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IPSA's running costs
FOI119
Disclosure Date:7 Jan 2011
Categories: IPSA - FINANCIAL IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: Section 21
Request

Why is a Board needed? You also have a Chief Executive. Why? The Chief Executive has five senior team members, again – why? The salaries quoted are:

  • Chief Executive £105,000
  • Director of Policy £85,000
  • Director of Operations £80,000
  • Director of Finance and Corporate Services £80,000
  • Director of Communications £75,000
    __________
    £425,000

How do you justify this cost to us? How much are the other senior members paid? How much are the actual workers paid? How much has IPSA cost us - a. to set up? b. to maintain?
IPSA staff expenses: why has provision been made for travel expenses? What possible reason can an IPSA member, in the course of his/her work for IPSA, need to travel anywhere?”

Response

IPSA is a new statutory body established by the Parliamentary Standards Act, 2009. You can find the Parliamentary Standards Act on the following website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2009/13/contents. IPSA was set up in response to the revelations in 2009 about some MPs’ claims for expenses. The Parliamentary Standards Act required that a Board consisting of five members be established and that IPSA’s primary functions were as follows:

  • setting a regime of expenses for MPs;
  • administration of that regime; and
  • payment of salaries of MPs and their staff.

IPSA’s Chief Executive leads the executive team within IPSA, implementing the strategic decisions and the direction set by the Board. The Chief Executive is supported by a senior leadership team of five members responsible for the various activities carried out by IPSA. Please see section four of IPSA’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2009/10 for further details. This can be found on the IPSA website www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. However, for ease of reference, a copy of the report is enclosed.

 To give you an indication of the work of IPSA, we currently handle approximately 1,500 expense claims per month. This involves logging incoming claims, completing rigorous validation checks of claims submitted by MPs and paying claims once those checks have been completed. IPSA also pays salaries for 650 MPs and approximately 2,620 members of MPs’ staff, as well as IPSA’s own staff. In addition, IPSA deals with an average of 140 phone calls and 100 emails per day from MPs, their staff and members of the public. IPSA currently has a team of 64 members of staff in total in order to administer the scheme and provide these services.

In addition, IPSA is required to carry out a range of functions associated with its responsibilities as a stand-alone organisation and independent regulator including policy development, finance, HR, communications, facilities management and corporate governance.

The CEO and Director level salaries can be found on the IPSA website under the ‘About us’ section. A hard copy of the information is attached for ease of reference. You requested information on salaries paid to other members of IPSA staff. Please find below a breakdown of salary bands per pay grade for all other members of IPSA staff[i]. All salaries within IPSA were benchmarked against market rates and compared to other public sector organisations.

Pay Grade

Salary Band

A

£19,500 - £25,000

B

£23,000 - £30,500

C

£30,500 - £37,000

D

£35,000 - £46,000

E

£46,000 - £61,500

F

£60,000 - £73,000

You further requested information on costs of establishing and running IPSA. This information is already in the public domain and can be found in the IPSA Annual Report and Accounts for 2009/2010. This is available on the IPSA website (www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk). This information is therefore exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), because it is already available to you.

You also requested information on why IPSA’s staff expenses policy has made provisions for staff to claim for reimbursement of travel expenses. IPSA provides advice and training on how to use IPSA’s online expenses system to MPs and their staff based in various locations in the UK. IPSA staff may also be required to visit MPs in their constituency offices as part of policy discussions with MPs relating to the review of the IPSA expenses scheme. IPSA reimburses staff for such journeys once supporting evidence has been presented and authorised.

 

[i] Please note that these salary bands do not include NI contributions or pension contributions made by IPSA.