Expenses of MPs' staff

Request

Under the Freedom of Information Act I request the following information on expenses claims made by staff in MPs offices in the last three financial years.

  1. A breakdown of all expenses claims made by individual members of staff in MPs offices. For every individual, please state the MP the staff members works for, what each expense claim was for, and how much money was claimed.

Please include all claims including ones which were not approved or withdrawn. Please include copies of all receipts/invoices. Please include all individuals who have been MP’s staff during the time period, including those who have now left their positions.

  1. A breakdown of all procurement card (also known as corporate card, purchase card, or payment card) spending by MP’s staff.

As above, for each individual please list, the name of the MP the staff member works for, the amount of money spent for each entry and what the money was spent on.

Please include copies of all card statements, and receipts/invoices. Please include all individuals who have been MP’s staff during the time period, including those who have now left their positions.

  1. A breakdown of all office and work-related expenditure by MP’s staff and all other executive directors, where the 'central payments system', or similar was used (i.e. purchases for office furniture or equipment, travel, accommodation, etc).

As above, for each individual please list the MP the staff member works for, the amount of money spent for each entry and what the money was spent on.

Please include copies of all receipts/invoices. Please include all individuals who have been MP’s staff during the time period, including those who have now left their positions.


Response

IPSA holds some of the information that you request.

Taking your questions in turn:

  • A breakdown of all expenses claims made by individual members of staff in MPs offices...

IPSA publishes details of all claims, paid or not paid, for business costs and expenses, including those that relate to MPs’ staff, on our website every two months, three months in arrears.  The most recent publication took place on 9 January 2014, which relates to claims made between August and September 2013.  Using the search function, you can download details of all claims made in relation to MPs’ staff, which will provide you with the information you are seeking. 

The FOIA states that information that is 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).

We do not have any records of instances where MPs’ staff have withdrawn, and, therefore, cancelled, a claim for a business cost or expense.

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.

  • A breakdown of all procurement card (also known as corporate card, purchase card, or payment card) spending by MP’s staff...

MPs may claim for certain business costs and expenses, for example rail tickets, via the payment card provided by IPSA.  Payment cards are issued only to MPs and not to MPs’ staff.  It is a matter for MPs if they wish to authorise any other individual to have access to those card details.  We do not hold information that relates to purchases made on the payment card by MPs’ staff.

  • A breakdown of all office and work-related expenditure by MP’s staff and all other executive directors, where the 'central payments system'...

IPSA has direct payment arrangements in place that allow MPs to set up accounts with certain suppliers such as Commercial, Banner and QC supplies (for office costs expenditure) that allow MPs to make purchases direct from those suppliers.  IPSA issues accounts only to MPs and not to MPs’ staff.  It is a matter for MPs if they wish to authorise any other individual to have access to those account details.  We do not hold information that relates to expenditure incurred via this method by MPs’ staff.

Ref:
F1314-209
Disclosure:
February 5, 2014
Categories:
GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied:
Section 21