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Staff employed at IPSA and information on telecoms
FOI034
Disclosure Date:20 Aug 2010
Categories: IPSA - FINANCIAL IPSA - STAFF IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: Section 36 Section 40
Request

Please find below four separate requests for information to be released to me under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  • How many members of IPSA staff are employed at Portland House?
  • How many telephone points are located in the IPSA office at Portland House?
  • How many IPSA staff were absent from work during May and for how long?
  • Please can the internal telephone directory for IPSA staff (including extension numbers) be released?
Response

I can confirm that IPSA holds the information that falls within the description specified in your request.

Question 1: How many members of IPSA staff are employed at Portland House?

There are currently 26 permanent and 49 temporary members of staff at IPSA.

IPSA will conduct a thorough organisational review in the autumn to ensure that it is meeting business needs and operating in a cost effective and efficient way. Subject to the outcome of the organisational review it is expected that the number of staff will progressively reduce towards 57.

Question 2: How many telephone points are located in the IPSA office at Portland House?

There are 75 telephone points in the IPSA office at Portland House, one for each of the current 75 members of staff.

Question 3: How many IPSA staff were absent from work during May and for how long?

12 members of IPSA staff were absent from work during May 2010 for a collective total of 28 days. This includes annual leave and sickness.

Question 4: Please can the internal telephone directory for IPSA staff (including extension numbers) be released?

IPSA wrote to you on 14 July and 6 August advising you of an extension to the deadline for a response in order for IPSA to consider the competing public interest arguments surrounding the s.36 exemption (effective conduct of public affairs) of the Freedom of Information Act.

I am responding to your request as the member of IPSA designated by the Lord Chancellor as the Qualified Person under s.36(5)(o)(iii) of the Freedom of Information Act. I can confirm that IPSA does hold information relevant to your request; however this information is exempt from disclosure.

As the Qualified Person I have conducted the public interest balancing exercise in relation to the engagement of the exemption at s.36(2)(c) (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Act, alongside consideration of the s.40(2) (personal information) exemption and our duties under the Data Protection Act, specifically paragraph 6 of Schedule 2. It is my opinion that certain forms of adverse effect would or would be likely to follow from disclosure of the information you request.
In the process of my deliberations I have consulted the other IPSA Board members and senior IPSA staff.

The internal telephone directory contains personal data of IPSA staff members and in my opinion their legitimate interests would be prejudiced by public disclosure (see s. 40). In reaching this conclusion I have taken into account the need for effective working relationships between MPs and IPSA.

I should add that disclosure of this information would also prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs in that the IPSA telephone system has been established in a way which directs calls to those best able to respond to them and avoids heavy volumes of calls being directed to particular targeted individuals.