An investigation by a news channel has revealed a web of ownership details of firms awarded contracts by the Organising Committee of the Delhi Games that point to conflicts of interest. The channel, NDTV, revealed evidence linking Australia-based company, Sports Marketing and Management (SMAM) to Consortium of Event Knowledge Services (EKS) and Craig McLatchey, a member of the Commonwealth Games Coordination Committee (Cocomm) who attended all meetings of the Cocomm till May 2009. Mclatchey has ownership links to both SMAM and EKS.
Reacting to the news, Mclatchey told the channel, “It’s a vicious campaign against me. It’s based on innuendo and a smear campaign of misreporting. It appears there are people with reason to cause us harm.”
According to the channel, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) awarded a Rs. 29 crore contract to EKS for providing consultancy on the Games. The interim report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) termed this as an undue favour by the OC.
The report goes on to say that the OC did not follow proper procedure in choosing the Consortium of EKS and Ernst and Young as consultants. According to the CAG report, there was insufficient competition for selection of consultant with no comparable financial bid.
Commonwealth Games Federation CEO Mike Hooper spoke to HT and said, “There is absolutely nothing in this. The potential conflict of interest was declared and acknowledged, and the OC awarded the contract after following the laid down procedure. They awarded the contract after deciding that EKS was the best option for the job.”
SMAM’s services were terminated last month by the OC on grounds of ‘non-performance’. The company reacted strongly to the termination, saying, the OC had “wrongfully, viciously, terminated the agreement”. Hooper had previously backed SMAM, even after the company was sacked.