Peter Hain MP's office rental contract and valuation

Request

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act can you provide me with:

  1. A copy of the latest RICS valuation of the property, which should have been supplied to you as a requirement of Paragraph 6.12 of the current MPs Business Costs and Expenses Scheme

  2. A copy of Mr Hain's lease or licence agreement for the rental of the property, together with any attached block plan of the premises.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

Please find attached in Annex A a copy of the lease for the property requested, alongside a letter from the landlord confirming an extension of the term.  We have redacted some 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.

We have also withheld information contained in the lease relating to third parties under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information 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.

Further, please find attached in Annex B a redacted copy of the valuation for the property requested. Although, in this instance, we do not hold any block plan of the premises, we have redacted clauses detailing the specific layout and arrangement of the building, alongside individuals’ signatures.  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.

We have also withheld information contained in the valuation relating to third parties under Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information 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.

Ref:
F1314-193
Disclosure:
January 8, 2014
Categories:
COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 31