Could you please provide me with electronic copies of the receipts or invoices from a company known as Papagenos (or variants including Papagenos Campaign Consultancy) supporting expenses claims made by Brandon Lewis MP between May 2010 and May 2015. They were, in general, monthly, and to the value of 990 GBP.
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), 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. This includes any payments for ‘bought-in services’; staffing services provided by companies, self-employed individuals or others not on the payroll.
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.
For reference, we have withheld the personal email address of one individual under section 40 of the FOIA, and the invoice number under section 31 of the FOIA.
Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOIA states that information is exempt if its disclosure under the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention (or detection) of 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 information relating to MPs’ expenses, there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity. In our opinion the public interest in protecting the security of MPs and their property outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
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.