ADD2310 Digital, Data and Technology Peer Challenge
The purpose of the peer challenge is to consider the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) current approach to service design, data and innovation. In doing so, the peer challenge will consider issues such as leadership, skills, governance and capacity alongside the digital technology and assets available.
The scope of the challenge is specifically focused on the GLA’s technology, digital and data functions – and the extent to which they support the authority to operate effectively as a digital and data-driven organisation.
It is proposed that the GLA engages the Local Government Association (LGA) to conduct the peer challenge. The LGA’s peer challenge methodology is adaptable and has been applied successfully with a range of organisations and functions.
That both the Assistant Director of External Relations/Executive Director Communities and Intelligence and the Head of Technology approves:
1. Expenditure of up to £25,000, funded equally from External Relations, Communities and Intelligence and Technology budgets, to engage the Local Government Association to conduct a peer challenge of our digital, data and technology capability; and
2. A related exemption from the requirement of the GLA’s Contracts & Funding Code to procure services competitively and to commission the above Services from the Local Government Association.
Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice
The Local Government Association’s (LGA) sector led improvement offer provides a range of tools and support to help councils further strengthen local accountability and explore how effectively they are delivering services. The peer challenge is part of the LGA’s improvement offer – it is a robust and effective improvement tool managed and delivered by the sector for the sector. Peers are at the heart of the peer challenge process. They help councils with their improvement and learning by providing a ‘practitioner perspective’ and ‘critical friend’ challenge. The LGA’s peer challenge methodology is adaptable and has been applied successfully with a range of public organisations and functions.
The GLA appointed a Chief Digital Officer in September 2017 to drive digital transformation across London through greater collaboration across public services. In June 2018, the Mayor of London published Smarter London Together a roadmap to transform London into the smartest city in the world, with a strong focus on service design, data and promoting innovation.
The GLA seeks to be a modern and data-driven organisation – the peer challenge is an opportunity to support the authority to fulfil this aim. The purpose of the peer challenge is to consider the GLA’s current approach to service design, data and innovation. In doing so, the peer challenge will consider issues such as leadership, skills, governance and capacity alongside the digital technology and assets available.
The GLA will procure services for the peer challenge from the Local Government Association. The GLA will liaise with TfL procurement as appropriate.
Desk based research was conducted to identify potential suppliers. The Local Government Association was identified as the only supplier of this unique service and, as such, a single source procurement is required. The Local Government Association’s peer challenge uniquely provides a ‘practitioner perspective’ and ‘critical friend’ challenge that specifically relates to local government. The methodology has been applied successfully with a range of public organisations and functions.
If the GLA were to procure an external consultancy to deliver a similar piece of work but it would not have the benefits of drawing on local government expertise and would be significantly more expensive than the option of using the LGA. This therefore is not a cost-effective option for the GLA.
The peer challenge has been scheduled for the November 2018 with the panel presenting their findings to November’s Digital Board. The scope of the challenge has previously been discussed at the GLA’s Digital Board.
It is estimated that the fee for the review will not exceed £25,000.
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of the peer challenge is to consider the GLA’s current approach to service design, data and innovation. In doing so, the peer challenge will consider issues such as leadership, skills, governance and capacity alongside the digital technology and assets available.
The scope of the challenge is specifically focused on the GLA’s technology, digital and data functions – and the extent to which they support the authority to operate effectively as a digital and data-driven organisation. The GLA’s functional bodies; Transport for London, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority are not primarily in scope for this review, although we hope to use the findings to support future work in this area.
Lines of enquiry
The focus will be on digital service delivery, data and innovation to fulfil our digital vision, in particular:
Whether our technology and digital services functions are flexible, responsive and scalable to support the delivery of policy.
How technology and digital services support collaborative working inside the organisation and, where appropriate, outside.
What would enable wider digital service delivery to more effectively meet the needs of Londoners outside of core Technology, Digital and Data functions e.g. within policy teams.
How effectively we capture, analyse and share data (insight) to inform decision-making, service design and performance management
How we can ingest data sources from across London, aggregating, consolidating and make it available to the widest audience.
How our data can be used to deliver direct benefits to Londoners e.g. through new services, apps, insight and publishing for re-use
How to enable digital innovation and experimentation within the GLA e.g. developing new ways of using existing resources and assets to solve problems and deliver benefits
Summary of the peer challenge approach and methodology
The peer challenge is made up of the following stages and activity:
Onsite at the GLA:
The peer team will spend 3 days onsite at the GLA. Peers will meet with a wide range of people as per the timetable. The process is a dynamic one and requires a high degree of flexibility throughout. Meetings are less about evidence gathering but more an opportunity to explore issues and ideas. They should stimulate discussion within the Authority about how it might accelerate the achievement of its ambitions.
The peer team will collate, analyse and triangulate the key messages from these meetings which will then be used to develop and deliver feedback to the Authority. The onsite phase will finish with an informal round-table meeting where key findings are discussed with senior people from the Authority. This will take place at November’s Digital Board meeting. It is expected that the finding will form the basis of an action plan to take forward.
A draft feedback report will be prepared by the LGA peer challenge manager on behalf of the team. This is normally within 10 days of the onsite visit. Peers will also be asked to contribute to any signposting to practice and people that can support the key suggestions made by the peer team.
The peer challenge offer includes a follow up visit. The purpose of the visit is to help assess the impact of the peer challenge and the progress made against the areas for improvement and development. The GLA would choose the exact timing of the follow up visit (if required); these typically occur 12-24 months after the original peer challenge.
Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The public-sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely 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) and set out how you are addressing the duties. This duty will be considered throughout the procurement process in line with standing GLA’s recruitment policies.
The GLA will prepare a position statement for the challenge panel, outlining relevant strategies, initiatives and programmes. This context will help to ensure an efficient use of time and effective outputs.
This decision seeks approval for expenditure of up to £25,000 to engage the Local Government Association to conduct a peer challenge of our digital, data and technology capability. The expenditure will be jointly funded from External Relations, Intelligence and Technology budgets and will be spent in 2018/19 financial year.
A single source procurement request has been completed as there are no known alternative providers. The Local Government Association’s peer challenge uniquely provides a ‘practitioner perspective’ and ‘critical friend’ challenge. The methodology has been applied successfully with a range of organisations and functions.
The decisions requested of the Assistant Director (in accordance with the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code) concern the exercise of the GLA’s general powers, falling within the GLA’s statutory powers to do such things considered to further or which are facilitative of, conducive or incidental to the promotion of economic development and wealth creation, social development or the promotion of the improvement of the environment in Greater London; and in formulating the proposals in respect of which a decision is sought officers have complied with the Authority’s related statutory duties to:
• Pay due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people;
• Consider how the proposals will promote the improvement of health of persons, health inequalities between persons and to contribute towards the achievement of sustainable development in the United Kingdom; and
• Consult with appropriate bodies.
In taking the decisions requested, the Director must have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty; namely the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic (race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment) and persons who do not share it (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010). To this end, the Director should have particular regard to section 3 (above) of this report.
Officers should ensure that the services be procured by Transport for London Procurement who will determine the detail of the procurement strategy to be adopted in accordance with the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code. Officers must ensure that appropriate contract documentation is put in place and executed by the successful bidder(s) and the GLA before the commencement of the services.
Section 4.1 of the Contracts and Funding Code (the ‘Code’) requires the GLA to Seek a call-off from a suitable framework, where possible, or if not, undertake a formal tender process which will be managed by TfL in respect of the services. However, the director may approve an exemption from this requirement under section 5 of the Code upon certain specified grounds. One of those grounds is that there is a complete absence of competition. Officers have indicated at paragraph 1.5 of this report that this ground applies and that the proposed contracts affords value for money.
On this basis the director may approve the proposed exemption if satisfied with the content of this report.
Single Source Justification completed
GLA position statement
Peer challenge takes place
Follow up session