I would like to request under the FOI act copies of the receipts for all first class train travel claimed by Yvonne Forvargue for the last three years.
IPSA holds the information that you request.
Travel and Subsistence claims may be made under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) for the costs of travel, and travel-related subsistence expenditure, undertaken by an MP, necessarily incurred in the performance of the MP’s parliamentary functions.
For allowable journeys made by rail, reimbursement is limited to the rate of an ‘anytime standard open’ ticket for the journey prevalent at the time of the claim. The online system prevents claims from being made where the cost of the ticket exceeds this rate.
You can find the full rules regarding travel claims at Chapter Nine of the Scheme, a copy of which can be found on our website at the following address: http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/IPSAMPs/Scheme.
Under the Scheme, 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. Please click here to download the invoices submitted by Ms Fovargue in support of the claims listed in your request.
Section 31 – law enforcement
We have withheld the order ID, invoice number and bank account details contained within 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. 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 (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, such as the home address of the MP and the names of staff members, is ‘personal data’, as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). As such, we have withheld such information 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.