Posts Tagged ‘Jon Ungoed-Thomas’

Gifts for Olympic bureaucrats

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

An investigation I’ve been doing into the Olympic Delivery Authority resulted in a story in today’s Sunday Times.

Olympic chiefs take contractors’ junkets

Jon Ungoed-Thomas, October 14, 2007

SENIOR executives responsible for building London’s 2012 Olympic venues have accepted junkets and expensive hospitality from companies to whom they have awarded contracts worth millions of pounds.

Officials on the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have received theatre tickets, seats at rugby matches and days at the races worth thousands of pounds from firms that have received or are bidding for work.

The ODA disclosed the details after months of pressure from the Open Society Institute (OSI), using freedom of information laws. But it gave OSI researchers only 90 minutes to view hundreds documents, would not allow copies to be made and is now refusing to let anyone else see the names of the officials.

The list shows City legal firms, construction businesses and consultancies are among those courting the key executives as they vie for a share of the £9 billion Olympic budget.

Junkets include days out at Ascot, free tickets to international and cup rugby matches at Twickenham, the last night of the Proms at the Albert Hall, the Stella Artois tennis tournament and dinner at Claridge’s.

Sue Kershaw, head of project management at the ODA, accepted a ticket to the Proms in August 2006 from Costain, one of Britain’s leading construction companies which is bidding for Olympic work. The next month she and her husband accepted invitations from Costain’s business development manager to go to the last night of the Proms.