Payments made for James Gray MP's constituency office

Request

Please provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

The address of the constituency office for James Gray MP's expenses claims for his constituency office rent.

How much money James Gray MP has claimed for rent for this address since June 2010.

The address of the constituency accommodation for James Gray MP's expenses claims for constituency accommodation rent and/or mortgage/interest payments.

How much money James Gray MP has claimed for rent and/or mortgage/interest payments for this address since June 2010.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

The address of the constituency office for James Gray MP's expenses claims for his constituency office rent.

We are withholding the full address of the constituency office, which is situated adjacent to his accommodation and is not in the public domain, as to release this information would immediately identify the address of the accommodation.

In line with our publication policy, agreed with the Information Commissioner, and published in 2010, we always seek to balance the public interest in confirming that claims for costs and expenses are in line with the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the ‘Scheme’), and the protection of MPs’ security and that of their families. 

Our policy states:

                We will not publish the following information –

  • Details of MPs’ addresses in receipt of funding from IPSA other than the first alphabetical block and the first numerical block of the postcode, for example:

    1. SW1 [***]

    2. IP21 [***]

We are able, therefore, to release the first part of the postcode of the office for which Mr Gray claims office costs expenditure under the Scheme, which is at Annex A.

How much money James Gray MP has claimed for rent for this address since June 2010.

IPSA publishes 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 9 January 2014, which covers those claims processed by IPSA during August and September 2013.  Claims subsequently processed by IPSA will follow in future publications.

The FOIA states that information that is easily 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).

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. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing a full list rather than on an ad hoc basis, as in this way a clear and complete set of information is published, avoiding any potential confusion. It is for this reason that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this stage.

The address of the constituency accommodation for James Gray MP's expenses claims for constituency accommodation rent and/or mortgage/interest payments.

We are withholding the full address of the accommodation for which Mr Gray claims via the Scheme as this information is personal data.

For the reasons stated above, we are able to release the first alphabetical block and the first numerical block of the postcode for which Mr Gray claims accommodation costs under the Scheme, which is at Annex A.  The remaining part of the address is withheld as this information is considered to be personal 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. Under the FOI Act disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. For further information, you may wish to visit the UK Legislation website.

How much money James Gray MP has claimed for rent and/or mortgage/interest payments for this address since June 2010.

As explained in the first part of your request in relation to office costs claims, you may also view this information via this link to our publication website.

The FOIA states that information that is easily 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).

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. It is our opinion that the public interest is best served by publishing a full list rather than on an ad hoc basis, as in this way a clear and complete set of information is published, avoiding any potential confusion. It is for this reason that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this stage.

Ref:
F1314-170
Disclosure:
December 23, 2013
Categories:
MPs' OFFICE COSTS
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21