DD1239 Licence agreement with the Newspaper Licensing Agency

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2139
Date signed: 
22 June 2017
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

It is important for the GLA Group to effectively engage with the media and thereby reach Londoners and beyond; and media monitoring plays an important part in meeting that objective. It provides the respective media teams with a comprehensive report of media reaction to the strategies, policies and activities of the GLA Group.

Newspaper Licensing Agency's (NLA) role is to ensure all organisations have access to the news they need whilst ensuring they are copyright compliant. The NLA licenses the copying of newspaper content on behalf of the copyright owners under the authority of the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988. The current NLA licence expires on the 1st June 2017. (see DD2012) It is proposed that a licence agreement is entered into by the GLA with the NLA for one year up to a maximum expenditure of £55,249
 

Decision

That the Director approves: 

•    Expenditure of up to a maximum of £55,249 to enter into a licence agreement with the Newspaper Licensing Agency for one year; and

•    A related exemption from the requirement in the Contracts & Funding Code in order to procure competitively to appoint the Newspaper Licensing Agency without a competitive procurement exercise.
 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1     The GLA Group press cutting service was established in 2003 in order to deliver a more focused, responsive and efficient media monitoring service. This is a daily newsprint (national, regional, local and papers and trade journals) monitoring service that supports the communication work of the Mayor, Assembly and Transport for London. It is important for the GLA Group to engage effectively with the media and thereby reach Londoners and beyond and media monitoring plays an important part in meeting that objective. 

1.2          The Media Monitoring service provided the respective media teams with a comprehensive report of     media reaction to the strategies, policies and activities of the GLA Group. In October 2010 the in-house service was outsourced to an external media monitoring agency.

1.3     Following the decision in 2002-3 to establish an in-house service, and subsequently outsource the entire service in 2010 the GLA is still required to procure a licence annually from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). A fee has been negotiated for 2017-18 following an NLA audit and this fee is applicable irrespective of who supplies the service.

1.4     The service is jointly funded by TfL, Met Police and Crossrail and they are invoiced quarterly to recover their contributions. The costs are proportional to the amount of coverage each functional body attracts.

1.5    As the  NLA is sole authorised owner and licensor of copyright in the newspaper content under the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988 the press cuttings service required cannot be obtained from any other supplier.   
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    To continue to operate the Media Monitoring service in compliance with legal requirements. It is expected that the GLA Group will continue to hold a valid licence with the NLA. 

Equality comments

3.1    There are no identifiable potential impacts, both positive and negative, of the decision on those with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation).

Other considerations

a)     Links to strategies and Corporate Plan

The Mayor is committed to public information and engagement as stated in the corporate plan and the media is an established avenue of reaching Londoners and beyond. To ensure that the GLA communication strategy is effective, it is important to monitor media coverage of the GLA Group. Also establishing a GLA Group in-house monitoring service is in-line with the convergence agenda. 

b)     Impact assessments and Consultation

Consultation with TfL, the Met Police and Crossrail in regards to licence fees and aligning/merging the Met Police & Crossrail NLA licences has been carried out at the time of drafting of the original and subsequent Media Monitoring service agreements and at the regular quarterly service meetings held between TfL, GLA, Met Police, Crossrail & Precise (our current Media Monitoring service provider). No further consultation was considered appropriate or necessary in the circumstances.

c)        Risk

It is illegal to operate or utilize a press cutting service without a licence and failure to procure one leaves the authority open to legal proceedings/challenge.

Financial comments

5.1    The cost of the Media Monitoring service’s Newspaper Licensing Agency fee to cover the period 1st June 2017 to 31st May 2018 is £55,249, with the costs funded by the GLA, Transport for London, Met Police and Crossrail. The approximate proportional contribution towards this fee from the respective parties is broken down below and is proportionate to the amount of coverage each body attracts:

Funding Source

Amount (£)

GLA

5,784

Transport for London

32,776

Met Police

964

Crossrail

15,725

Total Fee

55,249

5.2    The GLA’s share of these costs (£5,784) will be met from the 2017-18 Press Office Media Monitoring budget, held in External Affairs Directorate. The GLA will recover the costs of the contract by invoicing each body on a quarterly basis. 

 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) is responsible for copyright protection of Newspapers - national, regional and local including digital copying and has the sole power to issue licences for the press cutting team's use of copyright protected materials. The GLA cannot use the materials lawfully without this license and therefore, the license is a legal requirement which only the NLA can fulfil. 

This DD seeks permission to be exempted from the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code by way of directly appointing NLA to carry out the services. One of the grounds for exemption in section 10 of the GLA’s Contracts and Funding Code to undertake a competitive procurement exercise is where no other supplier is able to undertake the services and consequently there is a complete absence of competition. Officers have confirmed that this is the case, and that this approach will provide value for money

This is an annual licence and this latest licence will cover the GLA for another year up to and including 31st May 2018. The current licence expires on the 1st June 2017
 

Appendices and supporting papers

N/A