This page lists the 8 staff (and their job titles) that were employed by Andrew Turner MP during 2014-15. http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/ViewAnnualisedData2014.aspx?mcode=0251
Can you please advise whether the salaries of all eight staff (under the auspices of these declared job titles relating to the entirety of their declared part or full time role) were wholly and exclusively paid for out of the £129,265.96 that Mr Turner claimed for out of the Staffing Expenditure budget? If the answer to this is no, can you advise:
- Which posts (and to what extent) were partly or wholly funded from other IPSA / parliamentary budgets available for staffing / assistance resources;
- Which other IPSA / parliamentary budgets were any payments received from?
Furthermore, for the sake of absolute clarity, can you confirm that none of these additional post-holders held any additional role (with a separate job title) in assisting Mr Turner in his parliamentary duties, that might not be declared on this page?
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), the salaries of MPs’ staff are ordinarily paid out of the Staffing Expenditure budget, which is used to meet the costs incurred in the provision of staff to assist with the performance of an MP’s parliamentary functions.
However, in exceptional circumstances:
- an MP may apply to IPSA for contingency funding to cover additional staffing costs; or
- staffing costs may be paid from the disability budget.
Further information on these circumstances can be found below.
Where an MP necessarily incurs expenditure or liability for expenditure related to the performance of an MP’s parliamentary functions which is not covered by any of the budgets set out in the Scheme or, if it is covered by one or more of those budgets, it exceeds any financial limit that may apply, the MP may apply to IPSA to be reimbursed on an exceptional basis in respect of that expenditure. Where such funding is granted by IPSA in relation to MPs’ staffing, this takes the form of an increase in the Staffing Expenditure budget limit.
Details of all applications to IPSA for contingency payments are published on our publication website at the end of each financial year.
Disability Assistance may be claimed by any MP for necessary additional expenditure incurred in the performance of an MP’s parliamentary functions which is reasonably attributable to a disability of an MP, a staff member, a job applicant or constituents visiting the office or surgery. The disability of any individual is defined as ‘sensitive personal data’ under the Data Protection Act. As such, we do not publish any information pertaining to claims made for disability assistance.
Under section 40(5)(b)(i) of the FOIA, public authorities are not required to confirm or deny information where to do so could contravene any of the data protection principles. The first data protection principle states that ‘personal data shall be processed fairly’. Disclosure of an individual’s ‘sensitive personal data’ is likely to be unfair as it compromises information that individuals will regard as the most private. This means that in the majority of cases it will be in the reasonable expectations of an individual that such information will not be publicly disclosed. We believe that disclosing information pertaining to the use of disability assistance could identify an individual’s disability, which would therefore contravene the first data protection principle. As a result, we do not publish information relating to disability assistance and are therefore unable to confirm or deny under FOIA whether this information is held.