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Minister forced to defend Olympic shortlist secrecy

SPORTS MINISTER Richard Caborn last week defended the London Development Agency's (LDA) right to keep secret shortlists for Olympic construction work.

But he was immediately criticised for failing to make clear the criteria for deciding what information should be withheld from the public.

'I will not ask the LDA to publish shortlists in all cases, as on occasion this may hinder open and effective competition, ' said Caborn in response to a question tabled by backbench Labour MP Clive Betts. 'A caseby-case judgment will need to be made, ' he said.

Betts, a member of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister select committee, had questioned the lack of transparency in the LDA's procurement programme for the London 2012 Games (NCE last week).

He said he was not satisfied with Caborn's response. 'I would like to know the criteria on which he [Caborn] makes a case-bycase judgement.' Betts said he would challenge Caborn with a further parliamentary question.

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