A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report has raised concern over the miscalculation of the security budget at the Olympic Games. The London Organising Committee (LOCOG) has more than doubled its security allocation from 10,000 to 23,700. As a result the associated cost has risen from £282m to £553m.
This report comes only ten days after Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson told us of his confidence that the Games were, “likely to be under-budget”. Robertson has prided the Olympic project on being, “absolutely transparent”. The PAC report, therefore shows a concerning number of inconsistencies with official government figures. The most important issue being the overall cost of the Games, fixed since 2007 at around £9bn. Margaret Hodge, Chair of the PAC has questioned that figure:
“Taking into account costs outside the package, the full cost to the public of the Games and legacy projects is already heading for around £11bn.”
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport are keen to reassure us that the Olympics are running under budget, if anything. A spokesman for the department said.
“With 140 days to go until the Olympic Games, we are on time and under budget with over £500m worth of uncommitted contingency remaining.”
The DCMS went on to claim that they do not recognise the £11m figure and insist that they have always been transparent about the budget. However, there will surely be concern within the department as to how the PAC came to such a different figure to that published by the government.