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News, information and stories about the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games and the Olympics in general.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Locog's Lack of Transparency

The ongoing controversy over Locog's handling of Olympics ticket sales (eg as highlighted in the recent Channel 4 Dispatches "Olympics Tickets for Sale") won't die down.

Unsurprisingly, The London Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee has accused Locog of hiding behind its legal status as a private company and claiming commercial confidentiality despite benefiting from significant taxpayer funds.

The Telegraph reports that the committee has demanded that Locog reveals details of the ticket sale operation, including how many tickets have been sold at each price point at each venue and the total allocation of sponsor tickets, by Feb 27.

A report prepared for the committee, Sold Out?, said:

Our conclusion, with the Games just a few months away, is that Locog has not yet done enough to ensure the transparency of the ticketing process. 

Locog’s lack of openness raises the risk that public trust in the process will diminish, fuelling a sense among Londoners that the opportunity to attend an Olympic and Paralympic Games in their own city was never truly within their reach. 

Locog told the Committee it intended to make the distribution of tickets roughly equal between the different price points for each event. However, we have received no confirmation that this principle has been implemented. 

Locog cited both data protection rules and the need to maintain commercial confidentiality as reasons why the information would not be published until after the Games. We do not accept these arguments. 

We fail to see therefore how commercial confidentiality can reasonably be used as a justification for non-publication of information which is clearly in the public interest. 

There is now even less transparency than in Sydney: despite having now sold the vast majority of tickets for the Olympic Games, Locog still refuses to publish a breakdown of the number of tickets available, or sold, to the public for each session. 

There are legitimate concerns that the most popular events may have a disproportionate number of the highly-priced tickets, and so far Locog has done very little to dispel these fears.”

Despite having sold the majority of the tickets, Locog still refuses to publish a breakdown of the tickets available, tickets sold, or how many were available for each session.

Why?
The committee chairman, Dee Doocey, said:

Locog’s legal status should not excuse them from the transparency and openness we expect in other areas of public life.

It is completely unacceptable that an organisation that only exists because of a huge investment of public money can hide behind its status as a private company to avoid questions it does not like.

Locog is putting public confidence at risk by refusing to provide a complete breakdown of how many tickets were available for each event.”

Why does Locog choose to remain so secretive, given that it receives money from the taxpayer, what it is it afraid of?

Olympic Medals won during the Beijing 2008 Olympics

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