Receipts for 3 MPs' expense claims


I would like to request the release of information by Ipsa under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

I would like to see the original receipts submitted by several MPs in support of expenses claims during the period May-August 2010. Ipsa has published details of the claims on its website, but has not published the original reciepts (despite the High Court ruling in May 2008 that the disclosure of receipts was in the public interest.)

The receipts I would like to see relate to the claims:

Claim Ref No. 11770 - John Bercow - £652.13 - "general admin" - "Website design/production" - 01.07.2010Claim Ref No 14434 - Alan Keen - £63.61 - "general admin" - "stationery/banner" - 02.07.2010Claim Ref No 14055 - George Osborne - £145.70 - "general admin" - "headed paper" - 27.05.2010

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to clarify any aspect of this request. Whilst I would prefer to see the original receipts in unredacted form, I appreciate that elements may need to be redacted for security reasons.


NOTE: Following the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v The Information Commissioner & Anor, further information was provided in response to the request. The original response, which was sent to the requestor in 2011, can be found via this link. This is the updated response (20 May 2015)

I write with regard to your request for information, originally received by us on 9 December 2010, relating to supporting evidence for three expense claims published on the IPSA website.

Your request, which was handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), was initially answered by IPSA on 13 January 2011. I have enclosed a copy of our original response, for reference, which is also available on our website, alongside all other responses to FOI requests we have received.

In our original response, we provided the information from the original receipts in an extracted format, as we believed this provided all recorded information and therefore ensured we were meeting our responsibilities under the FOIA.

Following the decision of the Court of Appeal on 28 April 2015 in the case of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v The Information Commissioner & Anor, I attach, alongside this letter, copies of the supporting evidence you originally requested.

MP NameAmount claimed (£)DateDetails
John Bercow652.1301/07/2010Website design/production
Alan Keen63.6102/07/2010stationery/banner
George Osbourne145.7027/05/2010headed paper

Please click here to download the receipts.

In keeping with our responsibilities under the FOIA, a small amount of information has been withheld from the receipts and invoices. These include:

  • invoices numbers;

  • account numbers; and

  • bank account details.

We have withheld these pieces of information 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 full 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. On balance, we believe the relative risk of disclosing account numbers and personal bank details significantly outweighs any public interest in the full disclosure of the documents. Indeed, we contend that there is a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect our service users from the threat of criminal activity. This is achieved through our capacity to withhold certain information from disclosure.

It is for this reason that we have decided that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Further, the personal address of one individual has been withheld under section 40 of the FOIA. Section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

January 13, 2011
Exemptions Applied:
Section 31