Preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games - Public Accounts Committee Contents

4  The Legacy

11.  In our March report we identified two particular areas of concern relating to the legacy from the Games. One concern was that although ministers had not adopted the previous Government's target of achieving one million more participants in sport by 2013, only 109,000 new people were regularly participating in sport despite £450 million spent, and that this represents poor value for money. In June 2012 Sport England announced that number of people playing sport three times a week increased by 350,000 between October 2011 and April 2012, still well short of the original target.[2]

12.  The Government's response to our report was that no Host City had been able to increase participation on the back of an Olympic Games, which calls into question the basis on which the original clear commitment was made.[3] We note, however, that there is to be a stricter payment by results regime for any further spending on sports participation.

13.  We have the wider concern that it is not clear who will be accountable to Parliament for the delivery and co-ordination of the promised Olympic legacy after the Games. On being pressed for clarification the Department has now told us that where legacy is the responsibility of a government department the respective accounting officer will be accountable to Parliament in the normal way. In addition, where legacy is a matter for the Greater London Authority, as in the case of the work of the London Legacy Development Corporation (which has taken over the functions of the Olympic Park Legacy Company), the Mayor will be accountable to the London Assembly.

14.  We also note that, the Department for Communities and Local Government's settlement letter for the Greater London Authority includes a 'statement of expectations' about Authority's capacity and strategic outcomes which covers the transfer of assets to London Legacy Development Corporation. We understand that the Department for Communities and Local Government is also developing a system accountability statement for the Greater London Authority to accompany the settlement letter.

15.  In addition, the Accounting Officer for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the lead Department for the Games, has told the Committee that he will continue to answer to the Committee for the Olympics programme as a whole. We welcome this assurance.

2   Sport England press release, Surge in sports participation as London 2012 Games draw near, June 22 2012  Back

3   Treasury Minute on the Seventy-Fourth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts: Session 2010-12, CM 8347, April 2012 Back

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© Parliamentary copyright 2012
Prepared 19 July 2012