— Published 6 June 2023

Reopening the hunt for waste

A studious atmosphere prevailed on Monday 5 June on the first day of the meeting of the Paris 2024 Games Coordination Commission, the penultimate meeting before the Olympic and Paralympic event. Pierre-Olivier Beckers (see photo above), its chairman, opened the proceedings by setting the tone: the OCOG must “continue to work, continue to optimise, continue to seek efficiencies”. The Belgian leader was careful not to be triumphalist, despite the success of the ticket sales – 6.8 million tickets already sold – and the volunteer recruitment campaign – more than 300,000 applicants. There is commitment and determination, but we know that we live in a difficult world, a world of inflation, a world where commercial partnerships are also harder to find,” he insisted, quoted by AFP. We will have to work together to find ways of optimising the situation. But you have the commitment of the IOC to continue to play this partnership role on optimisation, with a collective objective of maintaining our budget.” Coincidence or not, the visit of the Coordination Commission was preceded by the publication in Le Monde on Monday 5 June of the elements of a provisional report by the Cour des Comptes on the Paris 2024 Games. It points out that “substantial uncertainties remain, particularly with regard to domestic partnerships”. In particular, the document refers to the arrival of a new premium partner, announced by Tony Estanguet at the end of last year but never materialized. The same report, the final version of which will not be submitted to Parliament until mid-summer, points out that the Games budget remains “without substantial room for manoeuvre”. The Court of Auditors is calling on the OCOG to take another look at its plans in order to find “new savings and redeployment measures, new measures to optimise venue management and reduce service levels”. The Coordination Commission’s visit is due to end on Wednesday 7 June.