The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wrapped up two days of meetings with reports on the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s financial statements, and preparations for upcoming editions of the Olympic Games.
The EB received a very good report from the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. They presented on the progress of their venue master plan review and the EB confirmed the venue locations for a further 8 sports – aquatics, badminton, fencing, rugby, sailing, taekwondo, triathlon, and wrestling. The decision is expected to result in savings of approximately USD 700 million from the revised Tokyo 2020 construction budget, which when added to the approximately USD 1 billion savings announced at the Executive Board in Rio de Janeiro in February gives the Tokyo organisers a total of about USD 1.7 billion in savings.
“By approving these changes and having a more intelligent way of using facilities following Olympic Agenda 2020, that means by making more use of existing facilities, allocating sports into joint venues whenever possible, we achieved further savings in the OCOG’s budget of USD 700 million,” IOC President Thomas Bach said following the meetings. “That means that the application of Olympic Agenda 2020 for Tokyo 2020 is already resulting in USD 1.7 billion in savings. We are confident that there is even room for more. We are still working on this. This shows how Tokyo is embracing Olympic Agenda 2020 and shows immediate results. I’d like to remind you that the adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 is just six months old. Already now we have this great result of 1.7 billion.”
The EB also heard from the Rio 2016 Organising Committee President Carlos Nuzman. The EB noted the progress that is being made in Rio de Janeiro, particularly on the venues, where significant advances have been made. The EB is confident that the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016 will be a great success if this work rate continues.
External auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed today that the IOC’s combined financial statements for 2014 are in compliance with the highest standard of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) even though it is not legally required. They also mentioned that they are happy with the level of transparency exhibited and welcomed the Operational Excellence Improvement Programme planned over the next two years that will bring the IOC closer to ‘best in class’. The external auditors will submit the financial statements for approval at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur.
The IOC continues to distribute 90 per cent of its revenues to support sport and the athletes worldwide. In 2014, the IOC distributed USD 1.6 billion in revenues from the Olympic Games to support sport worldwide.
“A major part of our discussions was on the financial statements of the IOC. We had a report from PwC who signed off the accounts without any reservation,” President Bach said. “They confirmed that our 2014 financial statements are in compliance with IFRS. As a reminder, Olympic Agenda 2020 stipulated that PwC apply IFRS standards even if, legally, the IOC would not be required to have its accounts audited according to such high-level standards. PwC expressed its great satisfaction on the IOC’s transparency and commended the Operational Excellence Improvement Programme which we started in-house. This programme already shows results but we will continue with the application and see further improvements in the near future. Accounts also show we continue to distribute 90 per cent of our revenue worldwide, 1.6 billion USD distributed for sport worldwide, for the success of the Olympic Games and our development programmes.”
Implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 – Mid-year status
Six months after the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020, implementation of the 40 recommendations continues. A brief overview some of the decisions taken today by the EB follow:
· The EB agreed on the event programme and athlete quotas for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Added to the 2018 Olympic Programme were: Curling Mixed Doubles (M&W); Speed Skating Mass Start (M/W); Alpine Skiing Nations Team Event (M&W); and Snowboard Big Air (M/W). The EB decided to remove the snowboard parallel slalom (M/W) allowing for snowboard big air to enter the programme, in agreement with the International Ski Federation (FIS). The changes reflect the continued evolution of the Winter Olympic Programme and build on the success of recent editions of the Games. They also build on the reforms outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 which aim to create more flexibility into the Olympic programme of the Olympic Games (Recommendation 10).
· The Olympic brand platform has been updated to align it with Olympic Agenda 2020, specifically by making it a stated mission of the Olympic Movement to put the athletes at the heart of all we do. It also highlights the uniqueness of the Olympic Games.
· A mourning place will be established within the Olympic Village during the period of the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 (Recommendation 18). The chosen spot will contain a stone from Ancient Olympia that will be placed in a dignified place to allow athletes and all those in the Village to mourn those who have passed away, in a special and dignified way. It has also been decided to devote a “Moment of Remembrance” during the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games to allow everybody in the stadium, as well as those watching at home, to remember loved ones who have passed away.
· The IOC Ethics Commission continues to be strengthened and made more independent (Recommendation 30). The EB approved a list of proposed candidates for the roles of Ethics Commission Chair, Vice-Chair and members to be proposed to the Session in Kuala Lumpur. The candidates are:
Personalities, not IOC active members (at least five members)
-Guy Canivet, as Vice-Chair, term until Session 2019 (member already in place; President of France’s Court of Cassation, Member of the Constitutional Council of France)
- Patricia O’Brien, term until Session 2019 (new member; former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel)
- Geert Corstens, term until Session 2019 (new member; former President of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands)
- Youssoupha Ndiaye, as Chair, term until Session 2019 (member already in place)
- Samuel Schmid, term until Session 2017 (member already in place)
- Fransico Elizalde, term until Session 2017(member already in place)
IOC active Members (no more than four members):
- Robin Mitchell, term until Session 2017 (member already in place)
- Pierre Olivier Beckers-Vieujean, term until Session 2018 (member already in place)
- Yang Yang, as representative of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, term until Session 2018.
· The EB also approved revisions to the Code of Ethics, the Statutes of the Ethics Commission and the Rules of Procedure for cases submitted to the Ethics Commission. The revised texts will be published on www.olympic.org in the coming days.
“In Rio last February, we decided that the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 would be a topic at each EB meeting,” President Bach said. “Today we heard the implementation report for the first six months. All recommendations related to transparency and good governance have already been implemented. We have appointed a chief ethics and compliance officer, a chief internal audit officer, we strengthened the audit committee by separating it from the finance commission and strengthened the role of the Ethics Commission whose members will proposed for election to the IOC Session next month in Kuala Lumpur.”