Foreign Experts Brought in to Kick-Start Delhi Games Progress

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

MUMBAI, Oct. 14 – Following an inspection of the sites intended for the Delhi Commonwealth Games led by Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Mike Fennell, the Delhi Games Organizing Committee (DGOC) has the ignominy of having an Independent Technical Committee, made up of foreign experts oversee all aspects of DGOC preparations.

The CGF had delegates from each of the 71 commonwealth territories inspect all venues over the past six days. Fennell’s report was not good, stating that “There are particular concerns across all operational areas, as well as with the procurement processes.” Somewhat predictably, DGOC chief Suresh Kalmadi reacted angrily to the report and to the imposition of an independent review panel, saying that the CGF had come to India with an existing agenda and that the visit was extremely demoralizing.

He also questioned the right of the CGF to impose itself on the DGOC without prior government process. Fennell rejected plans for an alternative venue for the Games if Delhi was not up to scratch. In the only piece of good news he gave the DGOC he stated that “Plan B is Delhi.”

According to the Indian Express, the Independent Technical Committee will monitor the performance of the DGOC and will meet monthly to discuss progress with both the DGOC, as well as reporting directly to the Prime Minister’s office, the Delhi  government, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the media.

Fennell said the committee would “be empowered to call in other technical experts as required, and to liaise and engage with the CGF to ensure relevant policies are put in place and implemented. The committee would establish timelines, monitor progress against them, and assist the DGOC to create policies and plans to deliver the Games.”

Some of the areas of concern in terms of implementation will now be outsourced. These include village operations, press operations, transportation, ticketing, accreditation, spectator services, logistics, and sports operations. The CGF will assist the DGOC in paying for these services.

It is recommended that companies with expertise in these fields contact the DGOC and CGF immediately to inquire about bidding requirements. The CGF’s next visit to Delhi is in December, by which time, Fennell has said “The DGOC has undertaken to address all key issues across all operational areas.”

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the managing partner for Dezan Shira & Associates in India and may be able to provide advice over Indian contractual work. Email him at