Connected parties

Request

  1. I'm assuming I have the correct governmental department dealing with MPs expenses and remuneration? If not please correct myself and guide me to the correct department. Thank you.

  2. Please could I be guided or supplied the 2009-2010 to present day of MPs whose constituencies are in the Principality of Wales/Cymru? I note my local MP Chris Ruane has information partly supplied at:-__http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10518/chris_ruane/vale_of_clwyd#expenses. But doesn't supply a break down of staffing costs.

  3. Could I therefore request a list of MPs whom employ a family member; Wife, daughter, son, partner etc. As I understand previously/presently Chris Ruane MP has employed his wife for office managerial role.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is the body created by Parliament under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to independently oversee and regulate MPs’ expenses.  IPSA has two main roles: regulating the business costs and expenses system and administering and paying MPs’ expenses, pay and pensions.

Taking your requests for information in turn:

  • Please could I be guided or supplied the 2009-2010 to present day of MPs whose constituencies are in the Principality of Wales/Cymru?

As part of our functions, IPSA publishes all claims for business costs and expenses on our website every two months, three months in arrears.  You may view the published information via this link to our publication website.  The next publication date is 14 November 2013, which covers those claims processed by IPSA during June and July 2013.  Claims subsequently processed by IPSA will follow in future publications.

  • Could I therefore request a list of MPs whom employ a family member; Wife, daughter, son, partner etc. As I understand previously/presently Chris Ruane MP has employed his wife for office managerial role.

We do not hold specific information on friends or family employed by Members of Parliament.  However, the term ‘connected party’ is defined in the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’) as:

  1. A spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member;

  2. parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece of the member or of a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the member; or

  3. a body corporate, a firm or a trust with which the MP is connected as defined in section 252 of the Companies Act 2006.

The Scheme can be viewed via this link to our website.  The information contained in our response to your FOI request relates to ‘connected parties’ as defined by the Scheme, which includes but does not separately identify ‘family members’.

MPs must complete a connected party declaration when employing staff members, stating whether the employee is or is not a connected party, as defined by the Scheme.

We publish annualised data that includes the names of all MPs who have declared to IPSA that they employ a connected party and the name of that connected party.  This annualised data can be found via this link to our publication website.  The annualised data for 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 is already available on our website and the annualised data for 2013/14 will be published following the end of the financial year.

The FOIA states that information that is easily accessible by other means is not subject to release.  Therefore, as the information you have requested relating to the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years is already available on our website it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

Further, the FOIA states that information intended for future release is not subject to release.  As the information you have requested relating to the 2013/14 financial year will be published following the end of the financial year, it is exempt from disclosure under Section 22(1) of the FOIA (Information intended for future publication).

In relation to our application of the exemption at section 22(1) of the FOIA, 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.

Ref:
F1314-137
Disclosure:
October 22, 2013
Categories:
MPs' CONNECTED PARTIES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21