Nov 26, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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The security budget drawn-up last year – for the Pan Am Games in Toronto next summer – was too low.

That information comes from Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk – who also warns that purchasing of security services is behind schedule.

Lysyk says the Ontario government’s decision to award the contract for most of the private security at the Games to the “Contemporary Security Canada Company” was fair – but the $81 million price tag was $14 million higher than the next lowest bid.

The AG says the only concern raised in an audit was that the budget for security services “was understated and should have been more accurate.”

Organizers now estimate security costs at $247.4 million – more than double the original estimate of $121.9 million stated in Toronto’s bid for the 2015 Games.

The bill is just a fraction of the almost  $900 million spent on security at the Vancouver Olympics – and officials think there is a lower risk profile at the Pan Am Games, because far fewer high-profile dignitaries are expected to attend.

This September, the province had to pump another $74 million into the budget for the games – mostly because of lower than expected revenues from sponsors.

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