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London-Based Consultancy to Evaluate City's Olympic Bid

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jul 15, 2009 2:40PM

2009_7_chicago_olympics_logo.jpg In a possible compromise over the level of transparency of Chicago's 2016 Summer Olympics bid, an independent auditor will review the city's bid, analyzing the numbers behind the bid. L.E.K. Consulting, a London-based strategic consulting firm, will be doing the counting. The organization has experience in sports and marketing, including a 2007 analysis of the Rugby Football Union. The firm was criticized for its excessive fee structure and its uncollaborative approach. The report called for radical reforms in the sport.

Shortly after Mayor Daley returned from Switzerland, the city council introduced a series of measures to limit the city's liabilities in the event that the Olympics lose money, and to increase the transparency of the bid. Aside from 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores's widely publicized proposal to cap Chicago's guarantee at $500 million, 14th Ward Ald. Edward Burke and 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O'Connor called on the Chicago Civic Federation to perform an analysis of the city's bid. At the time federation President Laurence Msall said he didn't think the organization had the expertise to handle the project. L.E.K Consulting "will help us conduct an independent review of expenditures and revenues," Msall told Crain's.