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Which route for Olympics?


SPECULATION is rife among contractors about the sort of Olympic hoops they will have to jump through if they are to play a part in building the 2012 Games.

The big question on everybody's mind is what procurement route will the London Development Agency opt for?

Construction management looks likely to be ruled out after the Scottish Parliament fiasco.

Then there is guaranteed maximum price route, always appealing to clients, but tending to favour the brave and stupid, who usually fail to control costs.

That leaves two-stage design and build as the most likely. In its favour this encourages earlier supplier and contractor involvement and controls initial bid costs.

But after the success of Heathrow T5, which equates at least in scale to the Olympic Park, surely there is a strong case for a cost-reimbursable contract with milestone bonus payments?

Of course, the success of this route depends heavily on a well-informed client that can accept risk in return for innovation and better delivery.

But such common sense will likely fall foul of European procurement laws, which prefer the route most publicly demonstrating open competition to the one that best does the job.