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Delhi 2010 Owes Millions

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This story is getting some traction downunder:

Aussies owed millions from Delhi Commonwealth Games

* By Nick Tabakoff

* From: The Daily Telegraph

* January 20, 2011

THE dramas surrounding the Delhi Commonwealth Games continues more than three months after the event finished in October, with Australian sporting bodies and major event groups owed millions by the Indian Government.

The scandal could even hit the taxpayer, with the government-funded Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) saying it is still owed "a six-figure sum" due two months ago, reported The Daily Telegraph.

Separately, Sydney Olympics maestro Ric Birch has this week commissioned Slater & Gordon to launch a likely multi-million dollar class action against Delhi organisers for substantial unpaid bills.

Mr Birch said he was "seriously pissed off"with Games organisers.

ACGA CEO Perry Crosswhite said his body was one of "30 or 40" similar Games bodies around the world owed money by Delhi organisers.

"We're owed a travel subsidy payment in the six figures that was due in November," he said.

Mr Crosswhite said previous Games organisers - including those for the 2006 Melbourne Games - had paid similar subsidies promptly. "We would expect the same to happen in India."

Mr Birch's Indian lawsuit is shaping as the first salvo in a possible $3 million-plus class action involving at least four of Australia's biggest major event names - including Mr Birch's Spectak Productions, and world-renowned fireworks group Howard & Sons - against Delhi organisers.

Most companies hit were key players in the opening and closing ceremonies. All still have substantial parts of their $1 million-plus contracts left unpaid, three months after the closing ceremony.

Some have suffered even more by having millions worth of key equipment, needed elsewhere, stuck in Delhi until this week.

Howard & Sons boss Andrew Howard said the combination of the unpaid money and the hold-up of the company's unique pyrotechnics firing equipment in Delhi had left the firm facing a financial crisis.

"The past three months have probably been the most challenging in our 89-year history, in terms of both cash flow and equipment," he said.

Mr Birch joked India was an acronym, "standing for 'I'll Never Do It Again.' The organisers [were] totally unreliable, totally incompetent, and often told total untruths".

This has left the companies facing big financial shortfalls. Mr Birch is owed $350,000 on his Games contract.

Howard & Sons said it was owed $300,000 in unpaid bills, but up to $900,000 once compensation for not having crucial equipment available was taken into account.

Two other Australian companies said they were also owed a total of about $1.6 million by organisers.

Global major event sound company Norwest Productions said it was now owed $1 million, including $160,000 a week for the past six weeks, for multi-million dollar equipment needed elsewhere by the start of December but held up in Delhi. An Australian firm that provided Games media services is owed $600,000.

Mr Birch was creative director for the Delhi ceremonies, Howard & Sons provided all of their fireworks, and Norwest provided all the sound.

Both ceremonies were hailed as shining successes amid the Games general chaos. But Mr Birch said he was told by Delhi Games organisers secretary-general Lalit Bhanot: "We're not going to pay you because your services were not up to the mark."

Mr Crosswhite said he would be "very disappointed if the Indian Government were using that [excuse] not to pay."

Mr Howard is furious: "Those bastards really don't give a s ... ."

Mr Birch said English, German and Italian companies involved with the ceremonies were also owed substantial amounts.

India's ability to host international events has this week been called into further question, with at least five venues for next month's cricket World Cup not completed.

Similar chaos rocked the Games before the start.

First off you can be sure that right now the IOC are getting a whiff of this story and will be filling it away for future reference in case there is any Delhi 2020 or beyond bid. You don't screw over the sporting associations and the big players in supplying items and services related to the CWGs and Olympics like the Delhi buffoons have done and expect to be given a free pass down the road.

Secondly you can be damned sure that right now everyone looking at the 2018 race will want to be getting far better financial guarantees from the two bids that all will be sound. And let's face it, how can Hambantota and their Chinese/Korean funded infrastructure plans also spread to take care of the extensive costs with ceremonies, team transport etc etc. It would be logical to assume that if the Indians have reneged or delayed payments to the Australian CWG Association they will have done the same to every other country that sent teams, and each one of those countries will now be asking for more financial rigour in the bid process. Battered as it may be by floods Queensland's and Australia's financial backing of sport and the Commonwealth Games is far more secure than any far less developed countries effort.

One thing is for certain; Ric's "I'll never do it again" comment and the two-timing bastardry of Kalmadi shows that all of us here who thought that Delhi was a blot on the Commonwealth Games were 100% right in our assessment.

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Nice, juicy article, E. I feel sorry for Birch and all the other unpaid subcontractors.

I guess we won't be seeing a Delhi Olympics anytime soon.

Thanks Baron...the Indians well and truly ignored that old Olympic maxim, "you don't sh!t where you eat". I bet in the closeted, behind doors world of the Olympic-World Sports Industrial Complex India's reputation is as low as you can go.

And how about the bald faced effrontery and thieving of that prick Kalmadi...getting a hard on in the media for how good the ceremonies were then refusing to front up the money because he said they were substandard. Even Blather wouldn't stoop to that level.

Edited by eusebius65
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Eight nations accuse India over unpaid Games bills

NEW DELHI — Eight countries have lodged an official complaint with the Indian government over $74 million of unpaid bills after the Commonwealth Games, saying the delays could affect future investment.

Senior diplomats from seven European countries and Australia signed a letter demanding action over broken contracts and valuable equipment that is still stuck in Indian customs since the Games were held in October last year.

The Games were hit by poor preparations and shoddily-finished stadiums despite an estimated budget of $6 billion. A number of senior figures have since been arrested in a widening police probe into corruption.

"The long delay in settling these matters is damaging India?s national reputation, denting the confidence of foreign business and raising doubts about the enforcement of contracts," the envoys wrote.

Australia, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland all signed the letter, which was delivered to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last month.

Diplomats confirmed the letter after it was printed in the Hindustan Times on Monday.

Australian companies have also complained bitterly about unpaid fees for organising the opening and closing ceremonies, while British firm SIS Live is in a legal battle to be paid in full for broadcasting services.

Indian police have arrested the Delhi 2010 organising committee's director general, V. K. Verma, and its secretary general, Lalit Bhanot, over alleged financial irregularities.

The national anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), received complaints alleging up to $1.8 billion of Games money was misappropriated.

Swiss Timing, which has worked at many recent Olympic Games, recently took out full-page advertisements in the Indian press to deny allegations of kickbacks after police accused it of over-charging.


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This just gets more bizarre - now they want money back!?! And we're talking piddling ammounts like $500?!?


Indian givers want our cash back

ANGRY Australian companies dudded out of millions by Delhi Commonwealth Games organisers are being asked to pay back some of the minimal money they have received.

The bizarre development comes as the scandal has drawn in the English royal family.

Prince Edward, vice-patron of the Commonwealth Games Federation, has lashed out at the Delhi organisers' attitude to payments. In a letter to an Australian company Brigadier John Smedley, private secretary to the Prince, empathised with their predicament.

"His royal highness has expressed his empathy ... as he is aware of the ongoing problems and the extremely frustrating situation," he said.

"Those who have had anything to do with the Delhi Organising Committee share your frustration at the poor management of this and other parts of the Games."

But Jarnail Singh, organising committee CEO, claimed Sydney Games maestro Ric Birch's company - still owed $350,000 - had committed a "serious breach of the contract and is responsible for all the losses suffered by OC [organising committee]".

In an email to Howard & Sons boss Andrew Howard late last month, a Delhi organising committee official asked for an immediate refund of $500 they claimed had been "overpaid" to him.

This despite the fact Mr Howard is owed $150,000 on his contract, plus $300,000 in compensation for not having equipment available for the peak fireworks season in Australia this year. The unpaid bills pushed the firm to the brink.

"They are fair dinkum kidding themselves. What a joke," Mr Howard said.

Mr Birch was also scathing of Indian officials.

In February, eight countries led by Australia sent a letter to Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, warning: "The long delay in settling these matters is damaging India's national reputation." But most of the bills still remain unpaid.

The Daily Telegraph revealed in January that Australia's Commonwealth Games Association, and local companies involved in the Games' opening and closing ceremonies, had not been paid.

Australian companies left with huge bills included Mr Birch's Spectak Productions, world-renowned fireworks group Howard & Sons and sports information company Infostrada Sports. Now Delhi authorities are claiming Australian businesses should be compensating them.As creative consultant on the opening and closing ceremonies, Mr Birch ran one of the Games' few successes.

At least 20 international contractors are believed to be owed more than $70 million.

A stench of corruption has surrounded the organisation of the Games, with massive financial irregularities coming to light.

Some Delhi Games officials are being investigated over the misappropriation of billions of dollars.

Daily Telegraph

Edited by Sir Rols
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Gads, the whole episode has turned into a joke. I wonder if the Indian Olympic Committee is even clued in to the ramifications of the matter. Well, that's one less country NOT getting an OGs anytime soon.

And I guess production companies will NOW demand full fees upfront.

A good subchapter for the 2012 edition of my book.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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  • 3 months later...


Cost: $3.92 billion - 16 times over budget

Revenue: $36 million

THE corruption-marred Delhi Commonwealth Games cost 16 times the original estimate - at $3.92 billion - and generated a measly $36 million in revenue, an Indian government audit has found.

The report found the organising committee to be ''deeply flawed, riddled with favouritism and bias''.

Even before the findings the chief organiser, parliamentarian Suresh Kalmadi, and some of his offsiders had been jailed on corruption charges. The report criticises the prime minister's office for appointing Kalmadi, who says he has Alzheimer's disease.

Advertisement: Story continues below

The original budget estimate for last year's Games was $258 million.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/costly-delhi-games-deeply-flawed-20110806-1igwo.html#ixzz1UMrLx2cp

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And STILL it goes on:

nfostrada Sports has hit back at the latest claims from the Delhi 2010 Organising Committee who have asked the Dutch company for a return payment of around £850,000 ($1.3 million/€985,100) for what they describe as "incomplete services" and "breach of agreement" for work carried at the Commonwealth Games.

Infostrada Sports were contracted to provide media services - amounting to £1.2 million ($1.9 million/€1.4 million) - during Delhi 2010 but are on a long list of high-profile international firms to have had a dispute with the Organising Committee regarding payment.

The Organising Committee originally refused to pay the company and are taking action against their own former and present employees for paying the £850,000 ($1.3 million/€985,100) sum - around 70 per cent of the total contract value - to Infostrada Sports without undertaking a proper check of its working.

Infostrada Sports have suggested that they will not be returning the money to the Organising Committee despite the request and that they have been widely praised for their work.

"We have been in protracted discussions with the Organising Committee, which have to this date been fruitless," a spokesperson from Infostrada Sports told insidethegames.

"We were praised for our work in Delhi by various stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), various OC officials and the media.

"We were officially and publicly thanked by the OC for doing extra work, at no charge, to rescue them during the period of technical issues in the days leading into and first days of the Games.

"Importantly, none of these technical issues were the responsibility of Infostrada Sports, but the clear responsibility of other sections of the Organising Committee."

Infostrada Sports performed similar roles at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, as well as being due to work on London 2012.

The Organising Committee had claimed earlier this year that they were overpaid and did not deliver on their work for Delhi 2010 but Infostrada Sports denied this was the case.

"Infostrada Sports once again refutes all allegations that it was overpaid, under-performed or under-delivered," said the company's chief executive Philip Hennemann.

"The amount we were contracted for Delhi was smaller than that we received for large multisport events with a full service delivery such as the Olympic Games in Beijing £1.7 million ($2.7 million/€2 million) or the Asian Games in Doha £2.6 million ($4.2 million/€3 million).

"In Delhi, we had more than 130 contracted persons and paid people involved in the operations, of which 76 were foreigners.

"It is the only event in the list with a full scope service that we had to arrange our own hotels and flights.

"In Beijing, these costs were paid by the Organising Committee.

"We paid over £217,000 ($350,000/$251,000) for flights and accommodation alone in Delhi."

The Delhi 2010 Organising Committee have been plagued with allegations of corruption since the close of the Commonwealth Games last year with senior figures - including chairman Suresh Kalmadi - having been continually questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In addition, eight countries lodged an official complaint with the Indian government over $74 million (£46 million/€56 million) worth of unpaid bills from last year's Commonwealth Games, warning that the delays could affect future investment in the country.

Australia Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland all signed the letter demanding action on the issue, which was delivered to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in February this year.


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I stand by my predictions well before the CWG, that India will not host a SOG until at least the 2040's. At the time, several reputable forumers here disagreed with my view, but India seems to keep reinforcing their incapability as time goes on...

Edited by Soaring
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