Copies of all receipts submitted by MPs for business costs and expenses

Request

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of all receipts submitted by MPs for the period that Ipsa has published expenses claims for. Under the Act, I would ask you to provide copies of each, and where any are withheld notification of that document and reasoning for declining my request. I understand that this request has already been made to several other journalists and I would ask in the interest of openness and transparency that when the information is released, it is released simultaneously.


Response

IPSA releases details about MPs’ expense claims paid under the new, independent regime on IPSA’s dedicated publication website as a matter of routine. The first tranche of expense claims, covering claims processed from 7 May to 31 August, were published on the 2 December 2010.

Details of any expense claims submitted by MPs and processed in September and October 2010 will be published on the IPSA website on Thursday 3 February 2011. Claims processed in November and December 2010 will be published on Thursday 7 April 2011.

Please note, IPSA will not, as a matter of course, publish images of receipts or invoices supporting claims. We believe that the information we publish provides a significant amount of detail and gives a clear picture of what MPs are claiming for and affords reassurance that claims are both appropriate for MPs to carry out their parliamentary functions, and in accordance with the rules set out in the MPs’ Expenses Scheme

The appropriate cost limit for responding to a Freedom of Information request is set at £450 (Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the FOIA). This represents the estimated cost of determining whether IPSA holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Given the voluminous amount of MPs receipts we hold   we have estimated that it will take in excess of 18 hours (which is above the costs limit) to collect and extract the transactional information and provide it to you in a reformatted manner. Consequently, IPSA is not obliged by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request (see section 12(1)).

Ref:
FOI2011-010
Disclosure:
January 28, 2011
Categories:
COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit