VI LESSONS LEARNED AND FUTURE BIDS FOR INTERNATIONAL SPORTING EVENTS
Importance of management infrastructure
- The joint memorandum said that the current state of preparations for the Games and the strong working relationship between all the agencies involved in the delivery of the Games is a result of the restructuring undertaken following the Carter Review. It is clear that a comprehensive co-ordinated approach was lacking in the original structure of M2002, and during our visit to Manchester we were told by M2002 that the partnership of funders was working extremely well and had transformed the organisation since the Committee last reported in March 2001. Whilst it only became clear in 2001 that a Chief Executive Officer's skills would be necessary, this is a lesson to be learned for future events.
- The realisation that the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and the Sydney Olympics had raised the stakes, in terms of quality of standards expected internationally, came almost too late. It meant that the standard of accommodation, transport facilities, venues and the likely high spectator demand would place huge pressures on M2002 to come up with the goods. We recommend that the Legacy document to be prepared by M2002 include full consideration of the organisational structure necessary for a major international sporting event.
The role of Ministers
- The previous Committee was impressed by the positive impact that the designation of a Minister with special responsibility for the Games had made. We were told in Manchester that, in the early period after the Carter Review, the Cabinet Minister had helped define the operational boundaries and the funding gaps, and had created clarity as to what resources were needed. The Rt. Hon. Ian McCartney MP told the previous Committee that, if other events were to be organised, there would need to be "a different tack from how we have done it in the past", involving a "more focused approach" in Government, "a far more focused set of partnerships" and an investment of skills from the Commonwealth Games. The previous Committee recommended that there should be a dedicated team within the Government to advise and assist with the staging of major events. The Government must consider the good example of the working relationships behind the Manchester Commonwealth Games. The Government should also consider the success of the structure installed by the Prime Minister after the recommendations made by the previous Committee which resulted in the appointment of the Rt. Hon. Ian McCartney MP, as Minister with responsibility for the Games, which galvanised the whole process and almost certainly saved the Games. We were disappointed that these arrangements were not continued after last year's General Election, believe that only the pre-election structure installed made the Games possible, and recommend that in future, when the Prime Minister has created such a successful structure, he should stick with it.
- The Secretary of State announced to us, during evidence on Picketts Lock and the loss by the UK of the 2005 World Athletics Championships, that, at her request, UK policy on major sporting events had been referred to the Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) in the Cabinet Office for review, by the Prime Minister. It would have been ideal had the Performance and Innovation Unit within the Cabinet Office completed its work on hosting world class events in time to assist preparations for Manchester 2002 but nonetheless we believe that the policy review would benefit greatly from taking account of the performance of the major partners in organising the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
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79 First Report, 2001-02, HC 264, Q214. The PIU now describes the scope of its study as follows: "Sport. The project will look at the Government's three top-level sporting priorities - participation, excellence and hosting world class events. It will develop an overall strategy for guiding decisions on sports policy and will generate a list of sports priorities for government. The project will also review the existing institutional and financial arrangements for the delivery of sports policy, and recommend any changes that are needed to ensure that decisions made through the new strategic framework can be implemented effectively. Finally it will develop a new approach for deciding which major events to bid for, how to bid for them and how to manage the projects to deliver on those bids. The Prime Minister has identified Tessa Jowell as Sponsor Minister for this project." The report is expected to be published in the Autumn. See http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/innovation/projects/projects.shtml. Back