This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for copies of invoices and any other documentation held by IPSA relation to the following expense claims by Hugo Swire MP for East Devon in the 2015/16 financial year:
- Claim ref: 438438 £786.42 (23/04/2015) Travel/Hotel
- Claim ref: 431646 £250 (01/05/2015) Accommodation/Buildings insurance
- Claim ref: Payment to supplier £1,200 (12/06/2015) computer SW purchase
- Claim ref: 456798 £6.65 (01/09/2015) Staffing Food & Drink Volunteer
- Claim ref: 427583 £59.99 (10/05/2015) Public TR AIR MP Staff
- Claim ref: 440752 £65.33 (27/05/2015) Public TR AIR MP Staff
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), all claims for reimbursement under the Scheme must be supported by evidence. You can view a copy of the Scheme on our website via this link. As such, we hold all supporting documentation provided in support of claims made by MPs.
Please click here to download the invoices submitted by Mr Swire in support of the claims listed above. We have removed a small amount of information from the invoices relating to personal costs which have not been claimed by the MP, and which therefore fall outside the remit of the request.
Section 31 – law enforcement
We have withheld a small amount of information from the invoices 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.
The information withheld under this exemption relates to bank accounts, personal financial information and the MP’s personal home, the security of which would be severely compromised were the information to be publicly disclosed. 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 information which could be used for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of information relating to MPs’ business costs and expenses, there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that we are able to protect our service users (and third parties) from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity. In our opinion the public interest in protecting the security of third parties outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Section 40 – personal information
Data relating to third parties is ‘personal data’, as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). As such, we have withheld such information, where appropriate, in accordance with section 40 of the FOIA. For reference, section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if disclosure would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the DPA, where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. You can find out more information about personal data and FOI via guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on their website: http://ico.org.uk.