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Anorak | What’s caused the London Olympics security bill rise?

What’s caused the London Olympics security bill rise?

by | 27th, April 2012

SO. Why has the security bil for the London Olympics rocketed? It’s yet another example of how the costs for the Olympics keep spiralling upwards. Sadly it’s too late to phone Paris and ask if they’d really still like to have them:

Earlier this year the number of security guards required for the Games increased from 10,000 to 23,500 at an additional cost of £271 million.

Elements of the main contract with private security provider G4S have ballooned by up to seven times. At a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday the most senior civil servant in the Department for Culture Media and Sport, Jonathan Stephens, was taken to task for agreeing the new contract.

There are two good answers to how this happened.

The first is that government is just shite at buying things. Partly because when you’re spending other peoples’ money not your own you don’t pay all that much attention to how much you’re spending. But also because they put entirely the wrong people in charge of doing the spending.

G4S would have a team of people who do nothing all their lives but negotiate contracts in there. The government has an expert in bureaucracy on their side of the table. And who do you think is going to win that sort of contract negotiation?

Yes, quite.

The other reason such contracts always balloon in costs is because the politicians always, but always, lie about the costs at the beginning. These games were supposed to cost somewhere between £2 and £3 billion. We only had to wait a matter of weeks after “winning” the right to hold them to be told that of course that was a lie, don’t be silly, of course it will cost far more than that. We just low balled the numbers otherwise you wouldn’t have wanted to have them.

So that’s why government costs so much: the politicians are liars and the civil servants don’t know what the fuck they’re doing.



Posted: 27th, April 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink