Information relating to IPSA's administration and payment of MPs' salaries and expenses

Request

May I request the following information:

  1. How many instances of late payments of interns expenses have been recorded between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011.

  2. How many instances of 'lost receipts' for both MPs and interns expenses recorded between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011.

  3. Average wait time for the processing of interns and MPs expenses between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011.

  4. The number of staff members classed as 'interns', 'work experience' or 'trainees' that are receiving wages and the number of 'interns', 'work experience' or 'trainees' receiving expenses between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011..

  5. The number of letters of complaints received about late payment of wages or expenses relating to both MPs and interns expenses between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011.

  6. The number of requests for a formal review concerning the late payment of wages or expenses relating to both MPs and interns expenses between 6th May 2010 and 31st December 2011

  7. How many instances of late payments of interns expenses have been recorded between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2013?

  8. How many instances of 'lost receipts' for both MPs and interns expenses between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2013?

  9. Average wait time for the processing of interns and MPs expenses between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2013?

  10. The number of staff members classed as 'interns', 'work experience' or 'trainees' that are receiving wages and the number of 'interns', 'work experience' or 'trainees' receiving expenses between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2013.

  11. The number of letters of complaints received about late payment of wages or expenses relating to both MPs and interns expenses between 1st January 2012 and 28th February 2013.

  12. The number of requests for a formal review concerning the late payment of wages or expenses relating to both MPs and interns expenses between 1st January and 28th February 2013.


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

Taking your questions in turn and both requests together:

  1. We hold information in relation to volunteers: individuals registered with IPSA by Members of Parliament for the purpose of claiming for incidental expenses such as lunch and travel to and from work.  This includes individuals undertaking work experience, on student placements, or internships with MPs.  “Unpaid interns” are by definition, volunteers and we do not hold information on “interns” separately.

We have no record of late payments of expenses claimed for volunteers.  We have our own target for processing claims and we publish our performance against this target, as a monthly average, via the transparency section of our website.  The information may be found by selecting the ‘Key Performance Indicator (KPI)’ folder and selecting the respective year and month.

  1. We have no record of instances of lost receipts in relation to claims for business costs and expenses.

  2. As previously mentioned, we publish all available figures relating to our performance against our monthly claim processing target on our website.

The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release.  Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

  1. Between 11/1/12 and 28/2/13, claims for incidental expenses were reimbursed in relation to 605 volunteers. Between 06/05/10 and 31/12/11, claims for incidental expenses were reimbursed in relation to 814 volunteers.  This will include those volunteering both briefly and longer term.

We publish details of MPs’ claims for expenses on our website.  You may view the published information by visiting our publication website.  Details of claims for expenses are published in a two month cycle, three months in arrears.

MPs may call some of their salaried staff “interns”. These staff may be paid below the normal IPSA pay scales, but must be paid at least the national minimum wage. These individuals are not separately identifiable from other salaried staff paid through IPSA’s payroll.

  1. We have reviewed our record of official complaints and can confirm that we have no record of complaints specifically concerning the late payment of wages or the late payment of business costs and expenses.

  2. There are only two circumstances where a Member can ask for a review of a not-paid claim (chapter 2 of the Scheme refers).  Such a request may only be made on the grounds that the rules have been incorrectly applied or that an administrative error has been made by IPSA.

We have reviewed our records and can confirm that there have been no review requests concerning late payment of wages or expenses relating to Members or Interns expenses.

Ref:
FOI2013-A197
Disclosure:
March 28, 2013
Categories:
MPs' STAFFING
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21