Political leaders at City Hall have agreed to undertake a review into the post of Greater London Authority Chief Executive.
An email sent to all City Hall staff by Chief Executive Leo Boland says the review was instigated by Mayor Boris Johnson and Political group leaders on the Assembly on his recommendation following Government plans “to pass greater executive powers over public services to elected mayors.”
In his email Boland says “It seems to me organisational good sense to question whether an organisation of 600 people needs the senior managerial expertise of a Chief Executive Officer alongside an Executive Mayor who is responsible for policy and decision making, and directly accountable to the public through the democratic process.”
The review into the £205,615 a year post “will commence shortly” and will be conducted “by a senior person from TfL” who will make recommendations to the Mayor and Assembly.
Mr Boland joined City Hall in January 2009, succeeding Anthony Mayer who left the GLA to head up social housing regulator the Tenant Services Authority.
Commenting on the review, Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: “The Mayor has overseen an increase in top paid managers in his first two years of office, so this is a welcome opportunity to take stock of the bloated bill and consider whether we need such a highly paid chief executive as well as the Mayor.
“We should also widen this out to think about pay inequality elsewhere , including Transport for London which has started to reduce the 58 staff it was paying more than £150k.”
Full text of Leo Boland’s email:
Post of Chief Executive
I wanted to let you know at the earliest opportunity of a review we are about to undertake into the post of Chief Executive.
Since I joined the GLA in January 2009 my priority has been to ensure that we have in place the most efficient and effective organisational structure and culture possible to support the Mayor and Assembly in delivering for London.
To that end I led the organisation through Organising for Delivery; restructuring the GLA from 37 teams to 17 larger units, with a clearer focus around the Mayor’s priorities and generating savings of £4.5m. Following that, I have been able to work with each of you on strengthening our organisational culture and effectiveness through team building workshops with over 600 staff. It is my view that these activities have left us well equipped to deal with the opportunities currently offered through Devolution and to respond to the financial challenges ahead.
That said, given the current financial climate, I have been considering how we could go further in delivering best value for the tax payer. It seems to me organisational good sense to question whether an organisation of 600 people needs the senior managerial expertise of a Chief Executive Officer alongside an Executive Mayor who is responsible for policy and decision making, and directly accountable to the public through the democratic process. In addition, the Localism Bill has made clear the Government’s intention to pass greater executive powers over public services to elected mayors.
I have therefore recommended to the Mayor that he give consideration to this matter and he has agreed, in consultation with the Group Leaders on the Assembly, to initiate a review into the necessity of the Chief Executive post. The review will commence shortly, will be conducted by a senior person from TfL, and will I hope, conclude shortly. It will then make recommendations to the Mayor and Assembly. Regardless of the outcome of the review, there will of course need to be a statutory Head of Paid Service.
Let me assure you that I very much enjoy the challenge of working at the heart of London government, and of course with you all, but am determined to seek the best for the Authority at this time.