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Constituency office of Martin McGuinness MP
F1415-052
Disclosure Date:10 Sep 2014
Categories: COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES MPs' OFFICE COSTS
Exemptions Applied: Section 38 Section 40
Request

Under Freedom of Information legislation I would like to request a copy of any shared cost agreements between Ian Paisley (Junior) and any NI MLAs ( Members of the Legislative Assembly ) since May 2010 . Also a copy of the lease/ s for Ian Paisley Junior's constituency office at 9 - 11 Church Street , Ballymena BT43 6 DD.

 

Response

IPSA does not hold a shared cost agreement between Mr McGuiness and any MLAs.

IPSA began operations on 7 May 2010 and does not hold any information relating to claims made or processed prior to that date. The House of Commons may hold the information you are seeking, dating from 2004. You may wish to contact the House of Commons FOI team, via the following email address: FOICommons@parliament.uk.

Please find attached, at Annexes A and B, two leases for Mr McGuiness’ constituency offices. We have redacted the name of the landlords under Section 38(1)(b) (Health and safety) 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, endanger the safety of any individual.

After considering the nature of the withheld information, we believe that if it were disclosed, it could be used to endanger the safety of the landlord listed. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of this information there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that we are able to protect our service users, and third parties, from threats to their safety. This is particularly true for MPs representing constituencies in Northern Ireland. This is also in line with our stated publication policy. It is for this reason that we have decided that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

We have also withheld information contained in the lease relating to third parties under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information 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. 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.