GLRO16-21 Printed materials for the 2016 Election

Type of decision: 
GLRO decision
Date signed: 
19 February 2016
Decision by: 
Jeff Jacobs, Head of Paid Service

Executive summary

This decision requests approval for expenditure to design, print and deliver a series of statutory and non-statutory printed materials to London boroughs for use in their polling stations and local public buildings for the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections 2016.  



That the Greater London Returning Officer approves expenditure of up to £70,000 to procure and appoint a print management organisation to print the statutory and non-statutory materials requested by the London boroughs and deliver directly to them. The print management organisation will project manage the process with oversight from the London Elects project team at the GLA. The London boroughs have requested 131,815 materials in total. 



Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLRO has a responsibility to support and provide all London boroughs with statutory and non-statutory voter information and polling station printed materials as requested by them to use in the Mayoral and London Assembly elections. 

1.2    Materials on offer include a voter information poster and leaflet, plus multi-lingual versions of both, available in the following languages:

•    Arabic
•    Bengali
•    Chinese – Mandarin
•    Chinese – Cantonese
•    French
•    Gujarati
•    Italian
•    Lithuanian
•    Persian/Farsi
•    Polish
•    Portuguese
•    Punjabi
•    Romanian
•    Somali
•    Spanish
•    Tamil
•    Turkish
•    Urdu

A multi-lingual polling station booklet is also available.

1.3    Other statutory materials include:

•    Laminated ballot papers 
•    Large print ballot paper poster
•    List of assembly member candidates
•    Polling station notices
•    Polling booth notices
•    By-election notices
•    Totems

1.4    Accessible formats will also be available for the following items:

•    Booklet  (large print)
•    Booklet (audio)
•    Booklet (braille)
•    Booklet letter and envelope (braille)
•    Polling station booklet (braille)
•    Voter information leaflet (braille)
•    Voter information leaflet letter (braille)

1.5    Boroughs will be able to order both hard copies (printed versions that will be delivered to them) and/or soft copies (PDF files) so they can print themselves via a preferred supplier.  

1.6    Borough Electoral Services Managers have made their requests via an order form, 131,815 items have been requested in total by the 33 boroughs. 

1.7    The London Elects comms team, on behalf of the GLRO, is procuring a print management organisation to project manage the print of all requested materials by the London boroughs and deliver directly to them.

1.8    All printed voter information materials will be delivered week commencing 22 February 2016 and all polling station materials will be delivered week commencing 11 April 2016.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1 The objectives of this work are as follows:

•    To support London boroughs and provide them with statutory and non-statutory printed materials they require for the polling stations and to inform voters.
•    Deliver the quantities and/or files of the individual materials requested as per the order form they have completed and submitted.


Equality comments

4.1    Large print, braille and audio versions of specific materials can be requested via the order form sent to Electoral Service Managers.

4.2    All materials designed and printed 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    Boroughs require the materials to educate people about the election and how to vote. Not providing these materials would mean the electorate is not adequately informed and voting could be hindered.

3.2    One print management firm ensures a holistic view of the 82 items (131,815 materials ordered in total). Working with one supplier is paramount to ensure the correct materials are delivered to the correct boroughs on time.  We have sought quotes from 3 print management companies to ensure best value.

Impact assessments and consultations

3.3    Not applicable.    


Financial comments

5.    Financial comments

5.1    The expenditure of £70,000 to appoint a print management organisation will be held against the Central Printing and Totem Pole budgets.

6.    Legal comments

6.1    By section 29 Greater London Authority Act 1999 the Greater London Returning Officer (“GLRO”) is the person appointed as the proper officer for the purposes of section 35(2C) Representation of the People Act 1983 (“RotPA”) (returning officer at elections of Mayor and London members). The Mayor and Assembly have appointed the Head of Paid Service the GLRO as part of his terms and conditions of employment.

6.2    The GLRO is the returning officer for the Mayoral and London Member elections, and constituency returning officers are the returning officers for the election of a Constituency Member of the Assembly. The Authority must, under section 36(4B) of RotPA, pay for all expenditure properly incurred by a returning officer in relation to the holding of an Authority election, in so far as it does not, in cases where there is a scale fixed by the Authority, exceed that scale.

6.3    The GLRO is empowered to incur expenditure for the purposes of the preparation or conduct of any anticipated election as he considers necessary or expedient for that purpose. He is also able to authorise entry into contracts, licences or other instruments, in connection with an anticipated election in accordance with the Authority’s Contracts and Funding Code and Financial Regulations. 

6.4    Officers should ensure that appropriate documentation is put in place and executed by the Authority and the supplier before the commencement of the services. 


Planned delivery approach and next steps

•    Procurement: Week commencing 8 February 2016
•    PO raised including terms and conditions (in place of contract): 17 February 2016
•    Order form deadline: 8 February 2016
•    Borough marketing toolkit delivered: Week commencing 8 February 2016
•    Voter information printed materials delivered: Week commencing 22 February 2016
•    Polling station printed materials delivered: Week commencing 11 April 2016