back to article Olympic planners left IT out of the budget

The government failed to account for the costs of IT when putting together its budget for the 2012 Olympic Games, according to the bean counter watchdogs of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). In its 39th report, the PAC said the Olympic Delivery Authority had neglected to include additional costs of £400m, which would cover …


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  1. Danny

    this sounds like a job for the BOFH

    obviously i can wire up that place at a fraction of those costs, insiders will know where to reach me eh?

  2. John


    They forgot IT?!!?

    my f&cking god - where did they find these clowns?

    and are now looking at "redesigning" the site to save costs and bring the bill down by some of the extra 7bn its jumped up by.

    (7bn!! Golly! hey, thats my money!)

    I remember an old Jack Dee sketch saying he was glad we did not get the Olympics in the 90's because we'd only f&ck it up and make it cheap and tacky. Think Timmy Mallet with a plastic bow and arrow lighting the flame - that kind of thing.

    Why do I thing he was right? :-(

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A New Lead For Commodore?

    If English athletes are taking part then Commodore should nip in quick, this could be another sale for the VIC 20 (or Commodore Pet)?

  4. Chris Collins

    Give it to the French

    Is it too late for Paris 2012? We don't want it. Cancelled due to bad weather or something.

  5. Ash

    Cheap copper?

    Bulgarian, ex military standard.

    Maybe they could run their IT systems on TI-80 pocket calculators like Ebuyer can?

  6. CrackedButter

    Its about time

    the government over estimated their budgets then put out the news that these projects will be cheaper than they already stated, then they'll look great and somehow organised.

  7. Bill Alsbury

    Now there's a surprise

    isn't it.

    Another major success then?

  8. Harry

    ps -- is it too late

    Is it too late to call it all off? I'm sure that would be the most popular answer.

  9. Harry

    Blame it on the logo

    What more do you expect from a bunch of twits that can't even buy a logo at a sensible price?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another government project over budget?


    Do they just pluck a figure out of thin air each time a project is required?

  11. Peter Davies

    Shoddy - why isn't there public uproar regarding this?

    I vote we line up incompetent idiots that gave the job of costing "the games" to the incompetent idiots who employed some incompetent idiots to actually bring the idea of costing the games to reality, we then line up the incompetent idiots who were employed to actually cost "the games" and who employed the wholly unsuitable first year students to give them the answer.

    Then we find and break the fingers of the person or persons who has simply rolled over and barked "yes" when every foreign and uk based building and maintenance company has sucked their teeth and trebled their cost due to "unforeseen" costings. Once their fingers are broken we push them to go and live in a housing estate apartment for a year and reduce his salary to minimum wage.

    If I have some work done, I get a price and that's the price, why can't the money I give to the running of this shoddy country just use the same ethos! Instead of just playing games with gangs of quangos.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, they forgot the IT. Twunts.

    It appears that the government have a memory for IT not dissimilar to that of a strobe-lit goldfish. Maybe this is why we see the same companies making the same government IT projects screw up for the same reasons again and again and still get new contracts.

  13. Neil

    They didn't underestimate...

    They always knew it'd cost £10bn. It's just that if they said it'd cost £10bn from the start, it would never have got any support.

    So, they said it would cost £2bn, with lots of private funding contributing much of the cost, so everyone says "Oh, that's not too bad."

    Then, when it's too late to back out they tell us the real cost, that they knew all along.

  14. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    I have it!

    It's the home country's privelidge when hosting the olympic games to have a sport of their choice include in the line up...

    I know exactly the sport that should be brought in...

    Think Python.

    Monty Python.

    Idiot race.

    We already have our crack team of idiots in training, we just need to ensure that they all get adequate amounts of live ammunition for the final aspect of the event.

  15. CrackedButter

    There was a time as well...

    when this government could build things to spec, on time and on budget, I'm citing the original Crystal Palace as an example. In those days all you had were the engineers and the builders, none of the crap we have today that sits in between like the bureaucrats and the advisors and "outside contractors".

  16. H2Nick

    I think they've done a jolly good job, apart from forgetting the IT costs and the VAT

    Do I f@ck.

    I reckon little change from £15 billion once all the costs are actually accounted for.

  17. alain williams Silver badge

    Cap the cost

    If the building of a hospital can be capped, then the cost of the Olympics should be capped. They got it wrong once, came back and said that they had done their sums and it would cost £9,000,000,000 - they should not get a penny more.

    The olymics last 15-18 days, that works out at £500,000,000 per day.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...and who won the IT Contract for the Olympics...?

    ...I believe that is was Accenture!!!! of course, the same VERY expensive consultants who "withdrew" from the VERY expensive NHS NPFit muppet project!!!

    I can't believe that the Chief Muppets, Livingstone and Coe are still flipping breathing the same air as us!!!

  19. Ian Sargent

    Wot do you need IT for?

    Seriously, what do you need IT for?

    I mean to say, a few empty fag packets should be OK as it seems that that's all the planners have been using so far!

    It's a shame that they lost some of the packets when it came to the budgeting though.

    As for H2Nick's comment - Nah, you are WAY off with only £15 billion. It will be a miracle if we get ANY change from £20 billion.

  20. David Haig

    Maybe not so forgetfull ....

    I seem to remember that the bulk of the Manchester Commonwealth Games IT systems were 'sponsored' - ie the supplier (IBM I think) supplier most of the kit and infrastructure FOC so it could show off, and it was just the staff that Manchester paid for.

    Can I also say I think the Games are a good thing - the regeneration of that part of London would never have happened without the Olympics, and the new infrastructure projects will kickstart plans that have been stuck in the pipeline for years. The only thing about this festival of sport that irks is that it won't do anything for the rest of the UK - but then again it was awarded to a city rather than a country.

  21. Mike Richards Silver badge


    Don't forget this was done by Tessa 'Honestly, I've no clue who pays for my mortgage' Jowell, who managed to exclude the cost of potential overruns in the estimate, then forgot to include VAT and now we find out she didn't include any money for IT.

    Just checking - did Tessa include some money for a stadium?

  22. ikilledbambi


    What else are they going to forget??

    Perhaps they will also need extra funds for all the medals leaving the UK judging by our countrys previous Olympic performances.

    This whole saga seems to be going from bad to worse with the prospect of billions of pounds being invested on one small area of the UK.

    Judging by how successful the Wembley project was regarding delivery and budget it will be interesting to see the final bill for London2012.

    Sorry but i had my doubts this was worth £2bn let alone the £9bn and rising.......

  23. Andy Brown

    Doubts about 2012

    "Judging by how successful the Wembley project was regarding delivery and budget it will be interesting to see the final bill for London2012."

    Judging by the success of that project, I'd expect the construction for the London Olympics to be completed somewhere around 2015 - pretty much regardless of how much money they throw at it. I can't see the current management being able to get it finished anything like on time and the words "to budget" have already gone out the window.

    I agree about the Idiot Race suggestion - we have a most deserving team in training for it.

  24. Chad H.

    So exactly WHAT was included?

    So it didnt include Tax, or IT. Just wondering, there is actualy a budget to buy the medals isnt there? There is a budget to rent the various Stadii, and install broadcasting towers right? Oh, and is there enough money to pay the chef?

    London 2012: Not run by Muppets, Honest!

  25. Pete

    How a government contract is (probably) won

    Government: We need you to give us a budget for this project

    Contractor: Well can we have some specifications?

    Government: No, we can't let you have access to confidential information until you win the contract

    Contractor: I can't give you an accurate figure without that information

    Government: I can't give you the information without a figure

    (Repeat for 5 hours)

    Contractor: FINE!! £2bn, project complete in three years

    Government: Accepted, here's the information

    Contractor: ...But this will cost £6bn and take five years

    Government: Don't worry, everyone expects this kind of thing

  26. Adrian Esdaile

    Get your tape measures out too.

    Not many people realise that similar cost bungles led to the Sydney Olympics 100m track being only 96m long! The builders forgot a network cable trunk passed under the end of the track, so the timing system couldn't be put 100m from the startline. To move the other end of the track would have resulted in 4 rows of premium seating being lost, so the track was 96m. All true, according to the documentary 'The Games'.

    But seriously - the London bid forgot the IT budget, but clearly remembered the logo budget, much to our great horror.

  27. Adrian Esdaile

    IBM again - anyone like OS2?

    This really is a true story:

    The Sydney Olympics were also provided with kit FOC from IBM - there were a *lot* of heavily used Thinkpads on the 2nd hand market after the games.

    What was amusing was they also had to use IBM-provided software. The OS was OS2'Warp' which was being touted as a Windows-killer (hah!) and on top of that they ran Lotus Notes. In the end you would have to say things worked out OK in spite of the software, rather than 'because of'.

  28. Jim

    Re: Monty Python

    By "Idiot Race" I assume you are referring to the "Upper Class Twit Of The Year" sketch?

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