Greek authorities delay payment on Olympic security system, citing delivery delays

Saturday, July 10th 2004, 11:09 am
By: News On 6

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Frustrated by delays, the Greek government has postponed payment on a multimillion-dollar security system being built by an American-led consortium for the Summer Olympics, according to media reports.

The final installment of $173 million has been put on hold due to government concerns about whether the security system will be ready for the Aug. 13 opening of the games, the Athens daily To Vima reported Saturday.

The consortium, led by the San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, is responsible for installing thousands of infrared and high-resolution cameras around the capital and Olympic venues, as well as a secure communication and information and radio system for security services.

According to the contract, SAIC was to deliver the system by May 28. But there have been delays in installation, which sources at the company blamed on construction setbacks at Olympic venues, such as the yet-unfinished main Olympic stadium. But they say that the majority of the system is in place and has been tested.

The newspaper report said that the government committee responsible for overseeing the security system has not signed the final contract papers yet.

Dave Tubbs, a senior vice president with SAIC, declined to comment on the newspaper report.

Public Order Ministry officials have acknowledged that there had been some problems in the past but stress that the security system will be delivered in time.

Companies in the SAIC consortium include Germany's Siemens AG; General Dynamics of Falls Church, Va.; New Jersey-based Honeywell International; and the Israeli company Elbit Systems. Several Greek companies also are participating.