Sydney, 6th March on occasion of the inauguration of its new headquarters, the National Olympic Committee of Australian has hosted two important Olympic Solidarity meetings.

The first meeting to take place was the annual meeting of the five OS Continental Offices with Olympic Solidarity Lausanne, on 4th of March. Chaired by OS Director Pere Miró, this was a technical meeting that focused on Olympic Solidarity’s management strategies with the aim of harmonising and improving the effectiveness of the OS Continental Offices, including the best use of funds and standardised accounting procedures, so as to make certain that OS invests in the best possible interests of the NOCs.

The 2013 meeting coinciding with the start to the new quadrennial, it focused on new accounting and audit procedures and the new financial control policy for all OS funds that the five OS Continental Offices need to adopt in order to further consolidate good governance standards.

The European Olympic Committees, the Association which acts as OS continental office for Europe, was represented by Administrative Director Gianluca De Angelis, who reported how, thanks to careful management, the European Association had succeeded in bringing down administrative costs to 11% of expenditure, thus freeing up additional investment for the NOCs. A policy that the EOC will continue to pursue for the new quadrennial, ensuring a global investment for NOCs of 66% of budget, which, when summed with the 9% for continental Games, gives a total of 75%.

The following day, the Olympic Solidarity Commission, which is chaired by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, and which includes EOC President Patrick Hickey and ANOC Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg, discussed the more political aspects of OS policy issues, including objectives and the how the structure of the new 2013-2016 programme, for which funds have been considerably increased.

As always, formal meetings aside, the Sydney meetings gave the participants the opportunity to meet their colleagues from other continents and exchange information on an informal level as well.