DD2375 GLA Transformation Programme – Ways of Working

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
22 July 2019
Decision by: 
Mary Harpley, Chief Officer of the GLA

Executive summary

This decision form seeks approval for expenditure of up to £2m across 2019-20 and 2020-21, arising from the Chief Officer’s Transformation Programme for the Greater London Authority (GLA) support services.

The Transformation Programme is organised into three workstreams:

• The talent attraction, management, diversity and inclusion workstream;
• The new ways of working workstream; and
• The shared services workstream.

The expenditure laid out in this paper covers the specialist professional support and a package of technology changes and upgrades needed to deliver the new ways of working workstream. As well as increasing staff productivity, this change avoids the need for the GLA to rent additional office space to accommodate the growth in the GLA’s responsibilities and headcount and therefore provides optimal value for money.


That the Chief Officer approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £2m to transform ways of working for GLA staff in both City Hall and Union Street by improving office space, investing in technology and commissioning associated professional support under the new ways of working workstream; and

2. An exemption from the requirement of the GLA Contracts and Funding Code to procure competitively as a result of previous involvement in a specific current project or continuation of existing work that cannot be separated from the new project/work in two instances:

a) Commission Advanced Workplace Associates Limited for workplace consultancy support in relation to the new ways of working workstream; and

b) Commission Arup to investigate statutory capacity limits; in relation to the new ways of working workstream.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

This decision supports the delivery of the Chief Officer’s Transformation Programme which is seeking to address a number of key workforce issues.

The GLA is a very different organisation to the one envisaged when the GLA started life in 2000. The growth in staffing over time is perhaps the most tangible sign of change. This growth has partially been driven by a significant broadening of the GLA’s responsibilities over time. The focus of the organisation has shifted from entirely strategic to a mixture of strategic and delivery roles – the responsibilities for housing delivery added in 2012 and those gained this year with the devolution of adult education skills are two examples of moves into delivery. As the GLA has grown its requirements for facilities and technology have also grown and changes are required to support the current and future workforce.

In looking to support new ways of working, the Transformation Programme is working to a number of underpinning principles:

• A digital workplace of modern systems, products and a culture of paperless working
• Increased collaboration and innovation across the organisation, as teams are equipped to work more effectively together
• Increasing productivity – more time for higher-value tasks
• Flexibility to change and respond swiftly to change
• Inclusive – designed and available to everyone
• Reliability – everything works, wherever you are working
• A focus on evaluation by outcomes and results rather than presenteeism.

The Transformation Programme is organised into three workstreams:

• Talent attraction, management, diversity and inclusion workstream;
• New ways of working workstream; and
• Shared services workstream.

Work is already underway across all the workstreams. The talent attraction, management, diversity and inclusion workstream has already been resourced. The shared services workstream is still in the early, exploratory stage and does not need any further resource at the moment. This paper focusses on the new ways of working workstream where funding is now required to procure the services of a number of specialist external providers.

The workplace consultancy company Advance Workplace Associates Ltd (AWA) undertook initial analysis of the City Hall and Union Street offices in Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, looking to understand not only the utilisation of these offices, but also how the working environment in these spaces supports staff in undertaking their roles. Their findings were that there was a lack of consistency in adopting smart ways of working and a sense of dissatisfaction and inconsistency around the technology strategy.

An improved technology approach which provides staff with standardised kit will enable them to reduce their reliance on paper usage, particularly in meetings because staff will be able to take notes and refer to documents on their surface pros. This will both support the reduction to the GLA’s carbon footprint and is also more secure than having confidential papers printed out. The proposals below seek to address these issues.

In light of the programme of work laid out in this paper, and assuming its successful implementation, we will not have to consider the acquisition of any further leased space beyond our current commitments in City Hall, in Union Street and at the Royal Docks. This had been under consideration and not pursuing this saves considerable cost.

Programme of further analysis of City Hall and Union Street capacity and implementation of early changes

The AWA initial analysis found that there was a sub-optimal use of office space, for example technology not being used effectively, peak and trough desks (desks not being utilised consistently throughout the week), lack of meeting room space and office usage and inefficiencies in the use of the office floorplan. These inefficiencies have largely arisen from the increase to head count as the GLA has additional responsibilities. Their analysis supports the recommendation that it is preferable to work on the introduction of smart working and streamlining the building use as opposed to renting additional space which would be costly and not solve the underlying problems.

Further formal analysis is required of the maximum capacity in City Hall in terms of statutory compliance with air volume, fire strategy and toilet capacity, alongside a capacity audit for our leased space in Union Street. This will ensure that we have a clear view of our capacity limitations and to ensure we continue to comply with all relevant statutory obligations in this regard. Arup were the original designers of the engineering services for the building and therefore, hold all the design information and models on the capacity of City Hall.

We are seeking an exemption from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code, Part C, paragraph 10 to procure Arup to undertake the work required rather than undertake a procurement process. Arup have previously investigated the statutory capacity limits in 2007. The new specification is to update this in line with current legislation. If another company were to undertake the work, they would have to start the project from first principles including consulting with the original designer, Arup, and therefore, it would take longer and cost more.

To alleviate the capacity issues there is currently a partial hot desk system in place which we have found is not working as effectively as it could. Hot desk allocation is managed by a variety of different administration processes across the offices. These processes, in addition to staff having to spend time trying to find a desk, are not efficient. There are also desks which are occupied but not used for large parts of the day while the occupant is attending meetings. The current systems contribute to the buildings being deemed to be over utilised or underutilised. A system will be installed to signpost staff to the free desks across the building which will manage the desk capacity more efficiently and reduce the time staff spend administering hot desk processes or looking for a desk. Space allocated to Assembly Members and their staff and Mayoral space will not be subject to these proposals.

It has been identified that a procurement process needs to commence now for installation of the desk signposting system in early Autumn. Transport for London (TfL) are trialling desk sensor systems and we will work with them to share learnings as part of this project. It is important to note that the purpose of such a system it is to ease the capacity problems in the office by signposting staff to available desks. The purpose is not to monitor staff in any way.

Workplace requirements have changed considerably since City Hall (and Union Street) were built. The right tools and environment are needed to support smart working, team collaboration and individual working, and changes and updates are needed to upgrade the GLA facilities and office space. A procurement process (as further detailed in paragraph 2.4) is required of professional capacity, internal building works, for example additional meeting spaces and a limited amount of new furniture to put in place the right mix of desk, collaboration and meeting space in City Hall and Union Street.

Package of technology changes and upgrades

The current IT model requires most staff to log into a stationary computer and desk phone located on desks in City Hall and Union Street. This reduces flexibility of working as it means staff have to come into the office to log onto the systems. An important part of smart working is to provide IT equipment for staff to be able work flexibly.

A procurement process (as further detailed in paragraph 2.4) is required to equip staff with the equipment to support the technology changes and upgrades.

After researching the options, the proposal is to upgrade or issue standard ‘kit’ of Microsoft Surface Pro laptops and Apple iPhones for all staff (other than those in posts with no flexibility in terms of hours/location, or with specialist requirements, for example graphic design). There are currently 400 Microsoft Surface Pro laptops already in use and software on these would need upgrading. There are 700 Apple iPhones currently in use. Staff who don’t currently have kit will need to be issued with a laptop and phone. This will enable them to work collaboratively, flexibly and remotely, both within the office, outside of the office and at external meetings.

Surface Pro devices are built around the Windows operating system and require much less effort to enable network services on and these devices are very tightly integrated with Office 365 software. iPhones benefit from the fact that the Apple iOS operating system is consistent across all models of iPhone devices and corporate software such as Outlook will work much more reliably on them.

As part of this IT upgrade the equipment on desks will need to be reconfigured. 30% of desks will still have a desktop on them to enable staff to access the GLA systems when in the office without their laptop for example, or if staff have reasonable adjustments which means they need to work from the office.

All other desks are to have a docking station for Surface Pros and the proposal is for all desks to retain desk phones initially, however the role of Skype in our new arrangements will be considered in more detail.

Along with the roll out of new kit and to support smart working, standard meeting room technology will need to be installed, compatible with Surface Pros, allowing staff and others joining meetings virtually to do so in an effective way. Technology will be trialled in limited locations initially, but eventually these devices need to be provided throughout all current meeting rooms in City Hall and Union Street. The roll-out will be based on prioritisation and will start with replacing the most out-dated/energy inefficient equipment first at City Hall.
Professional support in detailed design and early implementation of this change programme

To successfully roll out a transformation programme it is important to procure specialist knowledge to support the roll out of the technology and facilities project streams. Included as part of this transformation must be change management support to successfully embed the changes. Communications and training need to be planned in to ensure staff understand the changes and why they are happening; the impacts on them and their work life; and have any support or training that they require as part of the changes.

We are seeking an exemption from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code, Part C, paragraph 10 to procure AWS to undertake the work required rather than undertake a procurement process. They have the expertise to implement the changes that we require, they have knowledge of the organisation because they undertook a recent analysis report (as described in paragraph 1.6) and they will be supporting the GLA to embed their recommendations which was a deliverable from the phase 1 contract. Given the pressures that the GLA has with its building and the lack of capacity, we consider that AWA are the most suitable and that they can help the GLA to deliver its transformation programme.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The work described in this decision will help the GLA to increase productivity and be resilient to cope with future changes and challenges. The advantages to the GLA will be:

  • More productivity as staff are not spending time on out of date processes, finding desks or dealing with IT issues
  • Smart working enables staff to work anywhere that best suits them in multiple locations which reduces the pressure on the offices and enables them to more effectively work around commitments outside of the office such as meetings, appointments and other responsibilities
  • There will be efficiency savings and a reduction of the carbon footprint
  • The changes will help the GLA retain staff and attract talent
  • This work will also have positive benefits on GLA staff:
  • Smart working and the ability to be flexible promotes a better work life balance
  • Staff will be trusted to work more independently and be measured on outcomes reducing ‘command and control’ culture and allowing them to feel more autonomous
  • An improved office environment will support better employee engagement
  • They will be able to spend more time on high value work leading to higher job satisfaction
  • The expected outcomes of the workstream are:
  • Maximum capacity and statutory compliance analysis report for City Hall
  • Installation of a desk signposting system in City Hall and Union Street
  • Workplace design plans including final building work and furniture requirements
  • Building work completion and fitting of new furniture
  • Upgrade of 400 Surface Pro laptops
  • Issue of Surface Pro laptops and Apple iPhones to those who don’t currently have them
  • Reconfiguration of desk equipment and meeting rooms
  • Successful workstream and change management supported by an external provider (measured by completion of agreed project plan to time and to budget)

Procurement programme


These specialist services (as detailed above) will be procured through a mix of single source requests, frameworks and open and competitive tendering. We will be working with TfL Commercial who undertake the GLA’s procurement function to ensure we undertake the most appropriate procurement route


The proposed tendering process is outlined below:



Procurement approach

Capacity analysis of City Hall and Union Street

Single source request for AWA

Desk signposting system provider

Open competitive tendering

Office configuration consultancy support

Open competitive tendering

Office equipment & furniture

Open competitive tendering

Building contractors

Open competitive tendering

Microsoft Surface Pros

Existing Framework

Apple iPhones

Existing Framework

Meeting room technology

Existing Framework

Deployment team (kit upgrades & installation)


Workplace consultancy support

Single source request for ARUP

Change management consultancy support

Open competitive tendering

Equality comments

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) considerations are being taken into consideration and will be central to the design of the transformation programme, the likely potential impacts, both positive and negative.

Inclusion is a key principle of the design of the programme and will develop the GLA’s reputation as a flexible employer also highlighted and measured in the GLA’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Standard.

The Mayor’s Equality Diversity & Inclusion Strategy outlines that the GLA needs to be ‘Leading by example’, specifically, we should be an inclusive employer. The objective which directly links to this decision is: To take the steps needed to ensure that all organisations within the GLA group have open and inclusive cultures and are great places to work.

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as public authorities, the Mayor and GLA are subject to a public-sector equality duty and must have ‘due regard’ to the need to (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and (iii) foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (all except the last being “relevant” protected characteristics).

Due diligence will be taken through the transformation work to ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010. Smart working can contribute to compliance with the Equality Act 2010 as it ensures different working patterns and needs are more easily adopted and supported by the working environment.

To ensure that there is no potential for discrimination against specific groups, Unison and Staff Network representatives (including the newly formed GLA staff Disability network) will be invited, to collaborate on the design and rollout of the programme.

This work will directly contribute to our Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and will directly support the fostering of good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not (in line with our Public Sector Equality Duty).

Other considerations

Timescales are tight to secure - This will be factored into the commissioning of all the different workstreams. The procurement routes will be a mix of single source requests, procuring from frameworks agreements already in place and open and competitive tendering. A GLA project manager will manage the programme and a procurement timetable has been developed. The GLA project manager will work with TfL Commercial to commission the workstreams. There will be specifications for the workstreams and the project plans will be required by the suppliers. GLA officers will hold regular meeting with suppliers to ensure the workstreams are delivered as set out in the specification and project plan to agreed timeframes.

This work supports the Mayor in delivering his vision of a ‘fair and equal city’. The work streams will support the GLA aim to be an exemplar employer with good working practices. The working environment and arrangements will inspire and enable everyone at the GLA to work effectively together, make the best use of available space, enjoy a healthy work-life balance, and deliver world-class service to London and Londoners.

Data protection and new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) guidelines will be complied with by all providers. This work forms part of the Transformation Programme which is a priority for the Chief Officer. Full impact assessments will be carried out as part of any review commissioned following the recommendations of this report.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £2m to implement the workstreams detailed above.

Expenditure will be incurred over 2019-20 and 2020-21 with spend for 2019-20 expected to be up to £1.7m with the remaining amount of up to £0.3m to be incurred in 2020-21.

The amount of up to £1.7m for 2019-20 will be funded from the following sources:

• Up to £0.4m will be funded from the spare capacity currently available within the Chief Officer’s Transformation Fund budget for 2019-20;
• Up to £0.6m from the GLA’s Estates Reserve for facilities related investment; and
• Up to £0.7m from the GLA’s Development Reserve for IT equipment.

The amount of up to £0.3m for 2020-21 will be funded from the following sources:

• Up to £0.1m will be funded from the spare capacity currently available within the Chief Officer’s Transformation Fund budget for 2020-21; and
• Up to £0.2m from the GLA’s Development Reserve for IT equipment.

Activity table



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

July 2019

Announcement [if applicable]

September 2019

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

August 2019

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


Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

May 2020

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

May 2020

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