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Northern Ireland MPs' staffing data
FOI2011-002
Disclosure Date:28 Jan 2011
Categories: MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied: Section 22 Section 40
Request

Please advise the number of paid staff employed by each Northern Ireland MP, the different annual salary rates of each such staff member, the total salaries paid to date in 2010/11 for such staff by MP, and the names of parliamentary passholders sponsored by each of those MPs.

Response

I can confirm that information regarding the number of paid staff employed by all MPs including Northern Ireland MPs, the salaries of staff members (bands of £5,000), and the total salaries paid to date in 2010/11 for staff will be published on the IPSA website in July this year. The information is therefore exempt under section 22(1) (information intended for future publication) of the FOIA. We have considered whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the application of the exemption. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing the information at a set date, rather than on a piecemeal basis, which will mean that a clear and complete set of information is published, and will also avoid causing confusion. It is for these stated reasons that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

We can advise that salary details for the MP’s staff members will be published in bands of £5,000. Information regarding the exact salary rates of staff members is personal data, and therefore exempt under section 40 (personal information) of the FOI Act. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. (Please see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents). Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential.

I can confirm that IPSA does not hold the names of parliamentary passholders sponsored by each of the MP’s. I have attached a link to the House of Commons website, which will assist you in making a search for the information: http://www.parliament.uk/business/commons/.