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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Sections 45 to 48: Public accountability

105.Sections 45 to 48 contain provisions on the accountability of the Mayor and Assembly. Section 45 provides that the Mayor will make a report to the Assembly at least three clear working days before each of the ten monthly meetings the Assembly must hold each year under section 52(3). The report must set out significant decisions which the Mayor has taken, with reasons, and responses to any formal proposals put by the Assembly. The Mayor will attend the ten meetings of the Assembly and will answer Assembly members’ oral or written questions, orally, or where this is not practicable, in writing. In answering Assembly questions, the Mayor will not be obliged to disclose advice received from GLA staff or from functional bodies or their members or staff. Similarly, GLA staff and functional bodies and their members and staff will not be obliged to disclose advice to the Mayor when summoned by the Assembly under section 61. The Assembly meetings which the Mayor attends, the Mayor’s reports, the text of questions and answers and the minutes of the meetings will be open or available to the public, subject to the exceptions for confidential and other exempt material set out in Part VA of the Local Government Act 1972.

106.Section 46 requires the Mayor to prepare an Annual Report. The Annual Report will assess the Mayor's progress on implementing strategies, including the achievement of any targets set, include information about the performance of the Authority's statutory functions which the GLA is obliged to publish under any legislation. The Mayor will also include in the report information of a type which the Assembly has asked to be included before the beginning of the year covered by the report. The Mayor will send the report to the Assembly before publishing it.

107.Section 47(6) requires an annual State of London debate to be held in April, May or June but it must not be held until at least 7 days after the publication of the Annual Report. One effect of this provision is to require the Annual Report to be published at least 7 days before the end of June in the financial year after that to which the Report relates.

108.Section 47 provides that the Mayor will hold and attend an event referred to in the Act as an annual public "State of London" debate. The debate will take place in April, May or June, at least 7 days after the Annual Report is published. Section 48 provides that the Mayor and Assembly will hold twice-yearly events, which are referred to in the Act as "People's Question Time". The Mayor must decide the form and procedures for both events, following consultation with the Assembly.

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