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Government seeks another chief to lead Olympics

News

A YEAR after government recruited the best big projects man it could find to run the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) it is now hunting for another 'world class' person to act as his client.

The Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) this week began advertising for a director general for the government's Olympic Executive to act as a 'strong and intelligent client within government' for the London 2012 Games.

The right person, says the candidate profile, 'will have been the client or lead director for large, complex infrastructure projects with multiple stakeholders? Delivered within scope and to time and to budget.' This bears a remarkable similarity to the person specifi ation for the ODA chief executive when DCMS trawled the world 16 months ago and selected David Higgins for the role. It wanted someone with 'an incontestable track record of achievement in the procurement and delivery of complex, highly renowned, multi-million pound projects? against tight deadlines and budget'.

The new appointment, expected to be confirmed in March, will further muddy the waters over who is actually leading the delivery of London's Games, if anyone. It also signals the end of the original DCMS intention 'to allow the ODA considerable autonomy to deliver the Games infrastructure on time and to budget' (NCE 22 September 2005).

The new director general 'will be responsible within government for the progress of construction and other aspects of the Games, and providing challenging, but supportive oversight of key delivery bodies'.

ODA had no comment to make on the creation of an Olympic director general. 'That is for the DCMS, ' said a spokesman.

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