Details on the chartered surveyors used by MPs

Request

As you will not publish details of the amounts MPs are to repay the taxpayer in capital gains, can you please provide under the FOI act the details of the chartered surveyors who have carried out valuations for each MP who has had their mortgage paid by you.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

We wrote to you again in December explaining that our reply would be delayed.  We have now conducted a careful examination of the information we hold and have also sought further advice on any potential release or publication.

As a result, there has been a delay in providing you with a response, for which we apologise.

We can confirm that it is already IPSA’s intention to publish details of the amounts MPs are to repay in capital gains, and the names of the RICS surveyors who provided the valuation reports for each MP who claimed for part or all of their mortgage interest for a period between May 2010 and August 2012.  These details will be published at the same time as our routine publication of claims, due on 21 March 2013. 

Section 22(1) of the FOIA states that information intended for future publication is exempt from release.

We have considered whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the application of the exemption, and have concluded that it is reasonable to withhold the information prior to publication on the grounds that work is already underway to ensure that the information is complete and accurate with a view to publication as soon as practicably possible.

The guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office states that the public interest is harmed where publication is far in the future or if there is no firm indication of the likely date of publication. In this instance, as stated above, IPSA is planning to publish the information in March.

Ref:
FOI2012-A124
Disclosure:
February 15, 2013
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Section 22