Details relating to contingency applications made by MPs

Request

  1. The names of Members of Parliament who have made contingency funding applications for staffing allowances for the financial year 2013-4

  2. Any correspondence from Members of Parliament relating to contingency funding applications for for the financial year 2013-4.


Response

First response

As you may be aware, the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), which is available on our website, states that:

10.11 Where an MP necessarily incurs expenditure or liability for expenditure related to the performance of the MP's parliamentary functions which is not covered by any of the budgets set out in this Scheme or, if it is covered by one or more of those budgets, it exceeds any financial limit that may apply, the MP may apply to IPSA to be reimbursed on an exceptional basis in respect of that expenditure.

An MP can submit an application for contingency funding to the IPSA Contingency Panel, which meets regularly to consider applications and will advise the applicant of their decision accordingly.  IPSA may decide to accept or reject an application for a contingency payment at its sole discretion, taking into account a number of factors, which are set out at paragraph 10.12 of the Scheme.  Such applications, if approved, result in an uplift to the relevant budget and claims can then be made up to the new budget limit.

In response to the first part of your request, the names of Members of Parliament who have made applications for contingency funding for their staffing budgets for the financial year 2013/14 are attached at Annex A.   That an application for contingency funding was made by an MP does not necessarily mean that their request was approved either in part or in full. Following a review and increase in Staffing Expenditure budgets, IPSA has taken the decision that, other than where previously agreed commitments remain in place from 2012-2013, it will not approve any further contingency uplifts on the sole basis of funding increased staff to deal with casework in an MP’s office or to replace other local public sector advice that may have had funding withdrawn. 

In relation to the second part of your request, we wrote, in our letter of 23 April 2013, to inform you that additional time would be required to give further consideration to the public interest arguments surrounding the engagement of the exemption at s.36 (effective conduct of public affairs) of the FOI Act.  This has now been completed and we are preparing the information to be released.  We anticipate that we will be in a position to provide this information at the end of next week.

IPSA holds the information that you request.  We have already provided you with the names of MPs who made contingency funding applications for staffing allowances for the financial year 2013-14.  We are now responding to the second part of your request.

Second response

As set out in our letter of 31 May, the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), which is available on our website, states that:

10.11 Where an MP necessarily incurs expenditure or liability for expenditure related to the performance of the MP's parliamentary functions which is not covered by any of the budgets set out in this Scheme or, if it is covered by one or more of those budgets, it exceeds any financial limit that may apply, the MP may apply to IPSA to be reimbursed on an exceptional basis in respect of that expenditure.

An MP can submit an application for contingency funding to the IPSA Contingency Panel, which meets regularly to consider applications and will advise the applicant of their decision accordingly.  IPSA may decide to accept or reject an application for a contingency payment at its sole discretion, taking into account a number of factors, which are set out at paragraph 10.12 of the Scheme.  Such applications, if they had been approved, would result in an uplift to the relevant budget and claims could then be made up to the new budget limit.

You requested ‘any correspondence from Members of Parliament relating to contingency funding applications for for the financial year 2013-4’. This was clarified in your email of 24 April 2013 to be a request for any correspondence from MPs relating to contingency funding applications for “staffing allowances” for the financial year 2013-2014. We have interpreted “staffing allowances” to be the Staffing Expenditure budgets under the Scheme.  We have understood correspondence to include both applications and additional emails/letter surrounding the application.

Ref:
F1314-006
Disclosure:
June 2, 2013
Categories:
CONTINGENCY FUNDING
Exemptions Applied:
Section 36