Paris 2024 organisers warned security and transport a risk by top French auditors

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“It’s doable but what the Court wants to say is that it is high time to get into the operational phase. It’s not too late but it’s tense.”

The 2024 Olympic Games will be held from July 26-Aug. 11 and the Paralympics from Aug. 28-Sept. 8.

Moscovici said the opening ceremony on the Seine was a challenge and organisers should plan for police and army support.

Some 160 boats will set off on July 26 from the Pont d’Austerlitz for a six-kilometre journey to the Pont d’Iena.

Paris 2024 Chief Finance and Compliance officer Fabrice Lacroix told Reuters it was still too soon to tell whether the police or army would be needed and the committee had just issued a tender for private security.

“If at the end of the day we need public resources, we will support the cost, and it will not cost more than paying for private security,” he said, adding he agreed with the Court of Auditors that it can be difficult to find trained security agents at short notice.

The report also urges Paris 2024 to complete the renovation of transport facilities in time for the Games and points out the risk of delays on the Metro’s line 14, and at major rail hubs such as the Gare du Nord. The Court of Auditors underlined that inflation was eating into the organising committee’s budget, which was increased by 10 per cent last December.

“There is a 315 million euro ($338 million) contingency reserve and it is worrying that 115 million has already been used,” said Nacer Meddah, the president of the third chamber of the Court of Auditors.

Lacroix said he expected the reserve would be fully used by the end of the Games.

France guarantees any budget deficit by the organising committee, and Meddah said it would be “catastrophic” if that guarantee was triggered. Uncertainties surrounding the budget called for “rigorous scrutiny,” Moscovici said.

A senior member of the Court of Auditors, who declined to be named because they are not at liberty to discuss the matter publicly, pointed out that Paris 2024 organisers had failed to come up with a ‘worst case scenario’ plan regarding finances.

Despite concerns about planning as a whole, Moscovici said auditors were not “ringing the alarm bell”.

via Reuters

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