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The journey starts here

Comment

After the publication of the site masterplan and the delivery timetable for the Olympic Park, we announced the third key building block for 2012 last Wednesday. The CLM Consortium was appointed preferred bidder for the role of delivery partner.

This four-month procurement process has been rigorous and detailed, not only for the ODA's senior team and the four bidders, but for the wider in-house and consultant teams working on the project. The process involved written tenders, team simulation exercises and oral presentations from all four bidders: CLM, Legacy, G3 and Bechtel.

There was also independent oversight of the tender process at every stage to ensure its integrity. It has been definitely worth all the hard work, though, as our thorough assessment has, I believe, led us to the right appointment.

CLM was assessed as the winner against technical and commercial criteria and on its 'cultural t' with the ODA.

CLM combines the best of British industry with one of the world's largest engineering firms.

We are currently within the 10 working day Alcatel - or 'standstill' - period that gives unsuccessful bidders the opportunity to challenge the decision. If this period is concluded successfully, we will be signing a formal contract with CLM soon, and its initial team should be in our offices shortly after that.

Six members of CLM have competed in sport at national or Olympic level, so we hope it will be quick off the blocks!

I have already held several meetings with the leaders of CLM, and will be working out mobilisation plans and initial priorities when the Alcatel period has concluded. We will be agreeing an initial 90 day plan, including the setting of initial key performance indicators. As we have made clear, pro is very closely tied to performance, and targets will be challenging but achievable.

CLM made a signicant commitment to staffing the bid and keeping key personnel available. The consortium will undoubtedly have an important role, but the ODA is not contracting out its responsibilities to CLM. The ODA will remain the contracting authority and retain control of all the approval and decisionmaking processes.

What CLM will do is play a key role in helping ensure the delivery happens smoothly, in plenty of time for the Games, and to ODA specications.

The ODA is going to be a relatively small organisation, and we need major resources behind us to pull expertise in and out.

We anticipate that at peak the CLM team will be around 150-200 strong. One thing is clear though. We are not going to manage CLM at arms length.

It will be our partner on the challenging road to 2012.

To appoint the Delivery Partner, we utilised the relatively new 'competitive dialogue' procedure, allowing us to enter into an open dialogue with bidders, which has been very beneficial. We want this open dialogue to continue.

I believe we have made a good start to what is a project of huge size and complexity.

We have the masterplan agreed and we are moving in to venue and infrastructure design and planning. There are big challenges ahead. We now have a world class Delivery Partner to help us meet them.

David Higgins is chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority

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