DD2462 City Operations Unit – IT Data Platform
The City Operations Unit delivers a situational awareness function, based on responses to developing issues or incidents that may impact on London or Londoners. To continue to deliver this first alert capability, access to a certain social media monitoring platform is required. The cost of ten licences for such access is anticipated to be £150,000.
That the Executive Director of Strategy and Communications approves:
Expenditure of up to £150,000 for ten licences for access to a Social Media monitoring web platform.
Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice
The Mayor has an important, strategic role in leading and communicating on events that affect the life of Londoners in all respects - transport, social, health, business, security etc. This responsibility has been especially important when a major disruptive incident has occurred. In such circumstances, Londoners expect to hear from the leader of the city and it is critical that the Mayor has at his disposal the most accurate and current information to enable him to speak with authority and lead London in a crisis situation.
The City Operations Unit provides a situational awareness capability with the ability to identify, process, analyse and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening and turn this information into actionable intelligence.
As part of the core capabilities of the team, there is a need to access data platforms with the ability to analyse open-source data. City Operations procured these licences for the budget period 2019/2020 and there is now a requirement to renew this subscription for the year 2020/2021.
Once purchased and renewed these licences will continue to form part of the day to day operational delivery outputs of the unit.
The GLA is aware of its duties under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (it 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 between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic (race, disability, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment) and persons who do not share it and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it. The potential impacts have been assessed and reviewed and no adverse impact is expected on equalities issues or any people with relevant protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
No risks or issues have been identified.
This work of City operations is linked to the Mayor’s responsibilities as a Category One responder as defined under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
Executive Director’s approval is sought for expenditure up to and including £150,000 for ten licences for access to a Social Media monitoring web platform. The cost of this is to be funded from London Situational Awareness Team’s (LSAT) 2020-21 budget agreed as part of 2020-21 budget setting process.
Under section 30 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (GLA Act), the Mayor has the power to do anything which it considers will further any one or more of the GLA’s principal purposes. The principal purposes of the GLA are the purposes of (a) promoting economic development and wealth creation in Greater London; (b) promoting social development in Greater London, and (c) promoting the improvement of the environment in Greater London. Under section 34 of the GLA Act, the Mayor may do anything (including the acquisition or disposal of any property or rights) which is calculated to facilitate or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of any functions of the GLA exercisable by the Mayor.
Under section 31of the GLA Act, there are limitations on the section 30 power; the GLA must not incur expenditure in doing anything which may be done by Transport for London, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, or the London Fire Commissioner; nor must it incur expenditure in providing education, health or social services which may be provided by another public body. However, under section 31(6), this does not prevent the GLA incurring expenditure in co-operating with or facilitating or coordinating the activities of, the bodies mentioned (TfL, MOPAC, LFC, other public bodies).
If providing a situational awareness capability will further one of the GLA’s principal purposes, or will facilitate or be conducive or incidental to, the exercise of functions by the Mayor to further one or more of those purposes, then such provision will be within the power under section 30 of the GLA Act, and there is no indication that it breaches the limitations under section 31 of the GLA Act.
The Mayor’s role as a Category One responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is referred to at section 4 of this paper.
The Mayor’s public sector equality duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 is acknowledged in section 3 of this paper. On the basis of the information supplied, there is no reason to suppose that the purchase / renewal of data platform licences requires further consideration against that duty.
The officers must ensure that they comply with the requirements of the Authority’s Contracts and Funding Code when they facilitate the Authorities procurement of the data platform licences.
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