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90 day expense submission rule
FOI067
Disclosure Date:9 Sep 2010
Categories: IPSA - POLICY IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: None
Request

I notice from the most recent bulletin that IPSA has decided to extend the 90 day period from expenses being incurred to submitted, to accommodate those MPs who are seemingly not able to submit a claim in three months.

Section 2.1(c) of the IPSA expenses scheme (below) clearly sets out this 90 day period. Since the Expenses Rules are now statutory, my question to you is how ths rule has been amended, without prior consultation (I didn't notice this change in the recent consultation). I do not claim to be an expert, so apologies if this rule has been amended using legal means.

My concern is that the rules are being amended without consultation, that other changes have been made without informing the public, and that ultimately it is the public who lose out, by allowing MPs to claim more than the law entitles them to.

Please reply within your SLA for replying to emails, failure to do so will result in the same question being raised as an FOI request. This is consequent to a complaint being raised with the IPSA compliance officer, who I presume can also investigate IPSA themselves.

2.1 (c) The claim is submitted no later than 90 days after the expenditure in question was incurred;

Response

You are correct in stating that any amendments to the MPs Expenses Scheme require consultation with the consultees laid down in Section 5(4) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. However, IPSA’s decision to extend the 90 day deadline does not constitute a revision of the MPs’ Expenses Scheme under the Act. It is, rather, a suspension of part 2.1.c of the Scheme for a limited period which does not require consultation with the persons listed in the Act.

As I explained in my previous correspondence with you, this decision was taken to facilitate the carrying out of IPSA’s functions, to enable the smooth operation of the Scheme as a whole and to ensure that MPs were not disadvantaged by any difficulties into logging on to the online system until mid-June.

Once again, please accept my reassurance that this temporary suspension of Part 2.1.c will not mean that any MP will be able to claim an expense to which they are not entitled. All claims will be subject to the usual rigorous checks on eligibility and entitlement before payment is made. Any expenses incurred after 5 August will be subject to the usual 90 day rule.