Invoices for Acccommodation Costs claimed by Jake Berry

Request

Please may I have sight of all invoices relating to claims under the heading "Accommodation" made by Jake Berry MP during 2016-2017 and the first quarter of 2017-18.


Response

Under the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (‘the Scheme’), an Accommodation Costs budget is provided to meet costs necessarily incurred by MPs as a result of working from two permanent locations.

Non-London MPs may claim for Accommodation Costs in relation to a property at one location, which may be either:

  1. in the London Area, or

  2. within the MP’s constituency, or within 20 miles of any point on the constituency boundary.

For more information, the full rules regarding Accommodation Costs (including IPSA’s requirements and the process for registering a property) can be found at Chapter Four of the Scheme, a copy of which can be found on our website.

As you may be aware, we publish details of all claims made by MPs for business costs and expenses on our website. The following claims made by Jake Berry for accommodation costs during 2016-17 and the first quarter of 2017-18 have already been published (or are scheduled to be published).

DateForm No.CategoryExpense TypeStatusReimbursed
01/04/20160000493747AccommodationAccommodation RentAllowed2900
10/05/20160000505054AccommodationCouncil TaxAllowed159.06
10/05/20160000505054AccommodationCouncil TaxRepaid by MP807
06/06/20160000515761AccommodationElectricityAllowed399.73
28/10/20160000547401AccommodationGasAllowed30.12
16/12/20160000550571AccommodationCouncil TaxAllowed656.39
16/01/20170000555740AccommodationAccommodation RentAllowed3075
01/04/20170000555820AccommodationAccommodation RentAllowed2088.58
15/06/20170000586916AccommodationCouncil TaxAllowed70.80
05/06/20170000586916AccommodationGasAllowed275.74
15/06/20170000586916AccommodationElectricityAllowed152.99
30/05/20170000586916AccommodationWaterAllowed23.90
26/04/20170000591221AccommodationCouncil TaxAllowed1236.06
26/04/20170000591221AccommodationWaterAllowed111.11
27/04/20170000593277AccommodationService ChargesAllowed212.40

When submitting claims for reimbursement under the Scheme, MPs must provide appropriate evidence. Please find attached the evidence submitted by Jake Berry MP in support of the above claims for accommodation costs during 2016-17 and the first quarter of 2017-18.

Exemptions applied

We have redacted any information from these leases which could be used to identify the location of the property, the disclosure of which would be likely to endanger the safety of the MPs concerned, or their families. This includes:

  • the address of the property;

  • the name of the landlord of the property;

  • the address of the landlord;

  • the name and address of the letting agent; and

  • any information pertaining to the layout of the property.

We have also removed additional information, such as the specific tenancy dates, from specific leases where it has been demonstrated that disclosure could plausibly lead to identification of the property’s location.

Section 38(1)(b) (Health and safety) of the FOI 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. As required under the terms of the FOIA, we have conducted a public interest test with regards this exemption. 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 MPs, their families and staff 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.

Further, some information contained within the leases, such as the names of third parties and their signatures is ‘personal data’, as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). As such, we have withheld such information in accordance with section 40 of the FOIA. For reference, section 40(2) provides that personal information about third parties is exempt information if disclosure would breach the fair processing principle (Principle 1) of the DPA, where it would be unfair to those persons or is confidential. You can find out more information about personal data and FOI via guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on their website: http://ico.org.uk.

Ref:
CAS-89105
Disclosure:
August 30, 2017
Categories:
MPs' ACCOMMODATIONCOPIES OF RECEIPTS/INVOICES
Exemptions Applied:
Section 38