Commonwealth Games bosses spend £200,000 renting flagpoles and podiums
COMMONWEALTH Games bosses have been criticised for spending £200,000 to rent flagpoles and podiums.
Tender documents revealed that around £80,000 will be spent hiring flagpoles and almost £120,000 on podiums for Glasgow 2014.
Critics of the move claimed renting offered poor value for money and damaged the games’ legacy because equipment could not be reused.
The budget for the games is currently estimated at £524million.
The notice put out by Commonwealth chiefs asks for a company to “provide on a rental basis and install flag poles of different type and size on Commonwealth Games Venues.
“The minimum value is between £70,642 and £80,970.”
In a separate notice it asks for a contractor to “design, engineer and provide on a rental basis customized sport podiums to be installed at indoor Commonwealth Games Venues.
“The estimated value is between £101,422 – £116,250.”
It is unknown exactly where the flags will be installed and what flags are likely to be flown from them.
Podiums are said to be only be installed in the six indoor venues but bosses have not made it clear what size they will be or what they will be made from.
Eben Wilson from TaxpayerScotland the only reason bosses have rented the equipment rather than bought is for “ease of management”.
He said: “We are going to see torrents of public money thrown at these games.
“While we can all hope that they will be successful, it’s absolutely essential that every deal is negotiated at best value.
“Rental arrangements with public bodies have often been found to have overly high per item charges. They are attractive because of the ease of management, but the deals done need strict monitoring.
“It’s sad too that there will be no legacy after the event; for example, could the flagpoles not have gone to schools sports facilities later to celebrate sporting excellence”.
A further 14 tender notices for the games has been posted by lunchtime yesterday (wed).
Other rental contracts included seating, portable toilets, lighting equipment, food tents and walkways as well as £800,000 for temporary water supplies.
A further £1m is being spent to temporarily remove the 5-a-side football pitches at Scotstoun Sports Centre to make way for a part-time squash court.
A £1.5million contract is up for grabs for “exhibition equipment” and up to £1.6million is being spent on an international broadcast centre.
In September this year a contract was drafted for £200,000 for someone to design the Queen’s Baton – the Games’ equivalent of the Olympic Torch.
Audit Scotland, which checks if public cash is spent correctly, warned in March this year that certain ventures could stop the Games being finished on time and on budget.
The main stumbling blocks include preparations for Hampden Stadium and the athletes’ village – both of which are due to be completed less than five months before the start date of July 2014.
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