A new London Assembly report has called for the public to have more information about the ticketing arrangements for this year’s Olympics.
The report warns that “secrecy” on the part of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) “risks jeopardising public confidence” in the games.
Londoners had previously been promised that 28% of the 8.8million tickets would cost £20 or less.
However LOCOG has refused to provide details of how many cheaper tickets were allocated for each event or to tell Assembly Members how many tickets were sold at each of the price points.
Because LOCOG has been established as a limited company, it is exempt from Freedom of Information requests.
It has also cited commercial confidentiality as a reason for withholding the information.
AMs have have called on the Olympic Board, which oversees LOCOG, to release the information.
Today’s report by the Assembly’s Economy, Culture and Sport Committee says ticketing for the London games is “even less” transparent than for previous games.
The report dismisses LOCOG’s claims of commercial confidentiality. AMs say: “we can see no reasons why data protection rules or commercial confidentiality should prevent publication of the number of tickets sold at each price point.”
The report goes on to say: “there are legitimate concerns that the most popular events may have a disproportionate number of the highly-priced tickets, and so far LOCOG has done very little to dispel these fears.”
Committee chair Dee Doocy says: “It is completely unacceptable that an organisation that only exists because of a huge investment of public money can hide behind its status as a private company to avoid questions it does not like.
“For most people, the Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so it’s vital they have confidence in the ticketing process, particularly those who have missed out on tickets. LOCOG is putting public confidence at risk by refusing to provide a complete breakdown of how many tickets were available for each event.
“We always knew that ticket allocation would be difficult and would disappoint some people. But if LOCOG had been open and transparent right from the start, a lot of public suspicion and anger could have been avoided.
“LOCOG’s legal status should not excuse them from the transparency and openness we expect in other areas of public life.”