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FIRMS TO GET FAIR SHARE OF GAMES FUNDS

SHARE FIRMS TO GET FAIR SHARE OF GAMES FUNDS

The head of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee wants the public to know that the $800 million it will cost to stage the 2002 Winter Games will be spent fairly, with at least half going to Utah companies.

"Fairness is a critical part of the Olympic movement, whether it be in the field of play or in contracts surrounding the staging of the Games," organizing committee president Tom Welch said in a statement issued Friday.To date, Welch said, 83 percent of the organizing committee's expenditures have been with Utah individuals and entities. The first major contract, worth as much as $6 million, was with a local law firm, Ray, Quinney & Nebeker.

Since then, the organizing committee has requested bids for other services, including providing insurance and risk management, auditing and television coverage for broadcast rights holders.

A committee headed by former House Speaker Nolan Karras, the governor's representative on the organizing committee's board of trustees, is establishing a procurement policy that will treat everyone fairly, Welch said.

Approval procedures for purchases are in place for levels of expenditures from less than $10,000 to more than $500,000, he said. Exceptions to the policy include professional services.

Welch said professional services - such as legal services - are "often subjective and based on fees, competence, resources, experience and other tangibles . . . "

Other exceptions include corporate sponsors who provide services as part of their contribution. Corporate sponsorships are expected to account for 43 percent of the budget.