Expert panel to adjudicate on Olympic construction disputes

Organisers of the 2012 London Olympics have recruited a group of experts nominated by professional bodies including the IET to adjudicate on contractual disputes during work to set up venues and infrastructure for the Games.

The twelve-strong adjudication panel has been set up to decide on cases that cannot be resolved by a separate dispute avoidance panel, which aims to head off potential disagreements between the Olympic Delivery Authority and its contractors in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. IET nominee Robert Isherwood will work with representatives of other professional bodies such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institution of British Architects and the Chartered Institute of Building.

If either party decides to challenge the panel̵7;s decision, the case will proceed to the Technology and Construction Court. However, the ODA hopes that problems will be identified much earlier in the day by the independent Dispute Avoidance Panel.

Tasked with ̶0;finding pragmatic solutions to problems which may arise before they become disputes that could require lengthy resolution,̶1; the IDAP is chaired by Dr Martin Barnes, president of the Association for Project Management and creator of the standard contract being used for major Olympic venues. He believes that avoiding rather than resolving disputes is essential given the unique challenges of the 2012 Games.

̶0;The panel brings an independent perspective to helping ensure that the London 2012 projects are completed on time and within budget and enhance the reputation of UK construction,̶1; he commented.

According to ODA chief executive David Higgins, with work going to schedule but facing a tight time scale, the panel will help to identify and resolve problems as quickly as possible.

̶0;Delivering the venues and infrastructure for London 2012 is a project of unprecedented scale and complexity, equivalent to building two Heathrow Terminal Fives in half the time,̶1; he said. We are exactly where we expected to be at this stage of the project with construction due to start as planned before the Beijing Games.̶1;

Image: London 2012 Olympic organisers say construction is going to plan

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