You requested information on whether David Lammy MP received contingency funding for the year 2010/11, and if so, why.
IPSA holds some of the information that you request.
Paragraphs 10.10 and 10.11 (and relevant guidance) of the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (“the Scheme”) set out the basis for applying for contingency funding:
“10.10. Where an MP necessarily incurs expenditure or liability for expenditure related to the performance of the MP's parliamentary functions which is not covered by any of the budgets set out in this Scheme or, if it is covered by one or more of those budgets, it exceeds any financial limit that may apply, the MP may apply to IPSA to be reimbursed on an exceptional basis in respect of that expenditure.”
“10.11. IPSA may decide to accept or reject an application under paragraph 10.10 at its sole discretion, and in considering its decision shall take into account the following factors:
whether there are exceptional circumstances warranting additional support;
whether the MP could reasonably have been expected to take any action to avoid the circumstances which gave rise to the expenditure or liability; and
whether the MP's performance of parliamentary functions will be significantly impaired by a refusal of the claim.”
An MP can submit an application for contingency funding to the IPSA Contingency Panel, which meets regularly to consider applications and will advise the applicant of their decision accordingly. If necessary, the MP’s relevant budget will be uplifted by the approved amount or approval will be given to the MP to claim a cost not covered by any of the budgets in the Scheme.
We have previously confirmed, under FOI response FOI2012-A129 (which you can view on our website via this link), that Mr Lammy applied, and was approved by the Contingency Panel, for an uplift of an additional £33,606 to his Staffing Expenditure budget for 2010/11. Mr Lammy did not, therefore, exceed the total uplifted budget limit approved for him for staffing for 2010/11.
Mr Lammy also received additional payments to cover unforeseen eventualities. Such payments would usually be required for reasons relating to payroll including to cover periods of maternity, paternity or adoption leave and to cover staff members who are on periods of long-term sick leave or other personal circumstances. Payments of this type are covered by a central fund and do not require the explicit approval of the Contingency Panel. We do not publish details of such payments as the information may identify an individual member of staff, their salary or other personal or sensitive personal information, and is therefore exempt under Section 40 of the FOIA (personal data).
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. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.