DD2042 Periodic Polling Programme

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 September 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

Approval is sought to commission a market research agency to provide periodic online polling of Greater London residents for 12 months. 



The Executive Director approves expenditure of up to £130,000 for the period Nov 2016 – Oct 2017 and competitive procurement of periodic online polling services to support effective and impactful policy making and the development of strategies and programmes at City Hall.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The role of the GLA is to create the conditions whereby all Londoners can thrive.  Using traditional forms of social research and innovative engagement the Opinion Research Team can provide first class evidence and insight into public opinion and behaviours to support effective and impactful policy making and the development of strategies and programmes at City Hall. 

1.2        From 2009 - 2016 the GLA commissioned ICM Research Ltd to deliver a quarterly     telephone polling programme to inform the work of policy teams across City Hall     (MD124, DD1319).  

1.3        As the GLA is alunching into the revision of the Mayoral statutory Strategies, there is     now a particular requirement to provide robust opinion research insight to inform their     development and neither the methodology, capacity, nor frequency of the current     polling programme is adequate for our present market research requirements.  We need     to ensure that robust representative polling of Londoners can properly serve the needs     of the Mayor’s Office, policy teams and External Relations.  

1.4    Approval is sought to commission periodic online polls via a competitive tender among market research suppliers capable of providing this service for a London sample.  The cost of a 12 month contract is anticipated to be approximately £130,000.  

1.5    Programme requirements: 
a)    Monthly poll of 1,000 Londoners, with the ability to boost the poll sample by 500 interviews for certain demographics groups.
b)    Ad hoc polls (approximately 6 per year) in order to provide the GLA with rapid public opinion results in order to respond to immediate / critical research priorities.
c)    Access to a complementary polling profiles tool to support audience segmentation and media planning. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Objectives: 
a)    To commission a programme of opinion polling services that supports effective and impactful policy making; the development of strategies and programmes; and effective communications at City Hall during the next 12 months. 
b)    To achieve value for money for the Authority by commissioning and managing this programme on behalf of multiple clients at the GLA.

2.2    Outcomes: 
a)    The Opinion Research Team will manage the programme in order to ensure that all research undertaken delivers the high quality, robust insight required by clients across the GLA. 
b)    To ensure that our work is informed by the views of Londoners from all sections of the community. 

Equality comments

3.1    The Greater London Authority has an obligation under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider how its policies and decisions affect people who are protected under the act.  In polling a representative sample of Londoners we will seek to understand any differences in perceptions and experiences among specific groups and give due consideration to how best to meet their needs. 


Other considerations

a)    Risks and issues: The efficacy of online polling lies in a robust sample of respondents within the Greater London boundary.  The technical evaluation assessment will require tendering companies to demonstrate that they are capable of providing online polling trends at the frequency that we require, and that they have the ability to boost the sample of respondents from different demographic groups.  
b)    Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities: This programme of research is being commissioned to support the development of strategies, which will largely take place during the next twelve months.  During this time, officers will evaluate the polling programme delivery and assess requirements for opinion research for the rest of the Mayoral term.  At this point, we feel unable to commission a polling programme for the full term.   
c)    Impact assessments and consultations: The appropriate procurement process will be followed to ensure that the successful company complies with the GLA’s equal opportunities requirements.  Conducting surveys with a representative sample of Londoners will ensure that the GLA involves a broad constituency of people in our work.  Consultation helps the GLA to make better informed decisions and make us more accountable to the public. 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £130,000 for the procurement of periodic online polling services to support effective policy making and the development of strategies and programmes at City Hall. A DAR for £10,000 was completed in August 2016 to commission ad hoc surveys up to the start of the new contract.

5.2    The contract will be awarded via a competitive tender process and will last 12 months from November 2016 to October 2017.Therefore the costs will be incurred over 2 financial years in 2016-17 (£54k) and 2017-18 (£76k).

5.3    The costs will be funded from the Consultation Programme budget GG.0220.006.001 held within the Intelligence Unit. 

Investment and Performance Board

7.1    The periodic polling programme will be managed by Christine Wingfield in the Opinion Research Team.  Colleagues from GLA Marketing will work with the Opinion Research team to develop the tender specification and to evaluate the tender documents.   

7.2    Procurement has been consulted and has advised there is no existing Lot on the TfL Market Research Framework that meets all of our requirements. Therefore we must proceed with a competitive tender process. 



Procurement of contract

September 2016

Award of contract

Mid-October 2016

Delivery Start Date

November 2016

Delivery End Date

End October 2017


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