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Names of MPs involved in incidents directed towards IPSA staff
FOI105
Disclosure Date:7 Dec 2010
Categories: IPSA - STAFF IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: Section 36
Request

The names of the Members of Parliament involved in the ten incidents disclosed in August as part of Freedom of Information request relating to MPs’ behaviour

Response

In IPSA’s view the information you have requested is exempt under section 36(2)(c) of the Freedom of Information Act and is therefore withheld.

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) (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Act. It is Sir Scott’s opinion that certain forms of adverse effect would or would be likely to follow from a full disclosure of the names of the MPs you have requested.

Sir Scott authorised the disclosure of information relating to MPs’ behaviour in August as it was felt that, although the information is personal information, there is a legitimate interest in the public knowing the details of the conduct to which IPSA staff have been subjected. However, it is also very important, and in the public interest, that there is a satisfactory and effective working relationship between MPs and IPSA in implementing the new expenses regime. This would, in Sir Scott’s view, be damaged by making public the names of the individual MPs concerned. The qualified person has therefore concluded that there is a greater public interest in withholding this information than there is in its release.