Copy of two receipts for claims by Eric Joyce MP
IPSA does not, as a matter of course, publish images of receipts or invoices supporting claims. We believe that the information we proactively publish on IPSA’s Publication website provides a significant amount of detail and gives a clear picture of what MPs are claiming for and affords reassurance that claims are both appropriate for MPs to carry out their parliamentary functions, and in accordance with the rules set out in the MPs’ Expenses Scheme.
The table attached to this response (Annex A) provides the information released on IPSA’s publication website relating to these claims, as well as any additional information contained on the invoice and receipts held on record. Please note that in line with our stated publication policy, we have withheld a number of details from the invoices. These include the name, location and contact details of the hotel, the invoice number, room number, booking reference, folio number, and payment details. We have withheld this information under Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOI Act. This section of the Act states that information is exempt if its disclosure under the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention (or detection) or crime.
After considering the nature of the withheld information it is our opinion that were a disclosure to be made into the public domain it is probable that this information could be traced back to sensitive personal or commercial information which could be used for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of invoice information there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity, which is achieved through our capacity to withhold certain information from disclosure. It is for this reason that we have decided that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Further, we have withheld the name of individual staff members included on the invoices and receipts, as well as personal home addresses and any information contained on the invoice which does not relate to the specific claims requested, the release of which we believe is exempt under Section 40(2) of the FOI Act.
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.
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- December 16, 2013
- COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 31