The overall cost of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games "may have cost almost four times the original estimate, but the government has claimed that it actually came in £377M ($601M) under budget," according to Mark Cue of the LONDON TIMES. With some contracts still to be wound up, ministers "are describing the underspend as a 'prudent' estimate," with Sports Minister Hugh Robertson "calling the feat of managing the complex program within budget 'a tremendous success.'" Savings "have been made from a drop in expenses for construction of venues, as well as for security and transport, while £480M ($765M) of uncommitted contingency still remains within the budget." A further £103M ($164M) "is being held to cover the remaining risks in the programme, which includes work on the Olympic Village to get it ready for use when it reopens." Robertson said, "There are projected saving of at least £377M, so the predictions that I made this summer that we could bring this project in at under £9B ($14.3B) has almost certainly been met" (LONDON TIMES, 10/23).
DIVIDING UP THE NUMBERS: REUTERS' Martyn Herman reported the final quarterly economic report published by the U.K. government's Department for Culture Media and Sport said that "the overall cost of delivering the Games was £8.92B ($14.3B), lower than the £9.3B ($14.8B) set aside." LOCOG's "own £2.2B ($3.5B) operational budget for the day-to-day running of the Games came almost entirely from sponsorship, ticket sales, merchandise and from the IOC." The "final figure for Games-time security does not take into account any savings resulting from the security firm G4S's failure to deliver its Olympic contract in full" (REUTERS, 10/23). In London, Helen William wrote that according to the estimates the Olympic Delivery Authority's "construction and transportation program has come in at £6.714B ($10.7B)." This number "is a drop of £47M ($74.9M) on the previous estimated figure." ODA saved a total of £1.032B ($1.6B). The underspend "will be held by the Treasury to help pay down the deficit" (INDEPENDENT, 10/23).