Information related to the European Research Group

Request

You specifically requested information relating to:

  • which MPs contribute towards the European Research Group.

  • which Parliamentary Allowance this comes from

  • how/ why this payment qualifies as a justifiable expense.

  • how is this fund audited.


Response

IPSA holds the information you requested .

MPs contributing towards the European Research Group

Details of all claims made by MPs are published on our website.

View claims made by MPs for ERG subscriptions.

Using the drop-down menu at the top of the page, you will need to select a financial year alongside the option for ‘individual claims’, which will open a spreadsheet containing all individual claims made that financial year. You can filter on either the ‘Details’ or ‘Short Description’ columns for ‘ERG’ to identify relevant claims.

This will provide you with the names of all MPs who have made claims for subscriptions to the ERG in each financial year, alongside the total amount paid, expense category and expense type.

Parliamentary allowance, how the expense is justified and how the fund is audited

The European Research Group (ERG) is classed as a pooled service. Pooled services are a collection of specialist research organisations that provide research support for groups of MPs. MPs are allowed to claim for the cost of subscriptions to pooled services from their IPSA office costs budget or staffing budget.

IPSA has published an assessment of pooled services “Assurance Review: Pooled Services, Assessment of risks, controls and compliance, 2015-2016”, which you may find useful. The report is available on the IPSA website under on the Publications webpages.

The report analyses the:

  • effectiveness of regulatory controls over the payments made to MPs and pooled service providers;

  • level of compliance of IPSA-funded pooled services with the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme); and

  • the extent to which services offer value for money.

The Assurance Review was last updated in 2017, but we are currently in the very early stages of preparing a new assurance review of pooled services. When completed the new report will be published on our website.

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).

Ref:
CAS-150447
Disclosure:
September 24, 2019
Categories:
GENERAL EXPENSES ENQUIRY
Exemptions Applied: