GLRO16-15 Booklet for the Mayor of London and London Assembly election

Type of decision: 
GLRO decision
Code: 
GLRO16-15
Date signed: 
11 November 2015
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This decision requests approval for expenditure to design, print, and fulfil the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections 2016 statutory booklet and deliver it to each member of the electorate in advance of the elections in May 2016. It also requests approval to print and deliver other communications materials e.g. polling station posters and banners.

Decision

That the GLRO approves expenditure of up to £1.9 million to procure and appoint a print management organisation to design, print, and fulfil the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections statutory booklet and deliver it to every member of the electorate in London for the 2016 elections, including the project management of these activities. 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLRO has a responsibility to provide the electorate with information about the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections. One of the channels for providing this information is the Elections booklet.  

1.2    The booklet is a statutory requirement under the rules in the Greater London Authority Elections (Election Addresses) Order 2003. Article 9(1) of that Order requires that “The GLRO shall cause copies of the election booklet to be addressed and delivered to each elector at the Authority's expense”.  

1.3    The booklet contains the following information:  

•    Statement from the GLRO, date of election, purpose of election booklet, 
•    List of all Mayoral candidates in the order they will appear on the ballot paper and an election address supplied by each candidate
•    A list of all Constituency London Assembly Member candidates
•    A list of all London-wide Assembly Member candidates, , 
•    Name and address of GLRO and printer (for information only), 
•    Where you can vote (polling stations, post, proxy), what to expect at the polling station and an election-day guide. 
•    There may be other information within the booklet that the GLRO is permitted to print.

1.4     The mailing is expected to be in three batches:

•    First Batch to postal Voters (approx. 1 million)
•    Second batch to remaining list
•    Third batch to late registrations (of the order of 100,000) 

1.5    The GLRO will also make the booklet available as hard-copy at City Hall, TfL/Council offices and Public libraries. It will also be available in digital format suitable for inclusion on the London Elects website.

1.6    Following a comprehensive OJEU tender exercise, we are procuring a print management organisation to project manage, design, print, and fulfil the booklet and deliver it to every member of the electorate in London. The main prerequisites the successful supplier must have clearly demonstrated are:

•    Experience and a proven track record
•    Strong and established relationships and sufficient resources
•    Robust quality control processes, resilience plans and contingency strategies

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The objectives of this work are as follows:

•    Provide Londoners with statutory information about the elections 
•    Deliver booklet to every registered voter in Greater London including attainers eligible to vote on the day and anonymous voters. Attainers are 16 and 17-year-olds who will turn 18 during the period in which the register is in force.
•    As far as possible, ensure the booklet is delivered in advance of postal votes. There is no statutory delivery date or period or deadline for delivery of the booklets. The rules are in the Greater London Authority Elections (Election Addresses) Order 2003. Article 9(1) of that Order simply requires that “The GLRO shall cause copies of the election booklet to be addressed and delivered to each elector at the Authority's expense”. It must be implied, at least, that that the booklets should be delivered before polling day, and probably as soon as reasonably practicable, and the aim is to deliver booklets to postal voters before any postal votes can be cast.
•    Deliver 500 copies of the booklet to the GLA and a PDF version for the London Elects website
•    Deliver copies of the booklet to the Borough Returning Officers who will be responsible for sending the booklet to voters who register late. The number required is not yet known but will be confirmed at a later date.
•    Print the booklet to criteria complying with legislation and as specified by the GLRO, and ensuring that it meets the Government Buying Standards for Paper
•    Provide an environmentally sound and efficient solution for returned booklets that meets the requisite environmental requirements defined in TfL 91537 Volume 1 – Appendix 4 Responsible Procurement.
•    Adhere to the London Elects brand guidelines.

Equality comments

4.1    We may receive requests to translate the booklets into other languages. The booklet will only be produced in English; however other summary information that is also available on the London Elects website will be available in up to 18 other languages. There will also be translated instructions in polling stations. The decision to produce the booklet only in English but make other summary information available in up to 18 languages was informed broadly by principles from the previous election in 2012.

4.2    Large print, braille and audio versions of the booklet will be available on request. 

4.3    The booklet design will adhere to the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB’s) See it Right legibility standards.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues

3.1    Delivery: There will be a very high volume of critical delivery activity that will take place across London within a 2 or 3 day time frame. As there is a legal requirement to deliver a booklet to every voter (approx. 6 million adults) in a short space of time, there is also a requirement for resilience in ensuring this need is met in proposals and in practice. This is a NO FAIL requirement. For postal voters, the aim is to deliver booklets to postal voters before any postal votes can be cast. However there is a risk that a small number of late registrants, who may receive the booklet from their local authority, could receive this after they receive their postal vote.

3.2    Reputation: There is a reputational risk for London Elects which comes with the production of this booklet. In 2012, there was criticism of the booklet because of allegations that one of the candidate’s pages caused offence despite the fact that it was within the law.

3.3    Price: The number of booklets required is estimated at approximately 6 million. The actual number of booklets required will be determined by the size of the electorate on 21 March 2016 – including people below voting age on that date but attaining voting age by 5 May 2016.  For the purposes of the procurement we have sought prices for print runs between 5.5 million and 6.5 million.  The price will vary dependent on the number of booklets required.

3.4    The number of pages in the booklet will depend on the number of Mayoral candidates.  The estimate is for a 36-page booklet, as in 2012.  For the purposes of the procurement we have sought prices for 32-page booklets and 40-page booklets also.  The price will vary dependent on this.

3.5    It should also be noted that Royal Mail costs will increase in January 2016 at an estimated RPI+1%. This would increase the delivery costs by circa £25,000.  This is currently accommodated with this £1.9 million request.

Impact assessments and consultations
 
3.6    Not applicable.

Financial comments

5. Finance comments

5.1    A budget provision of up to £1.9m is available to procure and appoint a supplier to design, print, fulfil and deliver the Mayor of London and London Assembly Elections 2016 statutory booklets and is currently held within the 2016 Elections budget.

6.    Legal comments

6.1    Under the Greater London Authority Elections (Election Addresses) Order 2003 (the 2003 Order), the GLRO is required to produce an election booklet containing election addresses from each Mayoral candidate who contributes £10,000 towards the cost of printing, and to arrange the delivery of the booklet to each elector, and to arrange other dissemination of the contents of the booklet. “Elector” means anyone registered in the register of local government electors for an electoral area in Greater London on the last day permitted for publication of notice of the election – in this case 21 March 2016 – and includes a person shown in the register, or with an anonymous entry in the register, who is below voting age but will be of voting age on the day fixed for the poll (5 May 2016).

6.2    The 2003 Order makes provision as to the contents and the form of the election addresses, and of the booklet containing the addresses.

6.3    Appropriate agreements for the required services should put in place before commencement of such supplies and services.

Appendices and supporting papers
  • Award letters issued to chosen supplier: 13 November
  • 10 day standstill period: 14 – 24 November
  • Contract signed: 25 November

Detailed timeline to be agreed subject to the above.