Teresa Pearce MP expense claim

Request

Please find below details of a payment of expenses made in respect of a claim by Teresa Pearce MP. Can you forward to me immediately a copy of the invoice? Could you also let me have copies of ay supporting documents which were sent with the invoice and if you can let me know if the company Boost (Third Sector Support) Ltd, who received the payment, gave their address as 71 Bromsgrove Road, Redditch. Finally, can you let me know any names of staff at Boost who were given on any paperwork passed to IPSA about this claim.


Response

Specifically, you requested:

  1. any information held by IPSA in respect of claim reference number 0000059834, in addition to the published information, including address information and information about the names of staff members at Boost provided; and

  2. information about invoices from Boost (Third Sector Support) Ltd submitted by other MPs.

In answer to the second part of your request, our transactional data provides no records of invoices from Boost being submitted by any MPs other than by Ms Pearce. In order to establish whether there are any such invoices, we would need to review the accompanying documentation to all expense claims received by IPSA. To do so would, however, cost more than the appropriate limit to process your request. The appropriate limit 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 of locating, retrieving and extracting it. Consequently, IPSA is not obliged by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to respond to your request (see section 12(1))

In relation to the first part of your request, the table below provides the information released on IPSA’s publication website relating to this claim, along with all additional information contained on the invoice. We hold no further information in respect of this claim, such as the names of staff members at Boost.

Please note that we have withheld any invoice numbers, contract numbers, BACs code, account numbers, IBAN and CHAPs code for payment as these may be traced back to personal or commercial information. We have withheld this 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 disclosure to be made into the public domain it is possible that this information could be traced back to sensitive personal or commercial information which could be misused for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publication of invoice information there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity, which 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.

View the table containing the information released on IPSA’s publication website relating to this claim, along with all additional information contained on the invoice.

Ref:
FOI2011-069
Disclosure:
June 26, 2011
Categories:
GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied:
Cost limit