Conclusions and recommendations |
1. The £9.298 billion Public Sector Funding
Package is set to be underspent by £377 million, but there
is no comprehensive picture that includes all of the wider costs
associated with delivering the Games and their legacy.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the Department) has
always reported against costs covered by the Public Sector Funding
Package, but this does not include other public sector costs associated
with the Games and legacy. We welcome the Department's written
explanation of the costs outside the Funding Package. In its formal
response to this report the Department should set out its plans
for how it will publicly report the wider costs, and how it will
take account of the associated public sector costs in any evaluation
of benefits secured from the Games.
2. Venue security was a sorry episodepoor
planning, and then poor delivery by the private sector.
The scale of the requirement for venue security was vastly underestimated,
and the estimated costover £500 million at the time
of our hearingcould only be met from the Public Sector
Funding Package due to underspends elsewhere. In the event, G4S
failed to provide the full number of guards required, and has
paid a price for that failure. The Home Office should capture
and share the lessons from the letting and delivery of the security
contract to prevent such a failure happening again, focusing on
the importance of taking early and timely decisions, developing
a full understanding of capabilities, capacity and costs, and
ensuring adequate public transparency around any settlements.
3. It is important for public confidence that
the full legacy is delivered and the whole of government shares
this responsibility. Many central and
local government organisations have responsibility for projects
in the legacy programme, and the Cabinet Office is now responsible
for coordinating and assuring delivery of the legacy as a whole.
The Cabinet Office should report publically at the end of September
2013, and each year thereafter for the rest of the decade, on
progress with implementing legacy commitments.
4. The Cabinet Office risks missing the boat
on capitalising on the success of the volunteering programme.
The volunteers at the Games did a fantastic
job and LOCOG is to be congratulated for organising the volunteering
programme so effectively. We were told about programmes
to support local sports clubs and their effective use of volunteers,
and about the work of the Join In Trust to encourage volunteering
more widely. But we are not convinced that as much as possible
is being done to build a lasting volunteering legacy. The Cabinet
Office should publish a strategy for how it will build a lasting
volunteering legacy both within sport and beyond, including measures
5. In the early days of competition there
were unused accredited seats which could have been sold to the
public. While we recognise the need for
some accredited seats, the 12%-15% set aside proved to be excessive
and the empty seats added to the disappointment of those who could
not buy tickets for sold out events. Each empty seat also represented
revenue foregone. Learning from this experience, the government,
possibly alongside other governments and event organisers, should
challenge the demands of international sports bodies and media
organisations for large numbers of accredited seats.
6. We are not convinced that the Lottery and
Exchequer interests in securing financial returns from development
of the Olympic Park will be sufficiently protected by the existing
arrangements. The diversion of funds away
from lottery good causes to the Public Sector Funding Package
for the Games is meant to be offset by them sharing in future
returns from development of the Olympic Park site. But lottery
bodies are not involved in decisions about the timing and value
of sales, which will be made by the London Legacy Development
Corporation (a mayoral body) over the next two decades. On current
projections the Development Corporation predicts that the first
payment to the Lottery will not be until the mid-2020s. The government
should develop a mechanism to ensure that the London Legacy Development
Corporation's decisions are transparent, that decisions prioritise
the interests of the Lottery, and that returns to the Lottery
are closely tracked over the years to come.
7. There is a real opportunity for other projects
to benefit from the experience and skills gained in delivering
the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The
lessons include those already set out by the Olympic Delivery
Authority and by the NAO in its most recent report, and include
areas where we have seen weaknesses in other public sector projects.
Of particular importance in our view are the benefits of: investment
in up-front planning; designing bespoke delivery models; getting
the right people; continuity of senior staff; strict project and
risk management; and tight financial control. The government now
has the Major Projects Authority to lead on best practice, but
must not passively rely on the Major Projects Authority as the
answer to its problems. The government should formalise the collation
and dissemination of lessons from the Games to aid delivery of
other major projects, and make it a priority to deploy people
in roles that use their experience and skills gained from involvement
in the Games.