ADD2100 Developing the London Simulator: VfM Assessment & Market Scan

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2100
Date signed: 
11 April 2018
Decision by: 
Mark Kleinman (past staff), Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy

Executive summary

Approval is sought to contract a suitable supplier to undertake a value for money assessment and market scan to support our review of a funding request put forward by Greenwood Strategic Advisors to develop a dynamic systems based model of London (known as the London Simulator). Information gathered will inform our final recommendation as to whether or not we should proceed with the funding request, and will shape our forward procurement strategy and approach to managing the project, should it be recommended.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of the Economic & Business Policy Unit approves expenditure of up to £15,000 from the Infrastructure & Growth Budget to undertake a value for money assessment and market scan which will inform our review of a funding request put forward by Greenwood Strategic Advisors.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has been working with an SME called Greenwood Strategic Advisors for the past two years developing a prototype dynamic systems model of London (known as the Prototype London Simulator). When completed, this model has potential to be used as a tool to support a new kind of policy evaluation and investment appraisal at the GLA. To our knowledge nobody has developed such a model of London before, or attempted to apply such technology at the city level.

Work to date has been undertaken on a pro-bono basis however Greenwood recently submitted a proposal to scale up the prototype model over the next year, into a fully-functioning simulator. The scale of the funding request is significant in a policy-based environment, and as such we require a third party supplier with experience undertaking business and systems analysis to review Greenwood’s proposal and determine if it represents value for money for the GLA, and is something that could be used effectively by GLA staff.

We also require a light market scan to determine if other suppliers are available to undertake similar types of ‘decision support’ modelling and analysis – to inform our procurement strategy, followed by a list of recommendations on how best to manage the project going forward, including risk identification.

Objectives and expected outcomes

This project will aim to achieve four key objectives:

a) Evaluate Greenwood’s proposal, in order to determine if it represents value for money.

b) Assess how the model proposed by Greenwood might benefit the GLA Group.

c) Provide us with an understanding of how Greenwood’s offer compares to what could be offered by other suppliers, through a market scan, should we choose to go out to competitive tender, or alternatively justify a single source derogation on the basis of the intellectual property offered.

d) Provide us with a list of recommendations on how best to proceed with the project including reviewing our suggested project management and governance processes and help us to identify key risks.

Information gathered from this project will help inform our recommendation to the Mayor on whether or not to proceed with Greenwood’s funding request, and potentially our forward approach in terms of procurement and managing the project.

We anticipate these outcomes to be delivered through development of a short report for the Executive Director of Resources and accompanying presentation to the GLA project team.

Equality comments

The aim of the work is to enhance the GLA’s understanding of how a dynamic systems model could potentially benefit the GLA Group, and assess the approach put forward by Greenwood to develop such a model. Should the model be developed, it has potential to benefit those with protected characteristics, as it will allow for integrated policy evaluation, allowing for better understanding of impacts of our decisions on a wide variety of Londoners.

Other considerations

This proposal relates to the assessment of a tool that has potential to inform the development of future Mayoral policies and investments.

This small project, we believe, has minimal risks attached as effectively it is acting as a risk mitigation measure for a much larger project (development of the simulator itself). There is a likelihood that the project may recommend we do not proceed with development of the London Simulator, meaning that it will be difficult for us to justify investment in the tool should we decide we still want to continue with its development. As such it is important that we be clear this project will represent one input into our recommendation to the Mayor regarding development of the London Simulator, and it does not represent the sole input.

Financial comments

The estimated cost of £15,000 for this proposal will be funded from the Infrastructure & Growth budget for 2017-18, held within the Economic Business Policy Unit.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [

Early April

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

Mid April

Project finalised

End April