Names of hotel stayed at for two claims made by Caroline Lucas MP
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 any food or drink costs incurred for the purpose of hospitality, or overnight accommodation at a hotel, up to a maximum cost of £150 per night in the London Area, or £120 elsewhere in the United Kingdom. For clarification, the claims listed in your request relate to stays of 3 nights and 1 night, respectively.
In line with our publication policy, we often publish information, on our publication website, relating to the name of the hotel brand, if it is a chain, where disclosure would not identify the specific location at which an MP stays. In this instance, disclosure of the name of the hotel would directly identify the location at which Ms Lucas stays. We have therefore withheld the information requested.
We have withheld this information under Section 38(1)(b) (Health and safety) 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, endanger the safety of any individual.
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 likely that this information could be used to endanger the safety of the individuals who rely upon these locations for accommodation. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of this information there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that as an organisation we are able to protect our service users from threats to their safety, which is achieved through our capacity to withhold certain information from disclosure. This is also in line with our stated publication policy. It is for this reason that we have decided that the application of the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
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- April 21, 2014
- GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 38