MD2483 Revised GLA Expenses and Benefits Framework

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2483
Date signed: 
27 July 2019
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Greater London Authority (GLA) seeks to review its principal governance documents on a regular basis and at least every two years or so. One such document is the Expenses and Benefits Framework. The Framework was last revised in April 2017, with further minor updates made under delegated authority in October 2018. There are four sets of changes proposed to the Framework which are set out in this decision form and for which the Mayor’s approval is sought in relation to their application to: the GLA’s statutory officers, the Mayor, Assembly Members and to those 13 GLA members of staff directly appointed by the Mayor under section 67(1) of the GLA Act 1999. For the GLA statutory officers, the Mayor and Assembly Members, the GLA Act sets out that the Mayor needs to take a joint decision on any changes to the Framework with the London Assembly. Accordingly, the Assembly approved the proposed changes at its meeting on 18 July 2019. The proposed changes to the Framework relate to: environmental considerations, approval of expenses, approval of foreign travel and interest free loans for UK citizenship costs.

Decision

That the Mayor:

Approves the revised GLA Expenses and Benefits Framework as: (i) a joint decision with the London Assembly in relation to the Framework’s application to the GLA’s statutory officers and to the Mayor and Assembly Members; and (ii) the Mayor’s own decision in relation to the Framework’s application to those 13 GLA members of staff directly appointed by the Mayor under Section 67(1) of the GLA Act 1999.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The GLA seeks to review its principal governance documents on a regular basis and at least every two years. One such document is the Expenses and Benefits Framework. The Framework was last updated in April 2017, with further minor updates made under delegated authority in October 2018.

The current Framework is at Appendix A and the revised Framework is at Appendix B.

This decision form seeks the Mayor’s approval of the revised Framework in relation to the GLA’s statutory officers, the Mayor and Assembly Members, noting that – under the GLA Act – it constitutes a joint decision with the London Assembly and that the Assembly approved the proposed changes at its 18 July 2019 meeting.

The Mayor’s approval of the revised Framework is also being sought in relation to the 13 GLA staff which he appoints directly under section 67(1) of the GLA Act 1999.

The Chief Officer’s approval will be sought (via a Chief Officer form) in relation to implementing the changes to the Framework for all other GLA staff, given the Chief Officer’s statutory role as the GLA’s Head of Paid Service.

The Chief Officer’s approval will follow on from consultation the Chief Officer has undertaken with the Assembly via the 1 July 2019 meeting of its GLA Oversight Committee, with the Mayor via his Chief of Staff and with Unison as the recognised trade union for GLA staff. No further changes to the Framework arose from that consultation exercise.

The proposed changes are set out immediately below and in the revised Framework at Appendix B. The current Framework is included for comparative purposes at Appendix A.

Environmental considerations

Greater emphasis and clarity have been provided on environmental considerations so as to highlight the GLA’s commitment to environmentally friendly travel options, particularly by minimising flight bookings. This has been done through two new paragraphs: 1.7 in Part A and 3.2 in Part C.

Approval of expenses and of foreign travel

Updates have been made in respect of the approval of both expenses and of foreign travel. The underlying principle is that individuals should not sign off their own expenses and/or foreign travel. In addition, it should be noted that the Chief of Staff acts as the Executive Director for staff in the Mayor’s Office for this purpose. Further details are included in the revised Framework: paragraph 2.3 of Part B (approval of expenses) and paragraph 3.1 of Part C (approval of foreign travel).

Interest free loans for British citizenship, EU settled status and leave to remain costs

It is viewed as desirable for the GLA to make available interest free loans in respect of costs incurred by staff seeking to obtain British citizenship, EU settled status, extensions to limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain. It is proposed that the costs that would be covered by the loan are the application fee (where applicable) and any associated reasonable legal costs incurred in making the application. Such loans would comply with HMRC rules. Further details are included in paragraphs 2.1 and 3.1 of Part F of the revised Framework, with the latter paragraph covering staff trade-in of annual leave.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The Framework plays a significant role in the good governance of the GLA.

Equality comments

There are no specific equalities issues arising.

Other considerations

There are no other considerations.

Financial comments

The financial implications arising are viewed as minimal. There would be a very minor potential impact on the GLA’s cash flow and there would be a small risk of a very limited amount of bad debt being created. In the context of the GLA’s budget and financial standing, these risks are minimal.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Assembly sign-off

18 July 2019

Mayoral sign-off

Late July 2019

Chief Officer sign-off

Late July 2019

Revised Framework comes into force

Late July 2019


Share this page