***** From today's Sydney Morning Herald.... cash-strapped Sydney Olympics
will need to make even more cuts in Olympics site operations.
Thursday, April 15, 1999
Games chiefs scrape barrel
By MICHAEL EVANS, Olympics Reporter
Sydney's cash-strapped Games organisers will today discuss dipping into their
contingency fund as pressure mounts for further cutbacks in operating costs.
And SOCOG's chief executive, Mr Sandy Hollway, said organisers might not
be able to take "large chunks" out of the $200 million in sponsorship which is
still to be raised, resorting instead to "scrounging and scraping" for smaller
Mr Hollway and the chairman of SOCOG's finance committee, Mr Brian
Sherman, have foreshadowed discussion of SOCOG's contingency,
emphasising revenue targets and operating budgets were tight.
Mr Hollway raised the contingency issue yesterday while discussing today's
SOCOG finance committee meeting to discuss the budget.
"A decision will be taken at the April or May [full] board about whether we
need to make any cutbacks at this point and the extent to which we may also
be able to draw down on the contingency, should we need to," Mr Hollway
Mr Sherman has described today's meeting as the "most concerted" budget
reassessment to date.
"I think we're looking at the contingency and the risks and awards because, as
each month progresses, they change in nature. Some of them disappear and we
want to see whether our contingency is adequate - too much or too little," he
A SOCOG spokesman said $121 million remained in the contingency fund,
which had been dipped into only twice.
Mr Sherman refused to rule out further budget cuts in SOCOG, saying there
might be no more fat in some departments after major cuts last year valued at
"The agenda is to have a hard and close look at all our line items to see
whether we do need to take any action in the future," Mr Sherman said.
Asked whether there was room for further cuts in the organisation, he said:
"It's a quantitative call ... in that there's a certain level that people
would be unhappy to go below."
A point existed, below which "the product" would be damaged if organisers
cut, he said, but he could not rule out further cuts.
"We've already gone through a number of rounds of review. Last year, we had
a very hard look, but it's now six months on and things change, and so there
"We might be looking at staff size and say we don't need to take on as many as
we anticipated. We could get more volunteers, more sponsors who might be
out and about."
Mr Hollway effectively ruled out SOCOG signing more major sponsors,
emphasising smaller amounts would be targeted.
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