The London Assembly is to investigate whether “organisational cultures” within the Greater London Authority are compatible with the Mayor’s promises of openness and transparency.
In recent years Assembly Members, media commentators and members of the public have been denied access to information, often with GLA bodies claiming it is covered by commercial confidentiality.
There have also been complaints about the length of time it takes for documents to be published on the City Hall website, while earlier this month the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) failed to publicise details of a key public meeting.
The London Assembly’s GLA Oversight Committee is to investigate how decisions to withhold information are made and whether more information about contracts between the Mayor, his agencies and private companies could be published.
The review will also consider whether the cultures within Transport for London, MOPAC, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the London Legacy Development Corporation encourage and promote openness.
Assembly member John Biggs, who is leading the review, says: “The Mayor has power over a £14bn budget that directly effects the lives of millions of Londoners and visitors to the capital. That’s why it’s so important that the decisions he makes are open and transparent.
“Over the next few months I’ll be looking at the way decisions are made and whether more information could be made public. In particular, I want to know how the details of some deals – like the Barclays cycle hire sponsorship – are deemed to be commercially sensitive, and what can be done to break down these barriers to openness.”
The committee will seek views from the various GLA bodies, central Government, local authorities and suppliers, before publishing a report early next year.