Information relating to MPs' staffing arrangements
Many of your questions relate to functions that are outside IPSAs statutory remit. To clarify, IPSA’s statutory remit is to regulate and administer the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses and to pay MPs’ salaries. I can, therefore, confirm that IPSA holds some of the information that you request.
Taking your questions in turn:
IPSA does not permit MPs to make bonus payments to their staff. The MP’s Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’) does, however, give scope for modest reward and recognition payments to be made to staff for outstanding work. Within the terms of the Scheme, however, these payments cannot be paid to connected parties. The definition of a connected party can be found at section 3.13 of the Scheme and includes family members.
We are not involved in procuring or administering cleaner contracts for MPs and, therefore, we do not hold breakdowns of any cleaner contracts for MPs’ constituency offices, including those in the Yorkshire and Humber area.
Specifically, IPSA’s role is to administer the payment of salaries to MPs and their staff. IPSA does not hold any information relating to the voluntary activities of individuals within MPs’ offices. You may wish to view the Register of Interests of Members’ Secretaries and Research Assistants, provided by the House of Commons, by visiting the following website: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmsecret/120316/contents.htm. You may also wish to contact the respective political party for that information.
IPSA only offers a limited HR resource function. MPs, as the employer, are responsible for their own process for employment of staff. Therefore, we do not hold information on the selection procedures, processes and assessment criteria for employing MPs’ staff.
IPSA do not issue any staff handbooks to MPs. We do provide model contracts of employment for MPs to use when employing staff members – these can be viewed by visiting the following link to our website: http://goo.gl/2Cyjx.
Timesheets for staff members are not releasable under section 40 (personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 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 visit the following link for more information: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents. Under the FOIA, disclosure of 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.
Following our third annual consultation of the Scheme, we expanded our guidance on the activities we do not regard as necessary for the performance of Parliamentary functions (Chapter 3 of the Scheme). These include:
attendance at party conferences or meetings
work which is conducted for or at the behest of a political party
producing or distributing any material which could be construed as campaign expenditure within the scope of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
work relating to delegations to an international assembly
work relating to the performance of Ministerial functions
Please visit the following link to the Scheme for more information: http://goo.gl/B7C2e
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- April 26, 2012
- MPs' STAFFING
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 40