PARIS - Organisers of the Paris 2024 Olympics need to better anticipate and finalise their security cover during the Games, France's top audit body said on Tuesday, warning that the opening ceremony on the River Seine posed a particular challenge.

In a report presented to the French parliament, the Court of Auditors made 15 recommendations to the organising committee, highlighting concerns around a reliance on private security operators to protect the games and risks over transport links.

Pierre Moscovici, the first president of the Court of Auditors, called the security of Paris 2024 a 'major challenge', and said internal security forces such as the police and army needed to be incorporated and financed.

"We're asking that the global security plan is finalised in the first trimester of 2023 so the reinforcement by internal security forces can be planned. We also recommend that the transport plan be finalised site by site," said Moscovici, a former French finance minister and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial affairs.

"It's doable but what the Court wants to say is that it is time resolutely to get into the operational phase. It's not too late but it's tense."

The 2024 Olympic Games will be held from July 26-Aug. 11 and the Paralympics from Aug. 28-Sept. 8.

He added the opening ceremony on the Seine was another challenge, and a probable reinforcement by the internal security forces should be anticipated by the organising committee.

Organisers expect at least 600,000 to attend the Summer Olympics opening ceremony on the Seine as athletes and delegations will sail along the river to kick off the Games.

Some 160 boats will set off on July 26 from the Pont d'Austerlitz for a six-kilometre journey to the Pont d'Iena

The report urges Paris 2024 to complete the renovation of transport facilities in time for the Games and points out the risk of delays on the Metro's line 14, and at major rail hubs such as the Gare du Nord.

"We also need to make sure there will be enough personnel to transport spectators and people with an accreditation," said Moscovici.


The Court of Auditors also underlined that inflation was eating into the organising committee's budget, which was increased by 10 per cent last December.

"There is a 315 million euro ($338 million) contingency reserve and it is preoccupying that 115 million has already been used," said Nacer Meddah, the president of the third chamber of the Court of Auditors.

France guarantees any deficit of the organising committee, and Meddah said it would be "catastrophic" if that guarantee was triggered.

Uncertainties surrounding the budget called for "rigorous scrutiny," Moscovici said.

A senior member of the Court of Auditors, who declined to be named because they are not at liberty to discuss the matter publicly, pointed out that Paris 2024 organisers had failed to come up with a 'worst case scenario' plan regarding finances.

Despite concerns about planning as a whole, Moscovici told reporters, "We are however not ringing the alarm bell". ($1 = 0.9323 euros)

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Alexandra Hudson;)