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Details of MPs sleeping in their offices
FOI061
Disclosure Date:1 Mar 2011
Categories: MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied: Section 40
Request

Would you please supply me with any information IPSA holds with regard to MPs sleeping in their offices? This includes any communication on this matter, whether hard copy letters, emails, or written recordings of oral conversations.

Response

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that IPSA holds the information that falls within the description specified in your request.

You requested any information IPSA holds with regard to MPs sleeping in their offices. This should include any communication on this matter, whether hard copy letters, emails of written recordings of oral conversations.

I attach thirteen documents that relate to communications IPSA has had with individual Members of Parliament for your information. The thirteen attachments contain email correspondence chains relating to the use of hotels under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. They also contain emails exchanged internally on the subject.

The names of individual MPs, and any information that may identify them, such as constituency names, have been redacted. This is in accordance with section 40 (personal information) of the FOI Act. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. (Please see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents). The names of IPSA officials at non-director level have been redacted as they are not considered relevant to your request.

Response (part two):

On 11 November we released thirteen documents containing email correspondence chains relating to the use of hotels under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. They also contained emails exchanged internally on the subject. We informed you that IPSA holds further documents in relation to your request and that some of the information relevant to this request may engage the exemption at section 36 (2)(c) (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Act.

The qualified person, Sir Scott Baker, has conducted a public interest test and has concluded that these documents should be disclosed. IPSA does not wish to impact the
way in which individual MPs choose to raise and escalate their concerns about aspects of the expenses scheme, hence the consideration of this exemption. In this case, given that individual names would not be released (under section 40), and taking into account the sensitivity of the exchanges in question, Sir Scott’s judgement was that it would be appropriate to release the information so long as the identities of individual MPs and officials were protected.

As a result, the names of individual MPs, and any information that may identify them, such as constituency names, have been redacted. This is in accordance with section 40 (personal information) of the FOI Act. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. (Please see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents). The names of IPSA and other officials at non-director level have been redacted as they are not considered relevant to your request.