Receipts for David Amess MP's accomodation expenses

Request

Copies of all receipts submitted by David Amess MP for expenses falling within the “accommodation” category between IPSA’s inception or April 2008 (whichever is later)


Response

I can confirm that IPSA holds information relating to accommodation expense claims submitted by Mr Amess from May 2010 to the last cycle of publication.  IPSA does not hold any information relating to specific expense claims submitted by MPs prior to May 2010.

You may wish to know that IPSA publishes details relating to Accommodation expenditure claimed by Mr David Amess MP, along with details of other expenses incurred by MPs, once every two months on our publication website. A user guide can also be found on the website to assist you with your search.

IPSA will not, as a matter of course, publish images of receipts or invoices supporting claims. We believe that the information we publish proactively on IPSA’s Publication website 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 following tables at Annex A provide the information released on IPSA’s publication website relating to these claims, as well as all additional information contained on each invoice/receipt. Please note that we have withheld account numbers, invoice numbers and barcodes. 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 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 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.

We have also withheld information regarding Mr Amess’ address and any telephone numbers under section 40 (personal information) of the FOI Act as the information constitutes third party data. Section 40(2) provides that personal data about third parties is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. (Please see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents). Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential.

Annex A

Ref:
FOI2011-107
Disclosure:
January 5, 2012
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Section 31