Olympic Stadium investigation: Beancounters net fees, findings to be made public this summer

 
Oliver Gill
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2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony
The Olympic Stadium was renamed the London Stadium after its costly revamp (Source: Getty)

The mid-tier accountancy firm undertaking the forensic investigation into the London Stadium overspend will net at least £140,000, according to documents published by City Hall.

Moore Stephens was appointed in February to perform a review of how the cost to transform the Olympic Stadium into the multi-use London Stadium increased from an original budget of £115m to £323m.

The firm plans to deliver a draft report to the General London Assembly in June, with the final report made available to the public later in the summer.

Read more: Revealed: West Ham owners free to cash in on Olympic Stadium

In November, London mayor Sadiq Khan ordered an investigation after being "deeply concerned" about spiralling cost of revamping the stadium into an arena that could hold a variety of sporting and non-sporting occasions in the decades to come.

What is the investigation timeline?

Activity Deadline
Contract signed by ED Resources and Moore Stephens formally appointed February 2017
Fieldwork February to May 2017
Draft findings to be presented to the GLA June 2017
Public report Summer 2017

Labour London assembly member Andrew Dismore previously pointed the finger at Khan's predecessor Boris Johnson, saying he had put a "staggering burden" on taxpayers.

Read more: "Deeply concerned" Sadiq Khan orders probe into Olympic Stadium costs

Moore Stephens took up to a 30 per cent discount on its usual fees to secure the investigation mandate. The head of its investigations group Merryck Lowe said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work for the Mayor’s office on behalf of all Londoners and to apply our independence, incisiveness and clarity of thought to these issues.”

What is being investigated?

The purpose of the investigation is:

• To provide a narrative explanation of the history of the London Stadium, including all relevant construction, financial and operational arrangements, with a particular focus on the stadium’s conversion into a multi-use arena and the subsequent negotiations and arrangements

• To confirm the key decision points and contractual commitments made, including the financial and operational projections that informed the significant investment of public money into transformation works and who was responsible for them

• To assess whether the work leading to the decisions and commitments made was sufficiently robust and subject to appropriate levels of due diligence and negotiation to ensure that value for money was achieved for the taxpayer after taking into account the legacy objectives and expected benefits

• To report on the stadium’s financial viability in terms of an assessment of the ongoing and future operating costs and income of the current working arrangements

• To identify any lessons that can be learnt

• To work with all relevant organisations to obtain evidence for this work, reporting any lack of co-operation to the Mayor’s office

• To produce a report for publication.

The investigation and its resulting report will cover three distinct phases in the genesis and life of the Stadium:

1. The Olympic bodies’ original decision making in determining the design and nature of the Stadium built for the Games and what thought was given to how the Stadium would be used post-Games

2. The decision making of LLDC and its forebears in the tendering for and delivery of the Stadium transformation in light of the original design and its legacy objectives

3. Decisions pertaining to the current operational arrangement for the Stadium, including those made by LLDC, LB Newham and E20 Stadium LLP, and those taken by Her Majesty’s Government and the GLA such as hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2017 World Athletics.

(Source: Mayor of London: London Stadium review)

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