ADD2016 Housing and Land programme office

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2016
Date signed: 
16 August 2016
Decision by: 
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director of Policy, Programme and Services

Executive summary

This decision requests approval of expenditure to cover short-term consultancy work to implement a single programme office across the GLA group to ensure robust management of the Mayor’s housing initiatives and programmes.  The work will lead to the development of a clear and effective information collection framework which will be used to report against the Mayor’s housing and land priorities across the GLA group.  

The work will be taken forward by information management specialists with experience in setting up effective frameworks for accurate information collection and will include discussion, negotiation and agreement on information parameters and processes across the GLA group to meet the Mayor’s housing and land priorities.  The consultancy work will be contract managed within the Programme, Policy and Services unit of the Housing and Land Directorate on a short term basis through to Autumn 2016, at a total cost to the GLA of up to £50,000.  This work will be funded from the H&L External Services Consultancy budget.  Once in place, the information management framework will be taken forward by programme office staff to be recruited on fixed term basis as set out in MD 2012.   

The early implementation of this project work is business critical to ensure that data reporting is in place for early decision and direction from the Mayor and Homes for Londoners Board enabling delivery of the Mayor’s housing and land targets.  Failure to implement an effective framework for information collection early in the Mayor’s term will impact the GLA’s ability to deliver the Mayor’s housing and land priorities.  
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Programme, Policy and Strategy approves expenditure of up to £50,000 to fund consultancy work to implement an information management framework for a single programme office across the GLA group. 

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Mayor is committed to setting up Homes for Londoners which is a new and powerful team at the heart of City Hall that will bring together and strengthen the GLA's housing, land, planning, funding, and development capacities with wide backing across the housing sector in London. In order to support the work of Homes for Londoners, it will be necessary to track this activity within the GLA and the wider GLA group.  In particular, a single source of structured and reliable information on activity that enables the Mayor to achieve his housing and land objectives is central to the success of Homes for Londoners, alongside the development of deliverable and operational policies that support the Mayor’s aims.  

1.2    In 2012, housing and land responsibilities from the Homes and Communities Agency, Thames Gateway Development Corporation and London Development Agency were combined with the GLA’s housing policy function to form the current Housing and Land directorate, with responsibility for 671 hectares of public land and a budget of circa £4bn since 2012.  The successful transition of several different operating systems, policies, procedures and staff to form a strong and dedicated team provides similarities to the changes required now to implement Home for Londoners and bring together various capacities across the GLA group.  The directorate’s achievements since 2012 have been reinforced by an effective programme office and policy function that supports staff to implement strategic priorities and achieve delivery.  A similar approach is now being implemented to bring together related land and housing activity from the GLA’s planning team, regeneration directorate, TfL, MOPAC, LFEPA, MDCs and HCA and the work set out in this paper is the first step in this process.  

1.3    This decision requests approval of expenditure to cover short-term consultancy work to implement a single programme office across the GLA group to ensure robust management of the Mayor’s housing initiatives and programmes.  The work will lead to the development of a clear and effective information collection framework which will be used to report against the Mayor’s Housing and Land priorities across the GLA group.  The work will be taken forward by information management specialist with experience in setting up effective frameworks for accurate information collection and will include discussion, negotiation and agreement on information parameters and processes across the GLA group to meet the Mayor’s housing and land priorities.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The proposed programme office aims to 
•    Enable the Mayor to effectively manage housing-related activities across the GLA and GLA group through structured and consistent information on housing and land priorities;
•    Improve the use of (consistent) information to ensure delivery against the Mayor’s targets and implement early mitigation of risks affecting delivery. 
•    Ensure strategic alignment of activities across different parts of the group to avoid misinterpretation of priorities that delay a coherent approach to the Mayor’s aims
•    Reduce the cost of duplicate systems, monitoring and reporting arrangements across the GLA group. 
•    Increase the speed and ease by which the Mayor’s achievements can be monitored and reported.  

2.2    The project work proposed in this report will be contract managed within the Programme, Policy and Services unit of the Housing and Land Directorate on a short term basis over the Autumn 2016, at a total cost to the GLA of £50,000.  This work will be funded from the H&L External Services Consultancy budget.  Once in place, the information management framework will be taken forward by programme office staff.  The estimate of costs is derived from an assessment of project based work undertaken by consultancies for the H&L directorate (such as the initial business analysis to research development of H&L's new information systems). The costs are based on a three month project period of 60 working days, averaging a maximum of £833 per day.  

2.3    The early implementation of this project work is required to ensure that effective data reporting is in place for the Homes for Londoners Board for early direction and actions to enable achievement of the Mayor’s targets. Failure to implement a single programme office with effective information collection mechanism early in the Mayoral term will impact the ability of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development and Homes for Londoners Board to provide prompt and early direction to ensure delivery of the Mayor’s priorities.  
 

Equality comments

3.1    Section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010 provides that, in the exercise of their functions, public authorities must have due regard to the need to:
•    Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;
•    Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic 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.

3.2    The obligation in section 149(1) is placed upon a decision maker, and due regard must be had at the time a particular decision is being considered. The duty is non-delegable and must be exercised with an open mind.

3.3    The HfL Board, the Deputy Mayor’s Housing Investment & Policy Panel and associated supporting structures must have regard to the public sector equality duty in their work including when giving strategic direction and in their recommendations to the GLA Group and the Mayor.

3.4    MD 2012 set out the established job posts to support the HfL Board and the Deputy Mayor for Housing Investment & Policy Panel and this paper sets out the initial work required to implement  information reporting to those groups.  For established GLA and GLA Group posts, equality duties were complied with at time of appointment and are maintained through the GLA Staff Charter or equivalent group standard.  
 

Other considerations

4.1    The initial project work required to develop a coherent and effective information collection framework will require resource prioritisation across the GLA group with an emphasis on information accuracy and timeliness to enable the new administration to assess the current position and take effective decisions on priority actions.  As such, specific expertise is sought to ensure clear consultation, negotiation, discussion and agreement is in place across the group structure on the information available and required by Mayor to drive forward housing and land delivery.  

4.2    Whilst the Housing and Land Directorate has implemented a similar approach to that outlined above to form an effective local programme management office, the new proposal extends across the group structure where priorities may be placed on areas other than housing and land deliverables and therefore require wider expertise and buy-in across the group.  

4.3    Information collation and reporting through the Single Programme Office will be aligned with corporate GLA functions including new and existing processes operating with GLA Governance and Finance.  This will ensure that information is consistent and accurate across the GLA group structures and central corporate reporting routes.
 

Financial comments

5.1    The decision requests an approval of expenditure for £50,000 to fund consultancy work implementing an information management framework for a single programme office across the GLA group. This funding is available from the Housing & Land Management and Support Consultancy Budget.

5.2    The above funds are to be expended in 2016/17 financial year. Any changes to this proposal, including the requirement for additional funds, will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision making process.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Research effective information management consultant agents.

29 July 2016

Recruit consultancy agent.

10 August 2016

Commence discussions with wider GLA group on information framework

15 August 2016

Agreed information framework across the GLA group

31 September 2016

Implement information collection exercise

10 September 2016

Complete initial information collection

10 October 2016

Report findings to Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development

30 October 2016