Credit card suspension

Request

Please could you provide me with any information on

  • The dates Mr Collins MP card were suspended over the three year period

  • The amounts owing on the card when it was suspended

  • The reasons the car was suspended on each occasion.

  • The amount of Housing allowance paid to Mr Collins since he entered the house for each financial year.


Response

IPSA holds the information you requested.

In relation to questions 1 and 3 about Mr Collins’ credit card suspensions, this information has already been published on our website in response to a previous Freedom of Information request. The information has been published in excel format and includes the date of suspension, and reason for suspension.

The information can be found at CAS-124175.

In relation to your second question about the amounts outstanding on the card at the time it was switched off, it may be helpful to explain that, where the reason code is ‘’Card suspended while payment card reconciliation outstanding," the cards were not switched off as a result of a failure to pay back a sum of money to IPSA, but rather as a result of a failure to reconcile the credit card statement with the expense claims within the required time period. Therefore, there is no specific debt owing in relation to these transactions.

Where the suspension code is ‘’Suspension of card to recover amounts via offsetting’’,  the MP owed amounts to IPSA, and the card was suspended whilst the amounts were being offset. In Mr Collins’ case, there was one suspension due to offsetting in November 2017, and the amount in this case was £1,014.80.

In relation to your fourth question about Mr Collins housing allowance, and by way of background 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.

Under IPSA rules, non-London MPs may claim for accommodation costs to rent a property or stay in hotels, either in the London Area or within the MPs’ constituency, or within 20 miles of any point on the constituency boundary.

For MPs who rent in the London Area, the annual accommodation budget is £22,920. For MPs who rent outside the London Area, the budget is £16,010. This budget is intended to cover the costs of rental payments and associated costs. Alternatively, MPs may choose hotel accommodation instead, in which case there is no cap on the budget.

IPSA has published details of Mr Collins’ accommodation budget and expenditure on our website.

In the top right-hand corner, select the financial year you are interested in and then select individual claims from the respective drop-down menus.

Once you have downloaded the spreadsheet, apply filters to the top row, and filter by Mr Collins’ name.

The individual claims data is available under Column G – Category, where you can filter by accommodation.

The FOIA states that information that is accessible by other means is not subject to release. Therefore, as the information you have requested is already available on our website, it is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA (information accessible to applicant by other means).

This concludes our response to your request.

Ref:
CAS-141458
Disclosure:
May 28, 2019
Categories:
GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied: