Payments for accommodation in London

Request

The yearly amount of money currently paid for homes in London of all applicable MPs and who the payments are made to.


Response

In response to the first part of your request, IPSA publishes details of MPs expense claims on its website.  The annual data for 2010-2011 has been published and can be viewed on our website via the following link. The information you have requested is, therefore, exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means) because the information can be searched and located through the IPSA website.

Annual data for the financial year 2011-2012 will be published following the year end.  In addition, IPSA publishes details of expenses claims throughout the year in a two month cycle, three months in arrears. The next publication date for expense claims is Thursday 1 March 2012. Therefore, IPSA have taken the view that the information you have requested is exempt under Section 22(1) of the FOIA (Information intended for future publication).

In reaching this conclusion, we have considered whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the application of the exemption. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing the information at set dates, rather than on an ad hoc basis, as this way a clear and complete set of information is published, which should also avoid causing confusion. It is for these stated reasons that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

In response the second part of your request, in IPSA’s view, the information you have requested is exempt under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as the information, the names of the recipients of payments made for MPs’ London homes, 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. 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, please visit the following website: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents.

Ref:
FOI2012-A012
Disclosure:
February 22, 2012
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21