Olympic Delivery Authority

Olympic Delivery Authority
2012 Summer Olympics
IPC logo (2004).svg 2012 Summer Paralympics

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the statutory corporation[1] responsible for ensuring delivery of venues, infrastructure and legacy for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. Along with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the ODA is one of the two main agencies organising the London Olympic Games.

The ODA was established by the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 and is the responsibility of the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

In advance of the formal establishment of the ODA, the London Development Agency (LDA) and Transport for London (TfL) were asked to undertake the development work necessary for the Olympic Park and the transport infrastructure which will service the Games, and to build up an interim team.

The ODA is based alongside LOCOG at One Churchill Place in Canary Wharf. The ODA has appointed a delivery company, CLM, to manage the delivery of the Olympic Park and its associated infrastructure. CLM is a consortium of CH2M Hill, Laing O'Rourke and Mace. CLM's organisation includes teams responsible for the design and construction of the venues, structures bridges and highways as well as logistics and security.



Dennis Hone, previously Director of Finance, succeeded Australian David Higgins as the Chief Executive in February 2011[2].

Godric Smith, former Official Spokesman for the Prime Minister, is Director of Communications, and Julie King is Head of External Relations. Tom Curry is Head of Media.


American Jack Lemley, who ran the Anglo-French group that designed and built the £8bn Channel Tunnel, was appointed Chairman of the ODA in 2005 but resigned on 18 October 2006.[3]

In May 2007, Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, announced John Armitt's appointment as Chairman, the appointment commenced on 1 September 2007, with Acting Chairman Sir Roy McNulty resuming his post of Deputy Chairman.[4]

Resignation of Lemley

Lemley's tenure as Chairman of the ODA and subsequent resignation in October 2006 has been surrounded by controversy and recrimination. Originally claiming his resignation was due to pressing commitments in his international construction business, Lemley International, he later asserted to the Idaho Statesman that his departure seemed necessary because political infighting and the unwillingness of government ministers to face up to construction challenges threatened the project and his reputation.

"There was a huge amount of local politics," he stated, "Those are the kind of things that confuse and frustrate the process."[5]

Later he insisted that Culture Minister Tessa Jowell and London Mayor Ken Livingstone ignored warnings that the project budget was spiraling out of control, refused to accept that chemical contamination of Olympic sites presented unexpectedly large challenges, hid additional expenses such as VAT costs, and refused to confront the reality that the Olympics may have to be scaled back to keep within costs.

Predicting "exponential" cost increases, Lemley maintained that "all they wanted to hear was good news" and that cost estimates for site preparation were, from the beginning, unrealistic: "A blind man could see there was a huge environmental problem. I thought it was highly likely they underestimated [the costs]."[6]

Following these revelations, government figures disputed Lemley’s version, criticizing him for breaking confidentiality and suggesting that due to health concerns Lemley was not fully aware of work and plans for the Olympic site. Mayor Ken Livingstone roundly criticized Lemley and suggested he had been treated more than fairly when asked to resign, being allowed a dignified departure due to his past services to the nation on the Channel Tunnel project and a generous compensation package.[7][8] With the reputations of leading politicians and industry figures at stake, as well as billions of pounds in the balance, the charges and counter charges left the planning for the Olympics under a public cloud of criticism.

Lemley’s departure opened the Olympic project to a stormy public reassessment and admissions of cost overruns and technical difficulties. These are being dealt with by the new chief of the ODA, John Armitt, in the light of unprecedented public scrutiny. Despite the controversy, public and government support have continued to grow in the run up to the Games as new expertise has been directed to solving the challenges the project faces.[9]

Board members[10]


Along with LOCOG, the ODA has taken over the responsibilities of the London 2012 organisation. LOCOG describes the different responsibilities of the two organisations as: The ODA is building the theatre, while LOCOG is putting on the show.

The ODA has responsibility for:

  • All Olympic Park infrastructure and site preparation
  • Delivery of permanent competition venues
  • Building the Olympic Village and the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre
  • The building of relocatable arenas
  • Olympic transport projects
  • Permanent works to existing sports venues
  • Olympic Park venue legacy conversion

The LDA will continue to lead on the acquisition of land in the Olympic Park site, and TfL will continue to deliver many of the major transport projects on which London 2012 will depend.


The ODA's original budget was £2.375 billion, provided by a public sector funding package agreed between Government and the Mayor of London in 2003. However, in October 2006, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that this could rise to over £4 billion.[11] In March 2007 she announced a new funding package for the ODA, increasing its budget to £5.3 billion.[12]

The government had expected to take advantage of the UK's increasing property prices, and developers, including Lend Lease and Igloo, were expected to fund construction of parts of the Olympic village and media centre. However, as a result of the recession and fall in property prices since 2008, additional funding is being requested from a contingency fund set up by the government.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2006/ukpga_20060012_en_1#pb2-l1g3
  2. ^ http://www.london-2012.co.uk/ODA/
  3. ^ Beard, Matthew (2006-10-19). "Olympic setback as chairman resigns". The Independent (London). http://sport.independent.co.uk/olympics/article1902188.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  4. ^ http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Press_notices/archive_2007/dcms054_07.htm
  5. ^ Idaho Statesman, October 31, 2006
  6. ^ Mail on Sunday, December 2, 2006
  7. ^ Mail on Sunday, December 5, 2005
  8. ^ The Guardian, December 4, 2006
  9. ^ Culf, Andrew (2007-01-23). "It's 2,012 days until 2012". The Guardian (London). http://sport.guardian.co.uk/london2012/story/0,,1996424,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  10. ^ http://www.london2012.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/the-olympic-delivery-authority/oda-board/index.php
  11. ^ http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/topstories/display.var.986355.0.olympics_cost_blowout_threat.php
  12. ^ http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Minister_Speeches/Tessa_Jowell/oral_statement_funding_2012games.htm
  13. ^ Gibson, Owen (2009-01-21). "Government forced to bail out major Olympic projects". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jan/21/olympics-2012-funding-bailout. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  14. ^ Beard, Matthew (2009-01-21). "Olympics chiefs in plea for bail-out". Evening Standard. Associated Newspapers. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23624078-details/Olympics+chiefs+in+plea+for+bail-out/article.do. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 

External links

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