Please could I have details of expenses claimed by each MP by Train, Ship and Plane, separated by the class of travel used (for example 1st Class, Standard, Sleeper, Upper Class, Premium Economy, Economy etc). I am not interest in the expense value of each claim but the class of travel (and accompanying this the company used and the Start and End of the journey).
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), Travel and Subsistence claims may be made for the costs of travel, and travel-related subsistence expenditure undertaken by an MP or others, which are necessarily incurred in the performance of the MP’s parliamentary functions.
The MP should always have regard to whether any particular journey is necessary and to the most cost-effective way to undertake it. In particular, whatever means of transport is used, consideration should be given to whether potential savings to public funds could be made through the use of concessionary fares such as Oyster cards, season tickets, advance purchase or off-peak travel.
For allowable journeys by public transport, MPs may buy a ticket of any class but reimbursement will be limited to the rate of an ‘anytime standard open’ ticket for the journey prevalent at the time of the claim.
We do not necessarily hold the name of the company used by the MP, nor the start and end locations (or times) of travel. To identify whether or not this information is held for each claim made we would be required to manually locate, retrieve and extract this information from individual receipts since IPSA began operations in 2010 – of which there are tens of thousands. We undertook a test to estimate the amount of time it would take to locate, retrieve and extract this information from our systems. We estimate that it would take us considerably over the appropriate cost limit of £450 (part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information Act). Consequently, IPSA is not obliged to respond to your request (see section 12(1), FOIA).
However, as you may be aware, we publish the details of all claims made by MPs under the Scheme on our publication website, which includes the class of ticket claimed and journey locations for many journeys undertaken by MPs. The following instructions may assist you in locating the information:
- Visit the ‘Data Downloads’ page at the following address: http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/DataDownloads.aspx
- Choose a financial year and click the link to download details of all claims made in that year.
- Locate the column ‘Travel’ (column M). This column provides the class of travel for travel claims made by MPs.
- Columns K and L provide the ‘to’ and ‘from’ locations.
The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).