GLA-OPS – could we be paving the way for other grant giving bodies?

22 May 2020

We launched our first bespoke grant and project management system, Open Project System (OPS), in 2016, initially for use by the Housing and Land (H&L) and Regeneration units.

The system’s success and ease of use soon became widely known across the GLA, and other teams could see the potential that such a digital system could give their teams and partners. 

2018 saw the start of the corporate rollout, with the system evolving and new functionality being built allowing multiple new teams to use the system. Other GLA functional bodies such as MOPAC and OPDC also got on board and are now using the system as well. 

More recently, the OPS team have seen interest from external organisations who are keen to learn more about OPS and what it can do for them. 

The GLA-OPS team recently met with North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), a new Mayoral Authority formed in 2018, who were on the hunt for a Management Information system other public bodies were using which they could recommend.

After hearing repeated responses along the lines of, “no, not our system, it’s so dated!”……they finally heard about OPS from our staff who were able to say, “yes, we have a system that is great to use!”

NTCA found our Open Source code which enables them to reuse what we’ve already built free of charge! We’re committed to making sure we make the best use of public funds and so sharing our code with other like-minded organisations completely made sense to us!

We did a detailed demo for NTCA, showing them how the system works, the vision we’re working towards and the great results we’ve achieved.

As a public body administering grants, NTCA experienced some of the same challenges as us.

From the need to have robust audit trails, having the ability to extract information when we are asked to respond to an information request or even being able to facilitate grant-giving without having an onerous application process.

We had exactly the same challenges but were able to overcome them, and the solutions lie in our free code! 

NTCA are now exploring how they can take this code forward, and how they can reshape OPS to meet their own needs. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing how the OPS family will grow!

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