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Details of any interns engaged by MPs
FOI104
Disclosure Date:13 Dec 2010
Categories: MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied: Section 21 Section 22
Request

Please may I have a list of

  1. The names of MPs who claimed expenses against the cost of interns' expenses.
  2. The number of Interns each MP has claimed for and the dates that the MPs have claimed for. I am trying to ascertain the number of Interns an MP is claiming for at any one moment.

By intern I mean anyone who works/volunteers/contributes/undergoes work experience for an MP in performing their Parliamentary functions but does not receive a salary.

Response

You requested the names of MPs who have claimed against the cost of interns’ expenses. This information is already in the public domain for claims made from 7 May to 31 August and can be found on the IPSA Publication Website www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk. This information is therefore exempt under Section 21 of the FOIA, because the information is already accessible to you. For information on MPs who have claimed against the cost of interns’ expenses from 31 August onwards, IPSA will routinely publish this information on the above mentioned website in due course. This information is therefore exempt under Section 22 of the FOIA.

You requested information about the number of interns each MP has claimed for and the when. I am afraid that we do not hold this information. The reason for this is because MPs do not necessarily claim expenses for all their interns, nor might they submit the claim at the time an expense has been incurred. Moreover, certain MPs pay their interns a wage, as a result of which they are classified as “workers”, rather than interns. The difference between workers and volunteers or interns is that the latter are not required to carry out specific duties for an MP, as they are rather assisting the MP with his or her duties on a voluntary basis.

The information we can provide is as follows: at present, IPSA has received registrations for 163 volunteers or interns from 87 MPs.  We do not hold records of the number of paid interns as they are considered “staff members” for payroll purposes.