacy planning. As well as rapid progress we have seen significant savings across the venues and infrastructure construction programme, whose anticipated final cost fell by £179 million from £7,413 million when we published the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games annual report in January 2009 to £7,234 million when we published our quarterly economic report in May 2009.

As the International Olympic Committee recently recognised, inputs such as these are continuing to transform the lower Lea valley and provide a lasting legacy for the people of London and the UK.

Spending by the Olympic Delivery Authority on consultancy fees reduced from £19.8 million (3.7 per cent. of total ODA spend) in 2007-08 to £16 million (1.2 per cent.) in 2008-09.

This reduction reflects the shift from the planning, design and preparation phase of the programme, where consultancy costs are traditionally concentrated, to the development phase.

Spending by the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) on consultancy was £0.4 million in 2007-08 and £0.3 million in 2008-09, 4.6 per cent. and 3.4 per cent. respectively of GOE’s total budget.