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Seema Malhotra MP staffing arrangements
F1415-041
Disclosure Date:8 Aug 2014
Categories: MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied: None
Request
  1. How many staff members have been hired since her by-election?
  2. How many contracts have been issued to staff members? (Including multiple contacts issues to the same staff member)
  3. How many consultants have been employed by payment through the "office costs" budget as opposed to IPSA's staffing budget?
  4. How many staff members have left employment since her by-election, including consultants paid through the method above?
  5. How much has been spent since her by-election on consultants through the method above?

 

Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

You will be aware that 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’. The Scheme does not specify where a member of staff should be located.

With regards the part of your request relating to consultants, Office Costs Expenditure (OCE) is provided to meet the costs of running an MP’s office or offices and surgeries. MPs are entitled to exercise discretion over claims for items that meet the purposes of the OCE budget, provide that the claims meet the general conditions specified in the Scheme. This can include the cost of external professional services, provided in support of the MPs’ parliamentary functions.

Needless to say, alongside permanent members of staff, the list provided may include casual or temporary staff members as well as part-time and full-time staff. The number of staff employed, as set out below, does not therefore equate to the number of full time equivalents or, necessarily, to the number of staff actively working in any particular office.

Our response to your request is set out below.

  • How many staff members have been hired since her by-election?

Ms Malhotra has registered 14 individuals with IPSA since her election, to be paid through IPSA’s payroll.

  • How many contracts have been issued to staff members? (Including multiple contacts issues to the same staff member)

Ms Malhotra has registered 16 contracts with IPSA since her election.

  • How many consultants have been employed by payment through the "office costs" budget as opposed to IPSA's staffing budget?

We have interpreted your request for ‘consultants’ as individuals who have provided a professional service, whose costs have been reimbursed through the Office Costs Expenditure budget under the category ‘Professional Services’.

According to our records, seven individuals have provided a professional service for Ms Malhotra, whose costs have been reimbursed through the Office Costs Expenditure budget under the category ‘Professional Services’.

  • How many staff members have left employment since her by-election, including consultants paid through the method above?

Six individuals paid through IPSA’s payroll have left Ms Malhotra’s employment since her election.

With regards to consultants, by the nature of their work, individuals who carry out a professional service are paid for the work they do but are not employed by the MP. As such, we do not hold this information.

  • How much has been spent since her by-election on consultants through the method above?

Ms Malhotra has claimed, and been reimbursed, £8,675.70 for work carried out by consultants.