How many times in 2013/14 MPs have been unable to find hotel within budget

Request

I would be grateful if you could tell me how many times in 2013/14, MPs have been unable to find a hotel for £150 or less and have provided they have evidence which shows why it was not possible to find a hotel within the budget.

I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of the evidence for each example.


Response

You later clarified, on 18 March 2014, that you were seeking information for information on the number of times in 2013/14 MPs were unable to find a hotel within budget, provided evidence to support this, and had the full claim paid – alongside a copy of all the evidence submitted

IPSA holds the information that you request.

As you may be aware, Members of Parliament are permitted, under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), to claim for expenses legitimately incurred whilst carrying out their parliamentary duties and are required to certify that this is the case before submitting claims.  This may include overnight accommodation at a hotel, up to a maximum cost of £150 per night in the London Area. 

According to our records, there were two occasions during 2013/14 when one Member of Parliament was unable to find a hotel in the London Area within the relevant budget.  To clarify, this related to a claim by one MP for two separate nights.

Please find attached, in Annex A, a copy of a note entered alongside the paid claim by a member of IPSA’s staff, explaining the reason why the claim for was paid.  We have redacted the names of individuals mentioned in the note under section 40 of the FOIA.

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.

Annex A

[Redacted] spoke to IPSA on Wednesday 19 June 2013 and discussed with them the problems [Redacted] was experiencing trying to secure accommodation in London for the £150 per night rate.  [Redacted] could only get a price for £189 per night for the 19/06/2013 and the 24/06/2013.

IPSA said that due to the circumstances and [Redacted] genuine attempt to get accommodation for £150 per night, IPSA will accept the increased cost of £189.

Ref:
F1314-240
Disclosure:
April 14, 2014
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATION
Exemptions Applied:
Section 40