Skip to the content

Further details on a claim for wipes made by Iain Duncan Smith MP
CAS-21775
Disclosure Date:17 Jul 2015
Categories: GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied: None
Request

Attached please find a screenshot which indicates Iain Duncan Smith submitted an invoice for over £100 for 60 flash wipes. Is this record just unfortunately worded?  Please clarify if this  was for one packet of 60 wipes, which could not have cost more than £2.50, or if for some unknown reason it was necessary to buy 60 packets of wipes - and if so what was the quantity of wipes per packet - 40?  60?   That is a great deal of cleaning product if that is the case for one year's cleaning. Or it is a hefty price for one single packet of wipes.

Response

Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), MPs can buy office supplies using accounts IPSA generated for them with three suppliers: Commercial, Banner and XMA. MPs order the supplies online and IPSA pays the suppliers directly using the information provided by the suppliers. These costs are then allocated to the MP’s Office Costs Expenditure budget.

The Office Costs Expenditure budget is provided to meet the costs of equipping and running an MP’s office – and includes the costs of products used to clean and maintain an MP’s office.

In this instance, IPSA made a direct payment to Banner for the purchase of multiple packets of cleaning wipes, each of which contained 60 wipes. You can view the products Banner provides alongside the cost of each product on its website which is available at the following address: http://www.bbanner.co.uk/what-we-do/office-supplies/.

However, as you will note from the publication website, following payment for the order, Banner subsequently returned to IPSA the full amount of £100.56 – and no cost was ultimately incurred on the taxpayer. For reference, amounts are usually returned to IPSA when the order is cancelled, returned or an error was made.