CWG scam: Dutch company refutes OC charges

"Infostrada Sports calls on the Organising Committee and the Indian government to provide an open and detailed reasoning for the non-payment and demands an end to the inconsistent, incomplete comments that continue to create a negative impression about the services delivered by Infostrada Sports and the integrity of our company," chief executive officer (CEO) of the company Philip Hennemann said in a press statement.

Earlier, a newspaper report had quoted Jarnail Singh, CEO of the Organising Committee, as saying that the Games News Service (GNS) could have been procured at a much cheaper rate.

"The contract is definitely on the higher side. We could have got the job done much cheaper if the work had started earlier," Singh was quoted as saying in the report.
Infostrada Sports, which had performed similar roles at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was contracted for 1.4 million euros (about Rs.9 crore).
The OC had also issued a press statement late February saying that Infostrada Sports was one of the companies whose payments were withheld because of "non-performance of contract".

"Infostrada Sports once again refutes all allegations that it was overpaid, under-performed or under-delivered," Hennemann said.

Regarding Singh's reported comment that the GNS for the 2006 CWG in Melbourne had cost 70,000 euros and hence, the budget for the Delhi Games was 80,000 euros, Hennemann said his company was not contracted for the Melbourne Games.

"We were not contracted in Melbourne, and the service was delivered by a local Australian company who ran almost the whole news service with locals and therefore had no flights and no accommodation costs.

"The amount we were contracted for Delhi was smaller than that we received for large multi-sport events with a full service delivery such as the Olympic Games in Beijing (2 million euros) or the Asian Games in Doha (3 million euros).

"In Delhi, we had more than 130 contracted persons and paid people involved in the operations, of which 76 were foreigners.

"It is the only event in the list with a full scope service that we had to arrange our own hotels and flights. In Beijing, these costs were paid by the Organising Committee. We paid over 250,000 euros for flights and accommodation alone in Delhi.

"We are disappointed that Mr. Singh makes misleading pronouncements on Games time experiences. As the CEO, he should have had an intimate knowledge of issues relating to the problems facing the Organising Committee's delivery of its media services," he said.

The Infostrada chief added: "The late signing of the contract with the Organising Committee was entirely due to the fault of the Organising Committee. We made inquiries about the Organising Committee's plans for the Games News Service as far back as 2008.

"But their tender process only started in January 2010, in an often delayed process, and we were only contracted in late May.

"An earlier signing of the contract would have also provided an opportunity for locals to be part of our planning team that set up our operation. But with such a late signing to the contract, we needed to have our most experienced planners as part of the team," Hennemann said.

Responding to Singh's claim that an opportunity was lost to develop a games management system, Hennemann said it was not part of Infostrada's responsibility.
"Infostrada Sports was never responsible for delivering any such system, and in fact, was never contracted to deliver any kind of system. We delivered people and expertise only.
"We also repeat our statements that we are owed 30 percent of our contract, which amounts to $618,000. We have never had any official or unofficial statement that we were ever in default of our contract, nor a single warning that this was likely.

"We were praised for our work in Delhi by various stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Games Federation, various Organising Committee officials and the media," Hennemann said.

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