Details of MPs' payment cards suspended since the 2015 General Election

Request

Since the 2015 General Election, how many times has IPSA suspended an MP's payment card?

Please provide a list of the MPs this happened to and the reason why in each case.


Response

Background

IPSA provides a Government procurement card, known as a payment card, to MPs. This can be used to pay for any eligible business cost or expense and is not intended for personal use. At the end of each month, IPSA makes payment in full to the supplier, Barclaycard. MPs are then provided with a list of the expenditure that they have incurred and are required to account for that expenditure within 30 days of notification of the transactions including providing supporting evidence. MPs must both complete an online reconciliation form and ensure that any supporting evidence reaches us by the end of the 30 day period. MPs must a sign a form agreeing to these conditions when taking ownership of a card.

If this process, referred to as ‘reconciliation’ is not completed in full by the end of this 30 day period, then access to the card is temporarily suspended. This is an automatic administrative process which takes place while reconciliation is completed. Once completed, and all costs have been correctly accounted for, access to the card is restored in full.

In addition to payment card reconciliation reminders, all MPs are sent financial statements each month detailing their financial position with IPSA. These statements also contain details of amounts that IPSA believes are required to be repaid. If the MP has not contacted IPSA by the stated deadline, these amounts become owed.

If these amounts are still not repaid or reconciled following reminder, then action is initiated by IPSA to recover the amounts. This takes the form of ‘offsetting’. During this period, the MP’s payment card is temporarily suspended, and the amount owed is deducted from further payments of claims to which the MPs are entitled.

As such, there are two primary scenarios under which an MP may have access to their payment card suspended:

  1. Reconciliation of the payment card has not been completed in full by the stated deadline. Access to the card is temporarily limited while reconciliation is completed and all costs have been correctly accounted for.

  2. The MP is required to make a repayment to IPSA but has missed the deadline to repay. The card is suspended while the amount is recovered.

The information requested

According to our records, 377 current and former MPs have had access to their payment cards temporarily suspended since the 2015 General Election. Please find a breakdown of this figure by MP and by reason, as requested.

This data can also be downloaded via this link [.CSV], which includes information relating to the date the card was suspended.

In addition, two deceased MPs each had their card suspended on one occasion each.

This data does not include a small number of instances where access to the card was limited in error.

Ref:
CAS-124175
Disclosure:
November 15, 2018
Categories:
IPSA - OPERATIONSDEBT
Exemptions Applied:
None