13 May 2015: IPSA SUPPORTS MPS POST-ELECTION
IPSA Chief Executive Officer Marcial Boo today outlined the organisation’s post-election support for MPs entering the House of Commons.
Speaking at the House of Commons to an audience of newly elected MPs about IPSA’s role and functions, Mr Boo explained that IPSA staff have been working hard to ensure a smooth transition for MPs joining, leaving and returning to Parliament. Months of careful planning has paid dividends, with IPSA staff quickly enrolling more than 180 new MPs and starting the process of supporting those leaving the House of Commons.
IPSA has been on hand in the House of Commons to sign up all new MPs onto our payroll and expenses systems. This is integral to getting MPs up and running as quickly as possible, so they can have access to their budgets and get paid. This task ramped up on Monday 11 May with the arrival of all new Conservative, Labour and SNP MPs. And by Wednesday, all new MPs had passed through the new member’s reception area to be registered with IPSA and meet key contacts in the House of Commons.
This is just the first of many contacts IPSA will have with the new MPs. They will have a dedicated election contact to make sure they clearly understand the rules on what they can and can’t claim for. They will be reminded that all claims are published, including those claims that have not been allowed. The information they receive will also help MPs to set up their offices efficiently as possible.
IPSA staff have already met all 90 MPs who stood down from Parliament before the election. In the last week, the 92 defeated MPs have now been encouraged to meet with IPSA as soon as possible to ensure they know what needs to be done to wrap up their office. By the Tuesday after the election, IPSA staff had seen or booked initial meetings with all 92 MPs who were defeated.
IPSA is working in partnership with the House of Commons to run through the tasks that need to be done to wind up their office by 8 July.
As with any business closing down, costs will be incurred to ensure that MPs’ offices are wound up in an orderly manner. So, although MPs will not be paid after 7 May, they will have access to a budget to pay any outstanding office costs, staff salaries, contractual liabilities and parliamentary expenses.
IPSA is also working with the 468 re-elected MPs to explain recent improvements to IPSA’s online systems and changes to the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses, which came into effect on 8 May.
Another component of our ongoing support will be IPSA’s work outside Westminster. Over the summer months, IPSA will provide MPs’ staff across the country with training and will be running a series of roadshows. This will help to support the work of MP in Westminster but also out in their constituency.
All this work to support MPs and their staff is to ensure that they claim entirely within the rules and only for expenses that are incurred as part of their parliamentary work.