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Copy of receipt for claim by Gordon Brown
CAS-16262
Disclosure Date:10 Jun 2015
Categories: COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES MPs' OFFICE COSTS
Exemptions Applied: Section 31 Section 40
Request

Could I under a FOI request call for a copy of the receipt for transaction number 40341 published in the latest MP expenses publication for Gordon brown?

Response

We publish details of all claims made by MPs under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) on our publication website, http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk. As such, the following information has already been published on our publication website relating to the claims you have requested.

 

Claim 1

Claim 2

Trans. Date

12/12/2014

17/12/2014

Claim No.

403413

403413

MP's Name

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown

Category

Office Costs

Travel

Expense Type

Stationery Purchase

Hotel London Area MP Staff

Short Description

Stationery Staff Accommodatio

Stationery Staff Accommodatio

Details

THE PEN SHOP Miscellaneous General Merchandise Stores

[***] Hampton Inn Hotels

Journey Type

N/A

Between London & Constituency

Amount Claimed

732

139

Amount Paid

732

139

Status

Paid

Paid

Under the Scheme, Office Costs Expenditure (OCE) is provided to meet the costs of equipping and running and MP’s office. MPs are entitled to exercise discretion over claim for items that meet the purposes of the OCE budget, provided that the claims meet the general conditions of the Scheme.

Further, MPs may claim for the cost of an overnight hotel for a member of their staff, where the staff member has travelled in the circumstances specified at paragraphs 9.18 and 9.19 of the Scheme[1]. Such claims may be made only when it would be unreasonable to return to any residence.

Paragraph 1.1 of the Scheme states that all claims for reimbursement under the Scheme must be supported by evidence. As such, we hold all supporting documentation provided in support of claims made by MPs. Please find attached, at Annex A and Annex B, two invoices submitted in support of the two claim specified above.

We have withheld a small amount of information from the invoices, such as invoice numbers, account numbers and reservation codes under Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) 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, prejudice the prevention (or detection) or crime. After considering the nature of the withheld information it is our opinion that were a disclosure to be made into the public domain it is probable that this information could be traced back to sensitive personal or commercial information which could be used for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of all information contained on documentation provided to us by MPs in support of their claims, there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity, which is achieved through our capacity to withhold certain information from disclosure. 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 the names of third parties under section 40(2) of the FOIA. Section 40(2) provides that personal information 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

[1] 9.18 Each MP may claim for Travel and Subsistence Expenditure for his or her staff to make up to 96 single journeys each year between (1) the MP's constituency office and/or home office registered under 6.10, and Westminster; and (2) for staff members who routinely work from a home office registered under 6.10, the home office and the MP’s constituency office. This limit is the total for all staff employed by the MP, not per staff member.

9.19 MPs may also claim for Travel and Subsistence Expenditure in respect of the following journeys made by members of their staff:

  1. travel within the constituency or within 20 miles of the constituency boundary; and
  2. travel elsewhere within the UK for the purposes of relevant training.