ADD2083 IT projects – Committee Services

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2083
Date signed: 
13 March 2017
Decision by: 
Ed Williams, Head of Committee & Member Services

Executive summary

The Committee and Member Services team currently use a web enabled system, the MQT database system, to administer and monitor the questions arising from Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) and Plenary. . To make significant improvements to this service, and using the Crown Commercial Service GCloud 7 procurement framework via variation, approval is sought to award a contract for the development and installation of a new MQT database system. Approval is also sought to fund an options analysis for a correspondence system for the management of casework received by Assembly Members. 

 

Decision

That the Head of Committee and Member Services approves:

1.    Expenditure of up to £29,500 on the development costs for the new Mayor’s Question Time database and up to £8,250 on the project management (up to 15 days); and
 
2.  Expenditure of up to £5,500 on the options analysis and procurement advice for the Assembly Member support correspondence system 
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Committee and Member Services team currently use a web enabled system to administer and monitor the questions arising from the Mayor’s Question Time (MQT) and Plenary meetings. The system presently used was procured in 2013 (DD1005) and has experienced a series of performance failures and technical issues over time. A number of updates have been made, but performance has not significantly improved. As such, it has been decided that it is more cost effective to procure a new system.

The new system (Appendix 1) will include all old data which is currently searchable on the web database and will provide a solution to the issues raised above. The main users of the system have been consulted and the specification produced by the Committee and Member Services team covers the above issues. This will ensure the new system is without the problems currently faced by the team and the users of the database. 

This project will need dedicated project management and this will be sought along with the building of the system. Spend on project management is also sought for an option analysis of correspondence used by the public sector. There is currently no case management system in place for Assembly Members correspondence. There has been two unsuccessful attempts to procure a viable system (one is used by PLU and the other used by House of Commons). The time of the project manager will be used to provide the Head of Committee & Member Services with options analysis of the correspondence system used in various local and regional authorities and to see if effective procurement is viable for a bespoke but cost effective system. 

 

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective of this project is to procure and build a MQT database that meets the requirements (Appendix 2) of the Committee team and its key stakeholders including members of the public who regularly use the MQT database. The outcome of this project will be a fit for purpose MQT database. In addition to the MQT database – the project manager will also identify a viable case management system for which procurement will be sought. 

 

Equality comments

There are no implications or impact arising from this on groups with protected characteristics. 

 

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues 

Both systems will be used by staff in Committee and Member Services. The current MQT database has a multitude of flaws and requires a lot of staff time to check questions and answers before they are published. The new system will allow for a robust checking system which will take up less staff time and provide better results. The case management system will allow staff in all the political groups to have a generic and effective way of dealing with correspondence from constituents and will allow for consistent performance figures.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

Both the MQT database and the case management system are integral to the core work of the London Assembly

c) impact assessments and consultations.

The requirements of the MQT database have been the subject of discussions and consultations within the team and with key stakeholders. The requirements of case management system have been discussed extensively with the party groups.  
 

Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £43,250 for an IT Project within the     Committee Services unit. Of this amount £37,750 will be used for the procurement and development of the new MQT database during the current financial year 2016-17 and £5,500 for options analysis and procurement advice for the Assembly Member support correspondence system during the financial year 2017-18. This expenditure will be funded from the Committee Services budget.

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

March 2017

Announcement [if applicable]

n/a

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

March 2017

Main milestones

April 2017

Main milestones

May 2017

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

 

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

June 2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

June 2017