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Australian Commonwealth Games Contractors unlikely to be paid

Australian Commonwealth Games Contractors unlikely to be paid
March 1, 2011

Australian companies still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars from last year's Delhi Commonwealth Games are unlikely to see their money, the Games Organising Committee has said, because the companies failed to do the job they had promised.

However, the Australian businesses have vowed to pursue their money, saying they had exceeded contract requirements.

Ric Birch, who has produced six Olympic Games ceremonies, described the organising committee's decision as "ridiculous".

The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee's new head, Jarnail Singh, said in a recent statement that payments had been withheld to nine foreign companies "because of non-performance of the contracts".

Games organisers are refusing to pay 178 million rupees ($3.85 million).

The Australian firms who have not been paid for all or part of their work include Spectak Production, run by Birch; the Swiss-based EKS, owned by former Australian Olympic Committee executive, Craig McLatchey; and Greg Bowman's Great Big Events.

In each Australian case the outstanding amount runs to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

EKS, which provided project management and workforce training, is owed more than $500,000.

Speakng to the Sydney Morning Herald, Singh, said the organisers had no intention of paying the outstanding debts stating "some contracts were not delivered upon during the Games. We formed a committee for this which looked at the details of the contracts, what was to be delivered under that contract and what was actually delivered.

"Based on reports prepared by those people organising and running the Games, the committee has reached the position that, for these companies, some payment should be withheld."

Singh said the committee decided how much of each contract should be paid out, based on the amount of work done, adding "we are being very open with our dealings, very transparent. We have written to those companies explaining our decision.

"They can respond to us, let them tell us where we are wrong, why the contract was fulfilled. But we have examined our reports and it is the case that the contracts were not fulfilled."

However, Birch intends to pursue full payment and has placed the matter was in the hands of his lawyers.

An angry Birch told the Sydney Morning Herald "at no time during the term of the contract did (Games organisers) mention any dissatisfaction and waited two months after the Games, and two months after final payment was due, to announce that Spectak was 'not up to the mark'."

"The response is ridiculous, but then so many of their decisions were."

McLatchey said his firm, EKS, had fulfilled its contractual obligations, a fact acknowledged by the Games organisers, stating "EKS consistently outperformed the scope of work required and the quality of the work was widely acknowledged within the organising committee and other entities. The organising committee continues to act in a manner which is without precedent and brings tremendous discredit to India."

Great Big Events, which handled the sporting events, including medal ceremonies, is still owed more than $100,000.

Greg Bowman explains "they (the organisers) were extremely delighted with the result, we went way over and above the contract. And we had good relations with the people we worked with, that's why this is so disappointing."

Meanwhile, Games organisers have sought to assure the Commonwealth Games Associations of seven countries, including Australia, that promised travel subsidies still owed would be paid.

23rd November 2010 - TWO COMMONWEALTH GAMES OFFICIALS ARRESTED

4th October 2010 - SPECTACULAR OPENING CEREMONY FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES 

21st September 2010 - AUSTRALIA WARNS OF ‘HIGH RISK’ COMMONWEALTH GAMES TERRORISM

20th September 2010 - DELHI 2010 VENUES DECLARED READY FOR USE

2nd August 2010 - DELHI COMMONWEALTH GAMES SAFETY CERTIFICATES FAKED 

29th July 2010 - VENUES NEAR COMPLETION FOR DELHI COMMONWEALTH GAMES

14th October 2009 - INDIA ‘BEHIND SCHEDULE’ FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES


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