Oz companies might sue CWG OC over non-payment

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Foreign firms which were a part of the Commonwealth Games are mulling legal action against Suresh Kalmadi led CWG OC due to professional apathy, non-payment of bills and no efforts to communicate. It has been learnt that millions of dollars are owed to 30-40 foreign companies that helped in the execution of the opening and closing ceremonies of the sports mega-event held last October.

The Australian company behind the fireworks at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi has accused the organisers of unethical behaviour, saying they had not paid their bills.

Andrew Howard said his company, Howard and Sons, was still owed Aus$300,000. Howard said his was one of about 30-40 companies from around the world which had worked on the glittering opening and closing ceremonies and was still waiting for payment or equipment.

“I’ll speak on my company’s behalf, our company still is to be paid 300,000 dollars. We’ve fulfilled our contract in its entirety to a very, very high standard and at every step of the way the organising community has failed to deliver its end of the contract. It’s an extremely frustrating situation. We are all so sick of the unprofessional, unlawful and unethical conduct of the OC (organising committee) and they need to be held accountable to their contracts,” he said.

A lot of Australian companies have claimed that they have still not been paid for their services rendered during the Commonwealth games 2010. These companies include contractors, equipment suppliers, vendors and consultants.

Australian contractors have claimed that they are yet to receive payments between 10-20 million dollars for the various services performed during the opening and closing ceremonies.

Ric Birch, who was the mastermind behind the successful opening and closing ceremonies of the mega-event, which took place from October 3 to 14 last year, told a website that his employers have still not paid their bill.

"I supplied the services of 12 people over the course of the year leading up to the Games, which included choreographers, producers and myself as executive producer," he was quoted as saying.

"They`re all production people who were intimately involved in the creation, production and direction of the opening and closing ceremonies."

He also added that when he tried to contact the organisers of the Games in relation to the unpaid bills, the calls were first ignored.

"Then finally in December I got a very short note from Lalit Bhanot who is secretary general of the organizing committee," he said.

"He sent a note saying that now they wanted to claim a performance guarantee because Mr Birch`s performance was not up to the mark. So I am mortified as you can imagine."

Birch is now planning to sue the OC so that they could recover their hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding fees.

He has also given his lawyers the names of other businesses, which may also want to take the legal action against Committee.

"There were up to 15 other companies involved with the opening ceremony and many more companies involved with the Commonwealth Games overall," he said.