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these risks looming over the Paris 2024 Olympics – Liberation

In two reports, the French Anti-Corruption Agency calls into question the operating methods of the Organizing Committee and of the company which carries out the arrangements, which do not have enough assurance to avoid abuses.

“Copies” these French Olympics, really? This is the desire, expressed many times throughout recent years, of the big boss of Paris 2024, Tony Estanguet, the president of the Organizing Committee (Cojo). Two reports from the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) on the organization of the Olympics come to put this Friday a serious kick to the good words. These reports, that the chained Duck revealed almost a month ago, “Risks of breaches of probity” and of “conflicts of interest”.

These documents are devoted to the Organizing Committee and to the Olympic Books Delivery Company (Solideo), and have yet to integrate the responses of the two organizations. “This is a contradictory ″ process ″, and the AFA is doing its work in collaboration with the organizers”, a source with knowledge of the case told AFP.

“Imprecise and incomplete procedures”

Concerning the Organizing Committee (Cojo), whose budget reaches 3.8 billion euros, if the AFA underlines in the first place its good will to fight against “Breaches of probity”, the agency also considers that the framework put in place is not “Up to the challenges and risks involved”. For inspectors, the committee’s conflict of interest management procedures are “Imprecise, incomplete, insufficiently respected and controlled”. The ethics charter is drawn up from “Way too imprecise” to prevent “The risk of illegal taking of interests when its employees leave for the private sector”.

They also believe that the general procurement procedure is “Imprecise and incomplete”, and emphasize that there is “Sometimes situations of potential uncontrolled conflicts of interest”. The report mentions in particular the case of a former director of the Paris 2024 candidacy campaign, having set up a company which obtained a contract suspected by the inspectors of having been “Sausage”, that is to say divided so that the amounts escape the legal obligation of publication.

Lack of transparency

In the case of Solideo, which has a budget of 3.2 billion euros, the authors of the report doubt “That the mechanism for preventing and managing conflicts of interest […] is fully effective ”. Here too, they point to a drafted code of ethics “In a way that is too imprecise to prevent the risk of illegal taking of interests when its employees leave for the private sector”, and evoke a decision-making process “Not sufficiently transparent”.

According to them, the terms of advertising for purchases “Greater than 40,000 euros and less than 90,000 euros” do not guarantee “Compliance with advertising and competition obligations”. At issue: procedures during the contract award phase which “Have weaknesses such as to increase its exposure to risks”. For inspectors, “Controlling the risks of breaches of probity has not been set up as a priority objective by Solideo”.

“Recommendations taken into account”

“We know that we are expected to set an example. There are certain remarks from the AFA which seem to us to be subject to interpretation, for example, as an association, we are not subject to all the articles governing the public procurement code ”, reacted the Organizing Committee (Cojo). And added to have “Taken into account all the recommendations made, which are relevant to us”.

Faced with this gloomy report, the Olympic Works Delivery Company (Solideo) replied that it had followed up on the AFA and was in contact with the agency: “We have developed an action plan which is currently being implemented.” AFA inspectors rightly recall in their reports that criminal proceedings have hit the presidents of the Brazilian and Japanese Olympic committees linked to the last two Summer Games (in Rio and Tokyo). And observe that “The risks of breach of probity are frequent in the context of major sporting events”.


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