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Compliance Officer's Procedures for Investigations

The Compliance Officer for IPSA is a statutory office holder created by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRAG). The Compliance Officer has two main functions:

  • to investigate complaints that a claim under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses may have been wrongfully paid to an MP; and
  • to review a decision by IPSA not to pay, in whole or in part, a claim under the Scheme.

Under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, IPSA are required to provide the Compliance Officer with procedures and guidance to assist him in these functions.

The current Procedures for Investigation are in their third edition, and came into force in January 2015 following a public consultation.

The procedures and guidance had been in force for three years, during which time IPSA and the Compliance Officer have gained experience and identified potential improvements. In addition the relationships between IPSA, the Compliance Officer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and the Metropolitan Police had all developed. We therefore sought to review whether the procedures and guidance should be amended, in light of that experience and those changing relationships.

In July 2010, following a public consultation, IPSA published the first ever Procedures for Investigations of the Compliance Officer. Creating a new set of Procedures inevitably required assumptions about how they would work. Those Procedures were in force for a year, resulting in a body of experience about how they operated in practice. We therefore reviewed the Procedures to ensure that they remained effective for the long-term.

The consultation on the first Procedures for the Compliance Officer was published on 16 June 2010 and closed on 7 July 2010. The consultation covered proposals for:

  1. guidance on the investigations procedures of the Compliance Officer;
  2. guidance on the recovery of overpayments;
  3. guidance on penalty notices;
  4. a scheme for the calculation of costs charged to MPs; and
  5. joint statements on working practices between IPSA, the Compliance Officer and:
    1. the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards;
    2. the Director of Public Prosecutions; and
    3. the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.