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Correspondence between IPSA and MPs regarding the expenses system
FOI068
Disclosure Date:20 Sep 2010
Categories: CORRESPONDENCE
Exemptions Applied: Cost limit
Request

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please provide me with copies of the following:

  • Written correspondence between the IPSA and serving MPs raising concerns about or problems with the new expenses system (i.e. the system which came into place in May this year).
  • Some parts of this request may be easier to answer than others, and should this prove to be the case I would ask that you release available data as soon as possible rather than hold up the entire request.
Response

IPSA receives in excess of 500 items of written correspondence per week.  We are withholding the information you have requested as we have estimated that it will cost more than the appropriate limit to process your request. The appropriate limit is set at £450 (Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the FOIA). This represents the estimated cost of determining whether IPSA holds the information, and of locating, retrieving and extracting it. Consequently, IPSA is not obliged by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request (see section 12(1)).

You may wish to have a look at the IPSA website (www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk) which contains responses to the Consultation on the MPs’ Expenses Scheme Amendments under the Publications section of the website. Many of the responses received were from Members of Parliament. You may also wish to have a look at the MP Bulletins which can also be found in this section. The MP Bulletins show some of the areas where we have clarified aspects of the system or announced changes to processes. Some of these items will have reflected feedback we have received from MPs and their staff.

If you would like to narrow the scope of your request IPSA would be happy to consider it again.