Organisers must make 2012 ticketing process clearer: Survey

London: London 2012 Olympic organisers (LOCOG) risk jeopardising public confidence and trust in the ticketing process unless they make it more transparent and stop hiding behind commercial confidentiality, lawmakers said on Thursday.

Ever since the first batch of tickets went on sale last March, the distribution process has been severely criticised after thousands of applicants were left empty-handed.

The London Assembly`s Economy, Culture and Sport committee has written to LOCOG`s bosses, the Olympic Board, asking for more transparency after failing to get answers during two years of enquiries.

It wants a detailed breakdown of how many tickets have been sold for each event, and at what price, to show that cheaper tickets have been spread out equally across all events.

It also wants to know what tickets sponsors have access to.

"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," Dee Doocey, chairwoman of the committee, said in a statement.

"LOCOG is putting public confidence at risk by refusing to provide a complete breakdown of how many tickets were available for each event.

"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."

Other problems have also cropped up, ranging from the ticket website crashing to breastfeeding mothers being told they would have to buy a separate ticket for their babies.

The committee`s report "Sold Out" also asks how 10,000 tickets for synchronised swimming were sold accidentally before being withdrawn, and how technical faults with the ticket resale website have been resolved.

LOCOG has indicated in the past that about 28 percent of the 8.8 million tickets would cost 20 pounds or less.

But the committee wants to know whether a disproportionate number of the highly priced tickets have been set aside for the most popular events.

The report recognises LOCOG`s need to raise two billion pounds to stage the Games, and has praised it in the past for holding a ballot in the earlier rounds of sales and installing a discount scheme for younger and older people.

But it says LOCOG must seek to satisfy public expectations for an "affordable, accessible Games" otherwise Londoners will feel the Games were never "truly within their reach".

About 9,000 tickets have been allocated to central government and 700,000 to sponsors.

Bureau Report

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