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Expense claims made by IPSA's Board and Senior Leadership Team
FOI2011-043
Disclosure Date:6 Apr 2011
Categories: IPSA - BOARD IPSA - FINANCIAL
Exemptions Applied: Section 22 Section 40
Request
  1. Copies of all expense claims submitted by the following individuals: Sir Ian Kennedy, Jackie Ballard, the Rt Hon Sir Scott Baker, Ken Olisa, Professor Isobel Sharp, Andrew McDonald, John Sills, Belinda Brown, Bob Evans, Ann Power and Scott Woolveridge.
  2. Whether any of the aforementioned individual(s) had any expense claims rejected. If so, who, details of the expense claim(s), and the reason for the rejection.
  3. Whether any of the aforementioned individuals had to repay any of their expense claims. If so who, how much and what the original claim was for.
  4. Whether any of the aforementioned individuals travelled overseas at the organisation's expense.  If so, who, where they travelled to, when they travelled, the duration of the visit, the cost of each trip, the class of travel, and the names of any hotels used.
  5.  Whether any of the aforementioned individuals have received gifts from any outside organisations or individuals. If so, who, a description of the gift(s), and the identities of the people or organisation who made the gifts.
Response

I will take each request in turn.

Details of Board members’ and senior staff members’ expense claims are published on our website and updated quarterly. Details of expense claims made up to the end of December can therefore be found on our website. The information you have requested is therefore exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to the applicant by other means).

You also requested sight of bills and receipts submitted. I enclose copies of these. Details of expense claims from 1 January to 6 April are exempt under section 22 (1) of the FOIA (information intended for future publication). We publish Board and senior staff members’ expenses on a quarterly basis. Expenses incurred in January, February and March will be published by the end of April. Expenses incurred in the current quarter will be published by the end of July. 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 set dates, rather than on an ad hoc basis, as this way a clear and complete set of information is published. For this reason, it is our view that the information you have requested is exempt under section 22 (1).

Details of residential addresses, hotel information, staff invoice numbers, names of third party individuals and telephone numbers have been withheld in accordance with 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. I refer you to the attached link detailing the FOI Act 2000 for further information: 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, where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential.

We have also withheld bank account information, IBAN numbers, booking ids, invoice numbers, credit card details, certain travel information in relation to Sir Scott Baker, Oyster travel card information, and invoice numbers. This information has been withheld under Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOI Act. This section of the Act states that information is exempt if its disclosure under the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention (or detection) or crime.

After considering the nature of the withheld information it is our opinion that were a disclosure to be made into the public domain it is probable that this information could be traced back to sensitive personal or commercial information which could be used for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of invoice information there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect members of staff from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity, which is achieved through our capacity to withhold certain information from disclosure. It is for this reason that we have decided that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

With regards to Mr Scott Woolveridge’s expenses, please note that his main home is in Nottingham and when he was offered the job as Director of Operations he proceeded to seek accommodation in London which was within commutable distance to the office.  In order to enable Mr Woolveridge to start immediately, however, IPSA agreed to cover the cost of hotel stays for a period of eight weeks. The hotel costs were claimable for up to four nights a week and up to a maximum of £130 per night. You will note, however, that the sums claimed were somewhat less than this.

No expense claims have been rejected.

None of the aforementioned individuals has been required to repay any claims.

None of the aforementioned individuals has travelled overseas on IPSA business during this period.

Details of gifts received by Board members and senior staff are published on IPSA’s website and updated quarterly. The information you have requested is therefore exempt under section 21 of the FIOA (information accessible to the applicant by other means).