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Claims for hotels for MPs' staff
F1415-046
Disclosure Date:15 Aug 2014
Categories: GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY MPs' TRAVEL MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied: Section 21
Request

For all 650 Mp's i want to know the amount of times they have claimed a hotel stay(london or elsewhere)) for their staff on expenses since May 2010.

 

Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

Members of Parliament are permitted, under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), to claim the cost of an overnight hotel for a member of their staff, where the staff member has necessarily travelled in accordance with the rules stipulated in the Scheme. Such claims may be made only when it would be unreasonable to return to any residence. For further information, you can view a copy of the Scheme on our website, via this link.

You may be aware that 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 10 July 2014, which relates to claims made between February and March 2014. Using the search function, you can download details of all claims made for hospitality purposes, which may provide you with some of the information you are seeking.

The following instructions may assist you in filtering the information:

  1. Select ‘Search Function’ via the menu bar at the top of the page
  2. Under ‘Select MP(s), Constituencies, Postcode or Region’ tick the box to select all MPs.
  3. Under ‘Select a year and, optionally, month(s)’, select a financial period.
  4. Under ‘Select category(s) of Business Cost or Expense’, select ‘Travel’.
  5. Under ‘Select type(s) of Business Cost or Expense’, select ‘Hotel London Area MP Staff’ and ‘Hotel NOT London Area MP Staff’.
  6. Click ‘Find’ to retrieve the results. You can export this data to a spreadsheet format via the link at the top right-hand corner of the page.

This will provide you with the information for the financial year specified. You will need to repeat the search for the financial periods you are interested in.

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).

Section 22(1) of the FOIA states that information intended for future publication is exempt from release.

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 a full list rather than on an ad hoc basis, as in this way a clear and complete set of information is published, avoiding any potential confusion. It is for this reason that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this stage.