Boris Johnson has admitted to having “no idea” that his promotions agency London & Partners was failing to disclose details of senior staff pay.
Most Greater London Authority bodies proactively publish senior salaries, bonuses and expenses on their websites and in their annual accounts.
However London and Partners has repeatedly used its status as a private limited company to withhold this information, despite relying on City Hall for the majority of its funding.
Ahead of a question and answer session with the Mayor and his top team, the London Assembly’s Oversight Committee wrote to all GLA agencies requesting information on senior employee remuneration.
A briefing note for committee members says “London and Partners was the only organisation that failed to respond fully to the Committee’s request”.
Questioned about the organisation’s refusal to publish the information, the Mayor said: ”I had no idea that they didn’t”.
Mr Johnson has previously declined to use his position as London and Partners’ biggest funder to require that it opens itself up to scrutiny.
In June 2013 London Assembly Member Darren Johnson asked the Mayor to “order” L&P to publish expenses claims by senior staff and board members.
In response the Mayor said: “I am committed to running a transparent administration and I encourage London & Partners to follow best practice. As London & Partners is set up as a company with its own Board, it will be up to the Board how they do that.”
The agency’s exemption from Freedom of Information laws and wider scrutiny has come under the spotlight in recent days following questions about its involvement in a £1bn deal to redevelop the Royal Albert Docks.
Asked whether London and Partners would now fall into line with the Mayor’s other agencies and publish salary details, he replied: “I see no reason at all why they shouldn’t.”
Earlier on Thursday AMs were told the agency is currently resisting the Mayor’s calls to make cuts of 2.5% to its budget.