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Programme managers wait on Olympic review

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A COMPREHENSIVE review of all work on the London Olympics has delayed procurement of a programme manager for construction of the Olympic park, officials said this week.

It is understood that some projects are on hold while incoming Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chief executive David Higgins and chairman Jack Lemley take stock of progress.

'At the moment there's a review of the project - as you would expect with David Higgins and Jack Lemley starting, ' said an ODA spokesman.

'The review is ongoing and is best practice on any major construction project. Time critical work including the compulsory purchase order for land requisition continues, as does power line work.' Beyond the slowed procurement of the Olympic park construction manager, other areas of the Games procurement programme are progressing.

An EDAW, Atkins and Arup team is expected to be officially awarded the design contract for the Olympic park infrastructure later this week.

NCE understands that the six shortlisted bidders for the programme management job were originally told by the London Development Agency - which began the Olympics procurement process - that they would receive tender documents before Christmas.

They were told to be ready to submit their final bids by the end of January.

But tender documents have yet to be sent and one bidder has said that it could be March before they are issued.

There is now a belief that a programme manager will not be selected until July.

Some industry sources have speculated that Lemley and Higgins want to bring programme management in-house, but this was categorically denied by the ODA.

It is believed that, among other things, the review includes a reshuffle of the Olympic Park layout. This could explain the slow pace of progress on the Aquatics centre since the winning design was chosen last February.

A source close to the Aquatics centre project said it was 'pretty much on hold', a claim that was again denied by the ODA.

'The design process for the Aquatics centre has not been put on hold. There was a meeting of the full project team last week to further progress of the design development process, ' added an ODA spokesman.

ODA chief executive David Higgins is to be one of the headline speakers at the NCE Games Briefing conference being held in London on 29 March. For more information on the conference or to register for the event go to www. gamesbriefing.co. uk.

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