Under a freedom of Information request please provide the receipts of claims made by the Rt Honourable Yvette Cooper MP between august and November 2016?
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.
As you will be aware, details of all claims made by MPs are published on our website every two months, three months after the claims have been processed by IPSA. You can find details of all claims made by Ms Cooper on our website at the following address: https://www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/your-mp/yvette-cooper/.
Details of the claims you have requested have not yet been published on our website and will be published in due course. Claims processed during August and September will be published on 12 January 2017, and claims processed during October and November 2017 will be published on 9 March 2017. For further information, you can view a full copy of the publication schedule at the following address: https://www.theipsa.org.uk/mp-costs/.
Section 31 – law enforcement
We have withheld account numbers, invoice numbers and other information relating to the financial transactions contained within the invoices under Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOI Act. We have also withheld details which, if disclosed, may compromise the security of the MP or their staff. 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 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 – personal information
Some information relating to third-parties, such as personal addresses 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.