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Games jobs to involve project bank accounts

NEWS - Olympics guide includes pioneering payment provisions

PROJECT bank accounts are set to play a part in construction projects for London's 2012 Olympics.

Peter Rogers, chairman of the Strategic Forum's Olympic Task Group, said the initiative had been included in drafts of the Construction Commitments 2012 document being agreed by the industry and Government departments.

Mr Rogers said: 'Project bank accounts are in the document, although with the slight caveat that they will be used 'where appropriate'.

'We are asking for all forms of best practice on payment, such as project bank accounts and project insurance. It is an absolutely golden opportunity to take this forward.' Specialist contractors have been calling for the use of project bank accounts ? where money is released to all members of the team when key project milestones have been met ? to foster teamwork on Olympic projects. The Ministry of Defence pioneered them in the public sector on its prime contract at Andover Barracks in Hampshire.

Mr Rogers added: 'There may be some worries about whether contractors will be geared up to do these things but there has been a lot of cooperation and it is very positive stuff.' Mr Rogers has been in discussions over the document ? which everyone from clients to contractors in Olympic construction will be expected to sign ? with Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins, sports minister Richard Caborn and construction minister Alun Michael.

The National Audit Office, London mayor Ken Livingstone and the Office of Government Commerce are also involved in the talks and the document has been sent to the Treasury for approval.

It will focus on high standards of client leadership, integrated procurement methods, and design quality as well as sustainability, commitment to people and health and safety.

The industry will be asked to sign up to the commitments when the Government has agreed to it.

Mr Rogers added: 'This has been a massive effort ? ideally I would like to finalise it by the end of February but this is too important to rush through.'