02 July 2012

Budgeting for 2015 South-East Asian Games — Learning from 2010 Youth Olympic Games Budget Overrun

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing assured the public yesterday that budget issues that affected Singapore's hosting of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games would not happen when Singapore hosted the 2015 South-East Asian Games.

The initial budget of $104 million for the Youth Olympics was exceeded threefold.

Mr Chan said that the 2015 South-East Asian Games steering committee would be keeping a very tight watch over the entire budget.

In any case, the South-East Asian Games will be quite different from the Youth Olympics.  Singapore had contractual obligations in the Youth Olympics but will have greater control on the choice of vendors and other matters in the South-East Asian Games.

Details of the 2015 South-East Asian Games are still being ironed out, including the budget, the number of sports and the Games Village.

Mr Chan's comments raises several issues.

Firstly, Mr Chan seems to be suggesting, or even admitting, that the Government was not aware of the nature or the scope of its contractual obligations when bidding to host the Youth Olympics or when preparing the budget for the Youth Olympics.

Secondly, the likelihood that an organisation will exceed the budget for an event if the budget has not even be drawn up or approved is rather low, especially when the Government has the power to approve the budget.

Thirdly, will the detailed budget for the 2015 South-East Asian Games be made public as soon as it is approved?

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Notes

1. No Overspending for 2015 SEA Games: Chan Chun Sing ChannelNewsAsia.com 1 Jul 2012 2042 hours.

2. Chan: We Will Control 2015 SEA Games Budget TODAY 2 Jul 2012.

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