Subject: Head of Paid Service Consultation on the Media Monitoring Team

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1 Subject: Head of Paid Service Consultation on the Media Monitoring Team Report Number: 6 Report to: Business Management and Administration Committee Date: 23 September 2010 Report of: Head of Paid Service 1. Recommendation 1.1 That the Committee responds to the consultation on the proposed deletion of eight posts from the Media Monitoring team, in line with Head of Paid Service protocol, which requires the Head of Paid service to consult BMAC and the Mayor if the deletion or creation of posts is more than five in one Unit. 2. Background 2.1 The Head of Paid Service Protocol sets out that the Head of Paid Service will only consult the Business Management and Administration Committee (BMAC) and the Mayor if the deletion or creation of posts is more than five in one Unit, unless the Chair and Deputy Chair feel the decision might be contentious, in which case it will be referred to BMAC for consultation. 2.2 The Head of Paid Service Protocol states that the Mayor and BMAC would be expected to comment within three weeks of them receiving the report. The Head of Paid Service would then make the decision. The conclusion of the three week consultation period will be 6 October The GLA Group press cutting service was established in 2002 to monitor newsprints (national, local, regional, specialists/topical journals & magazines) relating to the work and activities of the Mayor, Assembly, Greater London Authority, Transport for London and London Development Agency. 2.4 The Service is essential in engaging with a key stakeholder (media) and particularly in monitoring how the priorities, strategies and activities of the Mayor, Assembly and GLA are perceived and covered by the media. 2.5 The in-house service was first reviewed in 2007/2008 and whilst external companies were very competitive on national and specialist journals there were doubts on local newspapers. 2.6 Following further developments in media monitoring, another market testing exercise was carried out in 2009/2010 to compare the in-house service. This exercise included a cost and benefit analysis and the conclusion is that there are comparable services delivered at reduced costs. City Hall, The Queen s Walk, London SE1 2AA Enquiries: minicom:

2 2.7 Approval was obtained under MD570 to: seek (through COI, a central purchasing body) competitive quotations for the provision of media monitoring services encompassing national & London local newspaper and journal cuttings, broadcast, Internet and social media monitoring services, as well as media analysis services on behalf of the GLA Group; and the delegation of power to the Director of External Affairs to approve any award of contract for media monitoring service based on the most economically advantageous bids received by COI. 2.8 As a central purchasing body, COI has established a large portfolio of its own framework agreements and those of other Government bodies and agencies including COI s digital media framework. 2.9 Accordingly, COI were requested by officers to seek competitive quotations in respect of the GLA s requirements from all four providers on the framework. Officers prepared a specification in liaison with COI who then sought quotations on 14 May Only one framework provider (Precise Media Group Holdings Limited) submitted a quotation by the deadline for submissions on 24 May The other three framework providers declining due to the TUPE implications associated with any award (see section 3.2 below). However, their quotation is considered to be of sufficient quality and offer value for money after detailed evaluation using the criteria agreed when seeking quotations. COI pro-actively manages its contract with Precise Media Group Holdings Limited and regularly monitors their performance offering an additional level of assurance to the GLA Accordingly, officers are minded to recommend the award of contract to COI (using Precise Media Group Holdings Limited) for an initial period of one year with the option to extend for up to three further one year periods. 3. Issues for BMAC s Consideration 3.1 BMAC is being consulted as the effect of the outsourcing of the media monitoring service would be that eight posts on the GLA establishment would require deletion. Only two of these posts are filled by permanent employees. Both are part time and work on a 0.5 WTE basis. The other vacancies are filled by temporary agency workers. 3.2 The effect of the award of the contract for services to Precise would be to automatically transfer the employment of the two permanent employees attached to the transferring services from the GLA to Precise under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 ( TUPE ). Employees transferring under TUPE will be entitled to transfer to Precise on their existing terms and conditions of employment. The GLA is not required to consult employees regarding whether or not to award the contract to Precise. However, both the GLA and Precise are required to consult with affected employees and Unison regarding any measures that might be taken as a result of the transfer, with a view to reaching agreement with the employees and Unison about those measures. This consultation has been ongoing for the last two months. Unison have not formally commented on the proposal. 2

3 3.3 The remaining temporary agency workers will cease to work for the GLA upon transfer of the services to Precise. As a result a total of eight posts will be deleted from the GLA s establishment. BMAC and the Mayor are being consulted about the deletion of these posts and subject to consultation the Head of Paid service will approve the deletion upon award of the contract. 3.4 The posts proposed for deletion are follows: - Media Monitoring Team Leader Grade 6 Media Monitoring Officer Grade BMAC is therefore asked to comment upon the proposal to delete eight posts on the GLA s establishment. 4. Strategy Implications 4.1 This service is essential in engaging with a key stakeholder (media) and particularly in monitoring how the Mayor s, GLA and partners priorities, strategies and activities are perceived and covered by the media. In some cases, it should also enable the GLA and partners to monitor and engage directly with the public. 5. Legal Implications 5.1 Under section 67(2) of the GLA Act 1999 (as amended) the Head of Paid Service has the power, after consulting the Mayor and Assembly, to appoint such staff as he considers necessary for the proper discharge of the functions of the Authority, having regard to the resources available and the priorities of the Authority. 5.2 Under section 70(2), the Head of Paid Service has the power to employ staff appointed under s67 (2) on such terms as he thinks fit, after consultation with the Mayor and Assembly. 5.3 The Head of Paid Service Staffing Protocol sets out the Authority s agreed approach as to how the head of Paid Service will discharge his staffing powers contained in sections 67(2) and 70(2) above. Paragraph 5.1 of that protocol says that, The Head of Paid Service will consult with BMAC and the Mayor on any major restructure, namely the creation or deletion of more than five posts within any one unit. 5.4 It is considered that the proposals set out in section 1 above fall within the definition of major restructure contained within the Head of Paid Service s Staffing Protocol as it would delete 8 posts, and therefore the Head of Paid Service is required to consult with the Mayor and the Assembly. Under 3

4 section 54 of the GLA Act 1999 (as amended) the Assembly has delegated its power to consultation on staffing matters to the Business Management and Administration Committee ( BMAC ). BMAC is therefore requested to comment on this paper. 5.5 As the proposals will have the effect of transferring the employment of two permanent employees from the GLA to Precise, the GLA is legally obliged to consult with those affected employees regarding any measures that might be taken as a result of the contract award. Unison must also be consulted. Paragraph 3 above confirms that consultation has begun and is ongoing. The GLA must ensure that it complies fully with its Management of Change policy. 6. Financial Implications 6.1 The cost of the contract with COI and Precise is expected to be in the region of 150,000 per annum. The GLA, TfL and LDA will meet this cost based upon usage of the service. 6.2 The GLA in-house service was budgeted to cost the Group 286,000 in 2010/11 indicating a saving of approximately 136,000 per annum. In order to achieve this saving, the GLA and partners need to adopt a more focused media monitoring methodology and take full advantage of electronic monitoring. 6.3 There are no additional financial implications arising from TUPE which is mandatory for all employees affected. 7 Service Delivery Implication 7.1 Precise will provide national newspaper press cuttings summaries for GLA, TfL and LDA delivered by 7.00 am, seven days a week. Evening Standard cuttings will be sent to recipients by 12pm, the same day. National newspaper press cuttings and summaries will be delivered electronically to all recipients by 7.30 am, seven days a week. Local newspaper press cuttings and summaries will be delivered to GLA, LDA & TfL by 7.30 am, three days a week. 7.2 Both the Mayor and Assembly press offices will be supplied with hard copies of cuttings and have access to electronic copies with links to newspaper articles (in PDF). There is also the provision for Assembly group press officers (4) to have the same access. Under this arrangement, Assembly Members would only be sent an electronic summary of the cuttings by Precise, which includes headlines, publication details and a condensed summary of each story or topic. The focus of the summaries will be solely GLA and précis coverage from the perspective of the GLA. Either Assembly press office or group press officers, or both, will be responsible for managing any request for actual cuts/articles. It is important to point out that routine access to full newspaper cuttings/articles (PDF images) will attract an additional license fee. 7.3 How does this compare to the current service In terms of timing, Precise service will be quicker than current service because Precise operate an automated search/reading system. No changes are anticipated with regards to quality, coverage and frequency of service. This was determined after a period of running both services in parallel service and carrying out a comparative analysis. The result of the comparative analysis was discussed and signed off by the GLA (Head of Mayor and Assembly Press Offices), TfL and LDA. 4

5 7.3.2 The significant change to the current service is the reduction in the number of hard copies. Under the current service, 25 hard copies are supplied to the GLA (Mayor's press office 6, Mayor's office - 2, Assembly press office - 1, Secretariat 1 & Assembly Members -15). Assembly Members have indicated that they want to retain the current level of access. The cost implications of this are set out below Following discussions with NLA and Precise officers can confirm that it would cost: 1,040 per annum for each additional hard copy per annum for each additional electronic copy. As stated, the total (GLA and partners) saving is approximately 136,000 per annum. The actual GLA saving is 60,000 and this is already part of 2011/12 draft budget. This saving is dependent on reduced access on the proviso that both Assembly Press office & Group Press Officers will provide detailed and analytical information/summaries of cuttings similar to the Mayor s Press Office. The cost of retaining the current level of access for Assembly Members would be an additional 15,600 (15 hard copies) and 24, (15 electronic access). It is expected any additional cost for the Assembly access above and beyond the 1 hard copy and 5 electronic access would have to be met from existing Assembly budgets. Background Papers: None Contact: Linda Kiff, telephone:

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