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Olympic planners left IT out of the budget

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The government failed to account for the costs of IT when putting together its budget for the 2012 Olympic Games, according to the bean counter watchdogs of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

In its 39th report, the PAC said the Olympic Delivery Authority had neglected to include additional costs of £400m, which would cover "IT and site mobilisation and the costs of the CLM Consortium", a project management group appointed by the Olympic Delivery Authority to help it get everything in on time.

This £400m oversight was part of a £900m increase in the total budget for the Olympic Park, announced in 2006. The PAC says the massive underestimate was a result of using the costs of an "urban development corporation" as a benchmark for the running costs of the Olympic Delivery Authority. And they say private sector isn't leaner than public.

The report also found the authority has "seriously overestimated" the amount of private sector funding it was likely to receive. Planners budgeted for £738m of private sector funding, but it turned out that there was not enough time to negotiate the necessary contracts, so the money is unlikely to materialise.

The games were originally expected to cost around £2bn. That figure has since risen to £9bn. And although they managed a £400m tech-related oversight, at least planners managed to get the London Olympic logo in on time and looking just fabulous. ®

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