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OLYMPICS officials have spent £1.7million of taxpayers’ money on office furniture for 2012

Sunday 24 May 2009

According to today’s Daily Express, the spending spree was revealed in a parliamentary written answer last week as the 80,000-capacity Olympic stadium in east London takes shape. It is already emerging as a major London landmark.
Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: “As a new organisation established in 2006, the Olympic Delivery Authority purchased furniture for its offices in Canary Wharf and Stratford at a total cost of £1.7million.”
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is responsible for ensuring the completion of sporting venues, establishing the necessary infrastructure for the success of the event and providing a lasting legacy for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Games will eventually feature 26 Olympic sports in 34 venues, 20 Paralympic sports in 21 venues, cater for 10,500 Olympic athletes and 4,200 Paralympic athletes, 20,000 press and media and sell more than nine million tickets.
The ambitious project is currently on schedule and on budget, despite the economic recession. In total, £496million has already been used from the £2billion contingency fund set aside for the entire project.
The media centre alone will cost the taxpayer £355million. The National Lottery is contributing funds of some £2.2billion.
An ODA spokesman said of its £1.7million office furniture bill: “As a start-up organisation in 2006 the ODA had to fully fit out offices in Canary Wharf and Stratford to ensure our staff could hit the ground running in delivering the biggest construction project in Europe.
“It is also the UK’s biggest peace-time logistics operation.
“The furniture was bought in bulk at a discount from UK-based suppliers and includes individual workstations for more than 1,000 staff as well as wider storage, some specialised for planning purposes, and meeting room facilities.”
Yet when the ODA winds down as it completes its remit, it says that none of the office expenditure will go to waste as it will eventually be used by another organisation.
The ODA spokesman said: “A cost-sharing arrangement is in place with the privately-funded London Organising Committee (LOCOG) that will see them utilising this furniture as their organisation grows and the number of staff at the ODA reduces.”

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