Invoices for six not paid claims by MPs

Request

Copies of the receipts and/or other supporting documents that were submitted regarding the following expenses claims (all of which were rejected and not paid):

Also, if possible, It would be great to have a copy of the correspondence sent to/from these MPs regarding these expenses claims - e.g. letters informing them that the claims will not be paid and any responses from the MPs. However, if this is isn't available then not to worry.


Response

IPSA holds the information that you request.

  • Copies of the receipts and/or other supporting documents that were submitted regarding the following expenses claims

Under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), all claims for reimbursement under the Scheme must be supported by evidence. As such, we hold all supporting documentation provided in support of claims made by MPs.

Please find attached copies of all invoices and receipts submitted to us by the MPs in support of the claims specified in your request (Annexes A – F). For reference, we have withheld any personal information under section 40 of the FOIA, and a small amount of information under section 31 of the FOIA.

Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOIA states that information is exempt if its disclosure under the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention (or detection) of 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 information relating to MPs’ expenses, there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity. In our opinion the public interest in protecting the security of MPs and their property outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Section 40(2) provides that personal information 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.

  • Also, if possible, It would be great to have a copy of the correspondence sent to/from these MPs regarding these expenses claims - e.g. letters informing them that the claims will not be paid and any responses from the MPs. However, if this is isn't available then not to worry.

The ICO have confirmed to us in a previous decision notice relating to Data Protection that MPs’ ‘dealings with IPSA over expense claims’ are their personal data. As such, disclosure of correspondence sent from and to IPSA’s validators would be unlikely to satisfy a valid condition in schedule 2 of the DPA for disclosing these MPs’ personal data to third parties.

However, for each claim, we are able to provide the general reason for why the claim was not paid. Please find at Annex G, below, a summary of the information already published on our website relating to each claim alongside a summary of the reason why the claim was not paid.

Please note that in the instance of Siân James, a review of the determination was requested, and the claim was subsequently paid in full. This is due to be reflected on the publication website in the next round of publications.

Annex G

Information published on our publication website, and additional information disclosed under FOI

DateClaim No.MP's NameExpense TypeDetailsAmount ClaimedStatusAdditional information
29/10/2014401393George FreemanWebsite - Design/ProductionWebsite Maintenance October360Not Paid - Not Under SchemePolitical content contained on website.
22/09/2014389383Gordon HendersonStationery Purchase125x Christmas Cards68.16Not Paid - Not Under SchemeChristmas cards are not a permitted expense.
18/06/2014370796Eric JoyceHotel NOT London AreaHOTEL [***] [***] Lodging-Hotels, Motels, Resorts£186.00Not Paid - Not Under SchemeThe amount claimed exceeded the daily rate of £120. £186 represents the amount over the daily rate which was not paid.
10/07/2014381687Karl McCartneyStationery PurchaseBirthday Cards for new voters reaching the age of 18210Not Paid - Not Under Scheme18th Birthday cards are not a permitted expense.
07/01/2015410584Siân JamesHotel Late Sitting > 1.00[***] [***] [***] [***] Lodging-Hotels, Motels, Resorts300Not Paid - Not Under Scheme[1]Initially claimed under wrong expense type. Claim subsequently paid in full following review.
15/01/2015 412517Paul Blomfield Food & Drink25% share of costs of meal 15.28Not Paid - Not Under SchemeTravel related to a delegation to an international assembly is not claimable from IPSA.

[1] The claim was initially not paid, but following a review the claim was paid in full. This will be reflected on the publication website in the next publication round.

Ref:
CAS-26644
Disclosure:
September 22, 2015
Categories:
COPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 31