DD1442 Expenditure for Speed Volunteering and Work Project

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 December 2015
Decision by: 
Mark Kleinman (past staff), Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy

Executive summary

The GLA was awarded £3m from the Innovate UK (formally known as Technology Strategy Board (TSB)) towards a Smart Cities Demonstrator Programme (MD1247), which includes the development and delivery of a Micro-Work and Volunteering platform. MD1247 delegated authority to the Executive Director Development, Enterprise and Environment to approve subsequent decisions on the programme.

To fund technological developments Team London are requesting a drawdown of the remaining £235,000 of the forecasted project budget of £750,000 Innovate UK (formally TSB) funding from the Environment team into Team London. 



That the Executive Director of Development, Enterprise and Environment approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £235,000 to fund technological developments and enhancements of the Speed Volunteering Platform

2. A related exemption from the requirement the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to seek three or more competitive quotations for the required services/call off the required services from an  accessible framework


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA was awarded £3m from the Innovate UK (formally known as Technology Strategy Board)  towards a Smart Cities Demonstrator Programme (MD1247), which includes the development and delivery of a Micro-Work and Volunteering platform. The online portal supports the Mayor’s Volunteering Strategy and his vision for a Smart London ; one that puts technological innovation at the heart of efforts to address challenges that global cities face. There are two strands to the online platform: the first is to give Londoners the flexibility to volunteer in ways that fit their busy lifestyles. The second is to connect young people to work experience – be it through volunteering or paid work. The Speed Volunteering and work website launched in February 215. Paid work has been promoted on the website since October 2015.  

1.2        To fund the technological development of the Micro Volunteering and Work Platform, DD1132     authorised the virement of £125,000 (of Innovate UK ) from the Environment team to Team     London. DD1183 approved the entry into a funding agreement between Do-it Trust (charity number     1117891) and Team London to develop the platform up to a maximum of £125,000. DD1282     authorised £200,000 to charitable organisations in Greater London in the form of 20 grants of     £10,000 each to create and upload Speed Volunteering opportunities. DD1231 authorised £65,000     for Team London marketing campaign. 
1.3        The spend on the project falls largely in-line with the original budget proposed within MD1247. The     project is forecast to be delivered within the original budget of £750,000. There have been three     changes to the original proposal. 

-    The £50,000 that was budgeted for to ‘Recruit, Train and Deploy IT Ambassadors to Third Sector Organisations’ has not been committed. From feedback from Third Sector users highlighted the system did not require additional training requirements. These funds have been budgeted to pay for an IOS and Android Speed Volunteering App developments. 
-    The £100,000 that was budgeted for ‘Marketing to Employers’ has not been committed. A series of strategic referral relationships with Youth Unemployment charities will now provide this function. These funds will be used to pay for systems integrations with these organisations so that suitable job opportunities will pull through onto the Speed Volunteering website. It will also fund additional grant funding to create further supply of Speed Volunteering opportunities. 
-    The original ‘Project Managed by the Impact Volunteering Team’ budget of £80,000 was exceeded by £20,000. This is due to time-delays caused by the launch of the National Volunteering website. The £20,000 difference has been recouped by cost savings with Do-it Trust for the longer term website maintenance. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Team London request the draw-down of £235,000 to make several enhancements to the Speed Volunteering and Work platform.  These are listed below: 

2.2    Maintenance 

•    For Do-it Trust to provide essential website maintenance and hosting services for 2015/2016 and 2016/2017. 
•    Up to ten days’ worth of mini-enhancements work to ensure that the Speed Volunteering website remains a market leading tool to engage Londoners in volunteering. 

Projected budget:

•    Website maintenance £17,500
•    Budget for mini-enhancements £17,500
•    TOTAL: £35,000

2.3    Single source request

This approval paper seeks permission to be exempted from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code by way of directly appointing the incumbent, Do-it Trust, to carry out the maintenance services. This approach will ensure effective webhosting, maintenance and mini-enhancement service for the website and provide value for money. One of the grounds for exemption in section 5.4 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to undertake a competitive procurement exercise is where there is previous involvement in a specific current project or continuation of existing work which cannot be separated from the new project / work. The GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code also refers to situations where a Supplier is unique in its ability to provide compatibility with an existing service. Officers have confirmed that this is the case in both instances. Do-it Trust is responsible for the wider Do-it platform. The Speed Volunteering website is built on the same back end systems. To make any maintenance updates or mini-enhancement with a different supplier, every piece of work and scheduled maintenance updates would need to be checked and tested by an external provider during the build, and then Do-it Trust providers would have to re-test this before they made any changes to their wider API as this would affect the National Volunteering database. This would increase the overall costs and risks involved for both parties.  

2.4     App

•    To develop and deliver a Speed Volunteering App for IOS phones
•    To develop and deliver a Speed Volunteering App for Android phones
•    Minimum number of App downloads 250 by 26th February 2016

Projected budget:

•    Speed Volunteering App for IOS £40,000
•    Deliver a Speed Volunteering App for Android £27,000
•    TOTAL: £67,000.00

2.5     Work 

•    To develop and enhance the Speed Volunteering and Work websites ability to host paid work vacancies. 
•    To develop and enhance external partner’s ability to pull through suitable paid work vacancies onto the Speed Volunteering and Work website jobs listing service. 
•    Minimum number of jobs hosted on the Jobs listings service. 100 by 29th January 2015. 
•    To enhance the website ability to allow volunteers to use their Volunteering experience as a stepping stone to finding suitable paid work vacancies. 

Projected budget:

•    Improve Jobs Listings Functionality £29,188
•    TOTAL: £29,188

2.6     Grant Funding 

•    To fund over 30 London charities to develop and upload Speed Volunteering opportunities onto the Speed Volunteering website. 
•    Over 80% of volunteers will rate their Speed Volunteering opportunity as 7 or above out of 10. 
•    Grants organisations will engage with at least 10,000 volunteers. 
•    Volunteers will provide at least 50,000 hours of support. 

Projected budget:

•    Grant funding to increase Speed Volunteering supply £70,000
•    TOTAL: £70,000.00

2.7     Technology contingency

•    There are multiple technology areas within this project (website, IOS App, Android App, API work with stakeholders and API work with Do-it Trust. We would like to hold a technology contingency budget to mitigate against the risk of unforeseen costs.   

Projected budget:

•    Technology Contingency £33,800
•    TOTAL: £33,800 


Equality comments

3.1     The new ‘bite-sized’ volunteering opportunities will make it easier for people who work full time to be able to engage with volunteering around their busy work lives.

3.2    It will help empower young unemployed people by helping to improve their employability 
through gaining additional skills and experience through volunteering. 

3.3    It will help match these unemployed young people to find suitable first and second paid job roles by making it easier for them to demonstrate the experience they have gained volunteering. 

3.4    Make it easier for young Londoners to find suitable entry level paid work opportunities. 


Other considerations

4.1    There are no other considerations. 


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of £235,000 to fund technological developments under the Micro Work and Volunteering programme. A budget drawdown of the remaining £235,000 from reserves (formally known as TSB reserves) to the Team London budget in 2015-16 will be required. 

5.2    Below is a summary of Team London’s spend to date of the allocated £750,000  IUK funding received at the end of 2012-13 and forecast spend for 2015-16 to 2017-18.


2013-14 actual


2013-14 actual


2015-16 forecast


2016-17 forecast




Team London - Micro-Work and Volunteering platform









Planned delivery approach and next steps



Speed Volunteering website maintenance and hosting

1st April 2015

IOS Speed Volunteering App completed

31st October 2015

Speed Volunteering website 10 days mini enhancement budget  start

20th November 2015

Award and implement Speed Volunteering grants 2

20th November 2015

Enhanced Work Functionality start

20th November 2015

Android Speed Volunteering App completed

22nd February 2016

Enhanced Work functionality completed

20th March 2016

Speed Volunteering grants 2 complete

20th August 2016

IOS Speed Volunteering App review

31st October 2016

Android Speed Volunteering App Review

22nd December 2016

Speed Volunteering website 10 days mini enhancement budget complete

31st March 2017

Speed Volunteering website maintenance and hosting complete

31st March 2017


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