ADD2006 Team London Ambassador Expenses management

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2006
Date signed: 
28 June 2016
Decision by: 
Natalie Cramp, Programme Director, Team London

Executive summary

MD1661 approved budget of £220,000 was set for the Visitor Welcome programme for the Summer of 2016 as part of the wider Team London programme budget. Team London Visitor Welcome programme aims to build on the volunteering legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games, Team London has deployed volunteers acting as Team London Ambassadors, at major tourist hotspots across London during 9 weeks in Summer. Every Summer since 2012 an average of 500 volunteers have been deployed at 9 key locations across the capital, providing a visitor welcome service to tourists visiting London. This programme is a key component of building a successful and lasting volunteering legacy from the Games. 

This Decision seeks to gain approval for both expenditure of and for Team London to enter into an agreement with Bread4Business to provide an online expenses management system to enable Team London manage volunteers travel and refreshment expenses efficiently. The total expenditure would amount to £42,032 and will be allocated to Team London’s Visitor Welcome budget. 

Team London’s current expenses management supplier is withdrawing their plastic card service from June 2016, and a new supplier needs to be arranged to ensure the success and reputation of the programme.  Advice was sought from TfL Commercial team to establish whether a competitive tender exercise or an exemption from the GLA contracts and funding code would be required, TfL confirmed Team London could go direct with the supplier as the system was internally managed.  Various providers were approached, but Bread4Business represented a best value solution offering a discount of 0.8% on the 2% load fee of the balance, because this was a volunteering programme.  
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Team London approves:

1.    A maximum expenditure of up to £42,032, of which £38,470 will be passed onto Team London Ambassadors as reimbursement for travel and refreshment expenses as part of their volunteering, and £3,562 would be payable to the provider.

2.    The decision to opt for a single supplier route and the award of the contract based on GLA best value principles, and to enter into an agreement with Bread4Business to enable Team London to manage Volunteer’s refreshments and travel expenses. 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    In the Summer of 2012 Team London delivered a hugely successful Visitor Welcome programme in support of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 7,000 highly trained and motivated volunteers were deployed in mobile pods across 43 locations. The role of the programme was to enhance the Visitor Welcome to the capital and to ensure that London maximised the potential benefits of the Olympic Games.

1.2    Since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Team London has continued to run a scaled down version of the Visitor Welcome programme, deploying c500 volunteers every Summer since 2012 at 9 key locations across the capital to continue to build a lasting volunteering legacy from the Olympic Games.

1.3    Since 2014 Team London has used a corporate pay card company to manage volunteer refreshments and travel expenses (London zones 1-6 only). However as of June 2016 our current provider has informed us that they are withdrawing their plastic card service, meaning that all cards currently assigned to our returning and new volunteers will be defunct as of the end of June.

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    Since the London 2012 Olympic Games Team London have reimbursed volunteers with reasonable travel expenses and up to a maximum of £5 per day for refreshments whilst undertaking their volunteering shifts on behalf of Team London. Reasonable volunteer travel expenses are defined as London zones 1-6, anything outside of zone 6 will not be reimbursed to volunteers.

2.2    Team London would enter into an agreement with Bread4Business, to enable Team London to have access to an online expenses management portal. Nominated Team London staff members would therefore be able to log in to the online portal, load and unload funds to cards as per the number of shifts volunteers were undertaking.

2.3    By undertaking a detailed analysis of all Team London Ambassadors home addresses and mapping the nearest London zones 1-6 stations to their home address according to our volunteer database, Team London has gained an accurate estimate of the total cost of volunteer travel reimbursement according to the number of shifts that have currently been booked by individual volunteers. By also analysing the maximum number of available shifts which is 3,694 and with the daily maximum refreshment allowance being £5 per volunteer per day, we also have an accurate estimate of the maximum total refreshment expenses:
 

Cost Item

Value

Volunteer expense reimbursement - Travel

£20,000

Volunteer expense reimbursement - Refreshments

 £18,470

                                                                                              Total

£38,470

2.4    Bread4business would be paid 1.2% of the value of the total funds that Team London would load into the account to cover volunteer expenses, this would equate to 1.2% of the total £38,470 needed to reimburse volunteers across the programme. An explanation of the fees payable to Bread4Business is listed below:

Cost Item

Cost

Purchasing 560 cards at £5 per card

£2,800.00

Fees due for loading the balance to online account

   £461.64

Fees due for postage and distribution to volunteers home addresses

      £300.00

                                                                                             Total              

   £3,561.64

 

2.5    The cards are also valid for three years, meaning that once in place, volunteers can then use the system and their cards for the next three years. This particularly useful as due to the success of this programme, a very high proportion of individuals who volunteer as part of this programmes are returning Ambassadors who volunteer every year with the programme.

2.6     The proposed expenditure will be accounted for within Team London’s Visitor Welcome budget allocation (GG.0270.002.003) as approved by MD1661.

2.7    Team London would ensure that all cards are returned at the end of each Summer Programme if volunteers do not return to the programme for future deployments, to enable other volunteers to have those cards allocated to them. Where cards are not returned Team London shall transfer the remaining balance on the cards back to the central account, held and managed by Team London, to ensure both cards and funds can be managed efficiently.

2.8    Enquires have been made with TfL Commercial team as to whether a competitive tender exercise or an exemption from the GLA contracts and funding code, and subsequent completion of a Single Source Justification would be required. TfL Commercial have confirmed that they are happy for Team London to approach Bread4Business directly for these services without the need for a tendering exercise or exemption from the GLA contracts and funding code and completion of a Single Source Justification.
 

 

Equality comments

3.1    All volunteers who are part of the Team London Visitor Welcome programme will be eligible for an expenses card, all volunteers will receive £5 per volunteering shift refreshment allowance and travel expenses within London Zones 1-6.

 

Other considerations

4.1    Team London has consulted with our volunteers during focus groups who agree that an online expense management system is far more efficient and easier to manage than the volume of paper claims the Team would receive otherwise. The system also allows for funds to be instantly uploaded to any cards from City Hall ensuring resource is not wasted.

4.2    Having used a very similar provider since 2012, we are confident that these systems have proven to be efficient, robust and effective, particularly due to the very high volumes of volunteer expense claims that Team London deal with as part of the Visitor Welcome programme.
 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought to allocate up to £42,032 from the Visitor Welcome budget, approved via MD1661 for the procurement of the online expenses management system and the associated volunteer’s refreshments and travel expenditure.

5.2    Approval is also being sought for Team London to enter into an agreement with Bread4Business to provide the online expenses management system, which will enable Team London to manage the volunteer’s expenses efficiently.  The management cost will be £3,562 for a period of six weeks commencing on 21st July 2016.

5.3    The associated expenditure comprises the Volunteer’s expenses reimbursement for Travel and Refreshments, as detailed within the main body of this report, and the estimated cost would be £38,470.

5.4     Team London estimate of the Travel and Refreshments expenses was based on the number of Ambassadors 560 and number of shifts booked by each individual calculated at 3,694, with an allocation of £5 per day for Refreshments.  An estimated expenditure budget is set out below.
 

Volunteer’s Expenses Reimbursement

Cost of providing the service

 

 

Allowance per Volunteer

No of Shifts

Cost

 

 

 

Cost

Number of Ambassadors / Volunteers

560

 

 

 

Number of cards and Cost  per card

560

£5

£2,800

 Travel

 

5.41

3694

£20,000

Fees due for postage and distribution to volunteer's home addresses

£300

1

£300

Refreshments

 

5

3694

£18,470

Fees due to provider for loading the balance to the online account

£38,470

1.20%

£462

Total

 

 

 

£38,470

Total

 

 

£3,562

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall cost

 

 

 

 

 £42,032

 

 

 

 

5.5    The estimated cost of the proposed contract with ‘Bread4Business’ to provide online expenses management system and the Volunteer’s reimbursements is being met from the 2016-17 Team London’s Visitor Welcome budget of £220k approved via MD1661.  Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.6    The Team London Unit within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing the proposed contract and ensuring that all expenditure complies with the Authority’s Financial Regulations and Contracts & Funding Code.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

Upon ADD approval

Upload of funds to Team London online account

Start of July 2016

All pay cards distributed to Team London Ambassadors

Start of July 2016

Funds uploaded to volunteer pay cards

Start of July 2016

Visitor Welcome programme commences

21st July 2016

Visitor Welcome programme completed

31st August 2016