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ODA boss makes £29,000 expense claim

Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) construction director Howard Shiplee seems to be the man left picking up the tab at corporate functions according to revelations last week about the organisation's business expenses.

Shiplee put in a bill for £29,000 over the last two years, with his biggest outlay being £1,200 for a dinner at Somerset House for JCB employees.

In contrast a big bill for his chairman John Armitt was £230 for a lunch with a BBC journalist and an MP.

Shiplee’s JCB dinner was a thank you to the plant manufacturer for helping establish a plant drivers' training facility at the Olympic Park to meet a specific skills shortage.

"Entertainment is an important part of building relationships," an ODA spokesman said. "Howard Shiplee's expenditure with JCB was a meal for 19 people who helped establish a training school on the Olympic Park and provided £800,000 worth of brand new equipment to be used for training, free of charge."

Overall ODA employees have claimed expenses worth £109,307 over two years.

"It should be noted, that while both the chairman and chief executive (David Higgins) are entitled to a car and driver as part of their remuneration package they do not take this up and use public transport wherever possible," said the ODA spokesman.

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