Assembly puts pressure on London & Partners over lack of transparency

09 December 2014

The London Assembly wants the Mayor to request full transparency from London and Partners – the official promotional company for London. The company’s role in the Royal Albert Dock tendering process is also under scrutiny by the Assembly.

A motion agreed today[1] requests a number of immediate steps to prove accountability, which include publishing a gift register, providing a full business plan and showing details of senior employee pay.

Stephen Knight AM who proposed the motion said:

“Londoners deserve to know where and how their money is spent. The recent allegations of impropriety have highlighted how important it is that London and Partners now operates with the openness and transparency that Londoners would expect of a publicly funded body.”

The full text of the motion is:

“This Assembly recognises the important role that London & Partners – the official promotional company for London – plays in attracting businesses, events, students and visitors to our capital.

This Assembly also notes:

i. that London & Partners continues to be majority funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and has received over £50 million of funding from the GLA since the organisation was launched in April 2011[2]; and

ii. that the Mayor has committed to making London government more transparent and believes the GLA should lead the way in “transparency and openness”[3].

This Assembly believes

i. that there is a fundamental public interest in seeing how public money is being spent in order to demonstrate whether, and how, value for money is being achieved; and

ii. that, notwithstanding the outcome of the Assembly’s independent investigation into the Royal Albert Dock tendering process (and London & Partners involvement in that process), a number of immediate steps can be taken to improve London & Partners’ accountability to Londoners.

This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor of London to write to London & Partners instructing them to:

i. abide by the principles of the GLA Group Corporate Governance Framework;

ii. publish a register of gifts, expenses and hospitality for all board members and senior staff;

iii. proactively disclose information and to respond to requests for information as if they were covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA);

iv. provide the Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee with a full business plan during the course of its annual scrutiny of the Mayor’s budget; and

v. provide the GLA Oversight Committee with full details of senior employee pay, as previously requested.

This Assembly further calls on the Mayor to make these points a condition of providing any future funding to London & Partners.”

Notes to editors:

The motion was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the full Assembly today.

Mayoral Decision ‘1327’: http://tinyurl.com/omssnds

Boris Johnson, 2012 Election Manifesto: ‘cutting waste and council tax’: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/boris-johnson-2012-manifesto-council-tax

Stephen Knight AM is available for interview. See contact details below.

Watch the webcast.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For more details, please contact Alison Bell in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4228. For out-of-hours media enquiries please call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.