Singapore defends YOG budget blowout
Thu, Sep 16, 2010

The Singapore government yesterday confessed to underestimating the operating costs at last month's inaugural Youth Olympics, but insisted the benefits it reaped were worth the costs.

In a parliamentary address, minister for community development, youth and sports Vivian Balakrishnan said the organising committee was "plain wrong" in allocating just $104 million to the Games.

The budget later ballooned to $387 million.

"We were plain wrong," Balakrishnan admitted.

"We... underestimated the requirements and the consequential cost for several major functional areas in hosting the Games.

"You just look at the cost of feeding people, moving people, transport and logistics, that already was over 40 million dollars."

Upgrading of sports venues and equipment, putting on the opening and closing ceremonies and providing live broadcast of the Games also pushed the budget past initial estimates, Balakrishnan said.

He went on to add that the biggest cost was in technology.

"Technology, we had a reason to underestimate because we didn't think at that point in time that we were going to host a Games which are at world standard, with world-class timing systems and information systems," he said.

"So I've got no excuse for getting it wrong the first time."

However, Balakrishnan stated that the benefits Singapore reaped justified the massive budget increase.

"If we spent 387 million dollars, will we get value from that expenditure? In my mind, the answer... is yes," he said.

He pointed out that Singapore's economy had received a boost during the Games, which had also developed the city-state's sporting culture and put it in the history books.

"Singapore will always be remembered as the country that hosted the world's first-ever Youth Olympic Games.

"This is a rare honour. It's rare because there can only be one first host."

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge hailed the Games as exceeding all expectations.

Bookmark and Share
  Singapore defends YOG budget blowout
  URA releases two residential sites for sale
  New committee to review athlete development
  New body to oversee real-estate industry
  YOG medallists get their rewards from FairPrice
  2,000 jobs at new mall up for grabs
  New committee to oversee casino regulations
  PRs not only factor in home demand
  'First crack' for 1st-time buyers
  YOG initial budgets inaccurate
New committee to review athlete development
YOG initial budgets inaccurate
15 percent of private security officers are non-Singaporeans
NS Enlistment practices have to be fair
Minister George Yeo pays a courtesy call

Elsewhere in AsiaOne...

Investor Relations: Lighten the burden

Wine,Dine&Unwind: Fish head curry: from the marketplace to your dinner table

Health: Asia failing to care for the dying: study

Motoring: $60b to double rail network

Digital: Coming: S'pore PlayStation games

Business: Singapore rebounds in spectacular fashion

Just Women: And the winner of the FSO Asian Model is...

Multimedia: Better local searches