Athens 2004 Olympics
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23 January, 2003
Athens on Wednesday announced that a closely watched international tender for the massive security program during the upcoming Athens 2004 Olympic Games has been declared void, with the government spokesman citing protection of public interest in justifying the decision.
Spokesman Christos Protopapas added that conditions and prerequisites were not met during the tenders final phase.
Moreover, he clarified that the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA), the high-ranking committee that approves major defense contracts and top military promotions, among others, will consider the 2004 security contract only after a winner has been selected.
Two international consortia were in the bidding for multi-million dollar contract, the centerpiece of governments and Athens 2004 organizers (ATHOC) commitment to ensure absolutely secure Olympic Games in 2004.
Two offers were on the table coming into the week, by the SAIC and TRS groups.
Protopapas nevertheless dismissed concerns about pressing deadlines, promising that we will be ready on time.
Later statements: In later statements following a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said a new tender will be issued immediately, and again under the defense ministry's auspices.
He also said that an open and parallel negotiation will commence with interested parties so that proposed expenditures are slashed back to the governments initial estimates.
According to sources, the lowest offer touched on the 300-million-euro mark, whereas it should not have exceeded the 220-million-euro mark.
Upwards of US$600 million are eyed for the entire security program during the Games.
Finally, a new evaluation committee -- one better suited to gauging the offers technical aspects -- is expected to be established immediately, as pressing deadlines loom on the horizon.
Premier affirms that budget for "Athens 2004" will not increase: Prime Minister Costas Simitis reaffirmed on Wednesday that the budget of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games would not increase, during a government meeting that focused on the Olympic overlays.
It was stressed, during the meeting, that the state budget of 4.6 billion euros for the Olympic preparations is fixed and adequate, while any additional needs concerning the Olympic infrastructures or purchasing that will remain in use after the Games, will be covered by the state budget within the limits of the 4.6 billion euros.
It was additionally stressed that any projects without use after the Olympic Games that will be constructed for the Games, will be funded exclusively by ATHOC.
During the meeting it was also mentioned that the budget of ATHOC is secured to the tune of 42 per cent stemming from television rights, 41 per cent from sponsorships and 14 per cent from state funds.
Source: Athens News Agency