ADD2240 Licence agreement with the Newspaper Licensing Agency

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
25 June 2018
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Assistant Director, External Relations and Monitoring Officer

Executive summary

It is important for the GLA Group to effectively engage with the media and thereby reach Londoners and beyond; and media monitoring plays an important part in meeting that objective. It provides the respective media teams with a comprehensive report of media reaction to the strategies, policies, and activities of the GLA Group.

Newspaper Licensing Agency's (NLA) role is to ensure all organisations have access to the news they need whilst ensuring they are copyright compliant. The NLA licenses the copying of newspaper content on behalf of the copyright owners under the authority of the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988. The current NLA licence expires on the 1st June 2018 (see DD2139). It is proposed that a licence agreement is entered into by the GLA with the NLA with a maximum expenditure of £43,908.


That the Head of Media for the Mayor approves:

1. Expenditure of a maximum of £43,908 to enter into a licence agreement with the Newspaper Licensing Agency for one year; and

2. A related exemption from the requirement to seek three or more competitive quotations or make a call-off from an accessible framework for the provision of the licence to reflect the Newspaper Licensing Agency's position as sole licensor of copyright materials circulated by way of the press cutting service.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The GLA Group press cutting service was established in 2003 in order to deliver a more focused, responsive and efficient media monitoring service. This is a daily newsprint (national, regional, local and papers and trade journals) monitoring service that supports the communication work of the Mayor, Assembly, and Transport for London. It is important for the GLA Group to engage effectively with the media and thereby reach Londoners and beyond and media monitoring plays an important part in meeting that objective.

The Media Monitoring service provided the respective media teams with a comprehensive report of media reaction to the strategies, policies and activities of the GLA Group. In October 2010 the in-house service was outsourced to an external media monitoring agency.

Following the decision in 2002-3 to establish an in-house service, and subsequently outsource the entire service in 2010 the GLA is still required to procure a licence annually from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). A fee has been negotiated for 2018-19 following an NLA audit and this fee is applicable irrespective of who supplies the service.

The service is jointly funded by TfL, Met Police and Crossrail and they are invoiced quarterly to recover their contributions. The costs are proportional to the amount of coverage each functional body attracts.

As the NLA is sole authorised owner and licensor of copyright in the newspaper content under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988 the press cuttings service required cannot be obtained from any other supplier.

Objectives and expected outcomes

To continue to operate the Media Monitoring service in compliance with legal requirements. It is expected that the GLA Group will continue to hold a valid licence with the NLA.

Equality comments

There are no identifiable potential impacts, both positive and negative, of the decision on those with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation).

Other considerations

a) Links to strategies and Corporate Plan

The Mayor is committed to public information and engagement as stated in the corporate plan and the media is an established avenue of reaching Londoners and beyond. To ensure that the GLA communication strategy is effective, it is important to monitor media coverage of the GLA Group. Also establishing a GLA Group in-house monitoring service is in-line with the convergence agenda.

b) Impact assessments and Consultation

Consultation with TfL, the Met Police and Crossrail in regard to licence fees and aligning/merging the Met Police & Crossrail NLA licences has been carried out at the time of drafting of the original and subsequent Media Monitoring service agreements and at the regular quarterly service meetings held between TfL, GLA, Met Police, Crossrail & Kantar (our current Media Monitoring service provider). No further consultation was considered appropriate or necessary in the circumstances.

c) Risk

It is illegal to operate or utilize a press cutting service without a licence and failure to procure one leaves the authority open to legal proceedings/challenge.

Financial comments

The cost of the Media Monitoring Service’s Newspaper Licensing Agency fee to cover the period 1st June 2018 to 31st May 2019 is £43,908, with the costs funded by the GLA, Transport for London, The Met Police and Crossrail. The approximate proportional contribution towards this fee from the respective parties is broken down below and is proportionate to the amount of coverage each body attracts:



Funding Source

Amount (£)



Transport for London


Met Police




Total Fee




The GLA’s share of these costs (£4,032) will be met from the 2018-19 Press Office Media Monitoring budget, held in External Affairs Directorate. The GLA will recover the costs of the contract by invoicing each body on a quarterly basis.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) is responsible for copyright protection of Newspapers - national, regional, and local including digital copying and has the sole power to issue licences for the press cutting team's use of copyright protected materials. The GLA cannot use the materials lawfully without this license and therefore, the license is a legal requirement which only the NLA can fulfil.

This ADD seeks permission to be exempted from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code by way of directly appointing NLA to carry out the services. One of the grounds for exemption in section 5 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to undertake a competitive procurement exercise is where no other supplier can undertake the services and consequently there is a complete absence of competition. Officers have confirmed that this is the case, and that this approach will provide value for money

This is an annual licence and this latest licence will cover the GLA for another year up to and including 31st May 2019. The current licence expires on the 1st June 2018.

Activity table



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]


Announcement [if applicable]


Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]


Main milestones


Main milestones


Final evaluation start and finish (self/external) [delete as applicable]:


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]


Project Closure: [for project proposals]


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