DD2276 Modern Slavery Statement 2017/18

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2276
Date signed: 
12 September 2018
Decision by: 
Martin Clarke, Executive Director, Resources

Executive summary

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act) requires commercial organisations to prepare annually a slavery and human trafficking statement setting up the steps taken to ensure their supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

The GLA and two of its subsidiary companies- Greater London Authority Holdings Limited (GLA Holdings) and GLA Land and Property Limited (GLAP), which are commercial for the purposes of the Act- have adopted a Modern Slavery Statement since 2016. The statement has been updated and the two companies have passed a resolution to adopt it. It now needs to be signed by the Executive Director to give it effect.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Resources approves:

The adoption by the GLA of the appended 2017/18 Modern Slavery Statement (noting the Boards of GLA Holdings and GLAP have approved the adoption of the same statement, which will therefore cover all three entities).

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was designed to eliminate slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking (‘modern slavery’) in organisations and their supply chains by:

• Increasing transparency as to what steps, if any, any organisation is taking to combat slavery and trafficking;
• Consolidating criminal offences for slavery and trafficking;
• Remedying victims;
• Providing for greater identification and reporting of slavery and trafficking;
• Creating new civil sanctions; and
• Creating an Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner.

One of the main provisions of the Act, relating to (i) above, is section 54 that requires every organisation carrying on a business in the UK with a total annual turnover of £36m or more to produce a modern slavery statement. The statement must cover the prior financial year – and so be refreshed annually – and Government guidance is that it should be published as soon as possible and no later than within six months of the end of that financial year. It should describe what action the organisation has taken to ensure their supply chains are free from modern slavery and must be published on the organisation’s website with a link from its homepage.

The GLA’s Modern Slavery Statement

It is proposed to adopt the same approach this year as in previous years: that the GLA adopts one statement covering the Authority (though not commercial in of itself) and two of its companies: GLA Holdings Limited and GLA Land and Property Limited (which are commercial for the purposes of the Act). This reflects the priority the GLA places on tackling modern slavery and the interconnectedness of the objectives and functions of the three entities.

The GLA’s statement also continues to be closely aligned with that adopted by Transport for London and its subsidiaries. The logic for this is that the GLA’s procurement function is provided by TfL – and the main focus of the statement is tackling modern slavery in supply chains. In addition, the GLA Group shares a Responsible Procurement Policy and this provides for further alignment in practices. The Policy, first adopted in June 2006 and updated in June 2017, has six themes including ‘promoting ethical sourcing practices’.

The content of the statement is not prescribed in legislation and the Government’s guidance does not detail a recommended approach. The GLA has chosen to structure its statement so it describes:
• The purpose of the GLA, its companies and the nature of their supply chains;
• The extant policies and procedures to reduce the risk of modern slavery in supply chains;
• Spend categories that present risks of human rights abuses;
• Due diligence arrangements;
• Training and capacity building; and
• Goals for 2018/19.

The proposed format and content of the 2017/18 statement is broadly in line with previous statements, although some changes to the headings have been made to mirror changes in TfL’s own statement.

About the GLA’s companies

GLA Holdings and GLAP were established in January 2012 (see MD937) to facilitate compliance with the Localism Act 2011; and specifically concerning the commercial activities of the Homes and Communities Agency in London, the London Development Agency and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, which were devolved to the Greater London Authority (GLA) on 1 April 2012.

The two companies’ boards have considered the content of the draft statement and approved it. The Executive Director of Resources is, however, required to agree the statement for the GLA, which he can do under his Standing Delegation.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Publishing a modern slavery statement will:

• Meet legal requirements falling on the GLA’s two companies;
• Demonstrate the GLA’s commitment to tackling modern slavery; and
• Serve to reinforce the GLA’s approach to tackling modern slavery.

The Act requires the statement to be published on the company’s homepage with a link from a prominent place on the homepage. Neither of the GLA’s companies has a website of its own. The statement will therefore be published within the Governance and Spending section of the GLA’s own website (london.gov.uk).

Equality comments

The driving purpose of the statement is to demonstrate our commitment and reinforce our approach to tackling modern slavery. Groups that are protected by the Public Sector Equality Duty are disproportionately likely to be subject to modern slavery and so the statement explicitly promotes equality and fosters good relations between those Groups.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues

There are no significant risks that will flow from taking this decision. Indeed adopting the statement will remove the risk of the GLA not being compliant with section 54 of the Act and reduce the – already low – risk of modern slavery within its and its companies’ supply chains.

In any contracts that TfL procurement identifies as having high ethical sourcing risk, suppliers are required to conduct audits of their factories and sites using an independent, third party auditor.

b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

The Mayor places a high priority on making London a fairer and more equal city, including: challenging equality and intolerance; opening up opportunity; making London accessible for all; sharing the rewards of prosperity; and leading by example. Adopting a modern slavery statement strongly supports all these objectives.

Financial comments

There are no direct financial implications in respect of this decision.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Publish Modern Slavery Statement

As/When DD is approved (no later than 30 September 2018

Review and refresh for 18/19

Spring 2019