City Hall routinely withholds the publication of Mayoral authorisations of expenditure and policy initiatives at the request of commercial suppliers and partners, London Assembly Members have been told.
Under City Hall rules “The Mayor, rather than GLA officers, approves proposals for new or significant initiatives and those where expenditure will be over £50,000.”
These proposals are recorded in Mayoral Decisions which are published on the Greater London Authority website.
The Mayoral Decisions section of london.gov.uk says Mayor Johnson “has pledged to uphold and develop the highest standards of transparency and openness in the way that he makes decisions and spends public money.”
Despite promises of “transparency and openness” there can be significant delays in publishing MDs.
One decision, signed by the Mayor on March 16th was only published on November 22nd.
The document approved a sponsorship agreement between City Hall and Procter & Gamble (P&G) and covered sponsorship of the Mayor’s Capital Clean Up programme of events staged between March and the end of June.
Assembly Members questioning the delay have been told the document was withheld “at the request of the sponsor who were not comfortable with the detail of their support being in the public domain until the campaign had taken place and everything was wrapped up.”
The document’s publication was originally deferred until November 1st, however a City Hall official has told AMs:
“For all deferred MDs, we go back to the project managers after the original deferred date on the assumption that they can now be published, but requesting confirmation that this is the case (because some commercial deals occasionally slip and the date needs to be extended).
“On this occasion, the project manager needed to check with Procter and Gamble to obtain their agreement, so it took a little bit more time to have this confirmation, but once received, we published it on the web, 22nd November.”