Details of the cost incurred by IPSA to process a single claim

Request

What is the cost to IPSA to log and process each and every claim?


Response

IPSA does not hold the information you have requested.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is the body created by Parliament under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to independently oversee and regulate MPs’ expenses.

IPSA receives approximately 180,000 expense claims a year. Most claims are processed through an automated validation process.

Because of the volume of information, we undertake a risk-based approach to validation and assurance of all expense claims. In addition to checks before payment, post-payment checks are undertaken on a regular basis to identify any paid claims which were not eligible or for which insufficient evidence may have been provided. If any such claim is identified, the MP will be asked to either provide the evidence or repay the claim.

Further information on how we assure expense claims is available on our website.

IPSA guidance on how we validate claims is available on our website.

We have considered your request and have determined that the cost of complying would exceed the appropriate limit set out in The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 and we are therefore refusing to comply with your information request under section 12(1) of the Act.

The number, as well as the nature of claims received varies and we are therefore unable to produce an exact figure of the cost involved. To do so would require us to look at each claim received, undertake an assessment of how that claim was processed, i.e. through automated validation or whether further work was required, and then produce a cost calculation based on the staff member’s salary and number of human hours it took to deal with the claim.

The appropriate limit for Public Authorities, such as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, is currently set at £450 which represents the cost of one person spending more than 18 hours identifying, locating, retrieving and extracting information falling within the scope of your request.

We have estimated that it would take at least 50 hours for us to locate and collate the information requested. This is because the information is not held centrally, so to locate, extract and collate the requested information would require us to go through various systems to extract, collate and determine if the information falls under the scope of your request.

This concludes our response to your request.

Ref:
CAS-144558
Disclosure:
June 28, 2019
Categories:
IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: