I would very much appreciate it if you could provide me with the information to whether Andrew Jones (MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough) or Nicola Blackwood (MP for Oxford West & Abingdon) have claimed expenses for work done by the Policy Research Unit (PRU) since May 2010 and on which dates they have done so?
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Chapter 7 of the MPs Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) states that Staffing Expenditure may be claimed to meet the cost incurred in the provision of staff to assist with the performance of an MP's parliamentary functions, which includes payments to pooled staffing resources, such as the Policy Research Unit (PRU).
As you may be aware, IPSA publishes details of all claims for business costs and expenses on our website every two months, three months in arrears, via the following address: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk. The most recent publication took place on 13 March 2014, which relates to claims made between October and November 2013. Using the search function, you can download details of all claims made for any pooled or professional services. This information can then be extracted to identify those claims which relate to the Policy Research Unit.
The following instructions may assist you in filtering the information:
- Select ‘Search Function’ via the menu bar at the top of the page
- Under ‘Select MP(s), Constituencies, Postcode or Region’, select an MP.
- Under ‘Select a year and, optionally, month(s)’, select a financial period.
- Under ‘Select category(s) of Business Cost or Expense’, select ‘Staffing’ and ‘Office Costs’
- Under ‘Select type(s) of Business Cost or Expense’, select ‘Pooled Services’, ‘Pooled Services: Direct’, ‘Professional Services’ and ‘Professional Services: Direct’.
- Click ‘Find’ to retrieve the results. You will then need to export this data to a spreadsheet format via the link at the top right-hand corner of the page.
- You can then search the ‘details’ field to find any claims which mention the PRU, Policy Research Unit or annual Parliamentary Research subscriptions.
The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).