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Publication programme and Board papers
FOI100
Disclosure Date:3 Dec 2010
Categories: IPSA - BOARD
Exemptions Applied: Section 36
Request

According to recent Board Minutes:    

‘7. Publication of claims for expenses

7.1. Andrew McDonald presented a paper setting out the resource pressures presented by the publication programme. The Board noted the challenge IPSA faced and agreed that IPSA should explore further a number of options to reduce the pressures. It requested  some further advice setting out various options and associated costs and risks attached to each option.’

http://www.ipsa-home.org.uk/docs/Minutes%20-%20IPSA%20Board%20Meeting%20-%2021%20September%202010.pdf

Under the Freedom of Information Act, please can you supply a copy of this paper and a copy of the current programme for the publication of claims for expenses. Please can you also supply a copy of the programme for the publication of claims for expenses as it existed at 1st May 2010.

Response

Sir Scott Baker, 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, has conducted the public interest balancing exercise in relation to the engagement of the exemption at s.36(2)(c) (prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Act. It is his opinion that certain forms of adverse effect would or would be likely to follow from a full disclosure of the information you request.

There is a legitimate interest in the public knowing how IPSA conducts its business and what the process of decision-making is. However, it is also very important and in the public interest that there is an effective working relationship between IPSA’s staff and IPSA’s board, in particular in the provision of free and frank advice on policy and operational matters. It is Sir Scott’s view that the release of the requested Board paper would have an adverse effect on IPSA’s staff ability in future to provide the full range of advice freely and frankly if it were to become public shortly after the provision of this advice, adversely affecting the quality and comprehensive nature of the advice given.

IPSA has released the first tranche of details about MPs’ expense claims paid under the new, independent regime on IPSA’s dedicated publication website - www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk. IPSA will continue to publish details on MPs’ expense claims every two months, releasing expenses claimed three months in arrears.

IPSA’s Publication Policy outlines our approach to publishing MPs’ expenses and can be found on the IPSA website (www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk) under the ‘Publications’ section. A copy of the policy is enclosed for ease of reference.

You also requested the publication programme as it existed on 1st May 2010. IPSA does not hold any document containing a programme as such.