Details of staff employed by Allan Dorans MP

Request

Please provide details of staff employed by Allan Dorans MP including name, whether full time or part time, permanent or temporary contact and salary. From the date he was elected to current.


Response

I can confirm that we hold information relevant to your request.

Under the Scheme of MPs’ Business Costs and Expenses, (‘the Scheme’), staffing costs may be claimed to meet the cost of staff who support MPs in performing their parliamentary functions. IPSA provides model contracts and job descriptions for all staff employed by MPs, the specific conditions of which (such as pay and annual leave entitlement) can be set by the employing MP, usually within bands specified by IPSA.

Information about salary scales for each job band is available on the IPSA website.

IPSA publishes information about individual MPs’ staffing on our website. Staff salary costs and information relating to new MPs elected in December 2019, of which Mr Dorans is one, will be available in November 2020.

To access published information, use the drop-down boxes in the top right of the webpage to select the financial year you are interested in.  Then select ‘other data’ from the drop-down menu and click ‘download’ to download the Excel spreadsheet.  Information about staff and connected parties’ salaries and roles will be made available in columns ‘K’ to ‘Q’ of the Excel spreadsheet.

Please be aware that salary costs are published in an aggregated form, except where the salary relates to a connected party (i.e. family member) employed by the MP, in which case we publish the salary range, within £5k.

IPSA considers the information you have requested to be subject to a refusal notice under section 22, and information about individual salaries exempt from disclosure under sections 40(2) and 40(3A)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act.

Section 22

This exemption applies to information which is intended for the future. IPSA publishes information about MPs’ claims and expenses on a routine basis, and these include staff salary costs and information relating to new MPs elected in December 2019, of which Mr Dorans is one, will be available in November 2020.

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and requires us to consider the public interest. As IPSA is currently working to assist MPs with their work during the COVID-19 pandemic and because there is already a schedule of routinely publishing this information, I find that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure at this time.

Section 40(2) and 40(3A)(a)

This exemption applies to information which IPSA considers to be personal data within the meaning of Article 4(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) which states,

‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

Names of individuals employed by MPs fall within this definition.

IPSA then had to consider whether disclosure of the personal data would breach any of the Principles relating to the processing of personal data in the GDPR.

The relevant principle falls at Article 5(1)(a)

Personal data shall be:

(a) Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject

IPSA then considered whether there was a lawful basis for disclosure within Article 6 of GDPR, in particular, IPSA whether there is a legitimate interest in disclosing the names of the individuals employed by MPs and whether it is necessary to do so in order to respond to the request.  The organisation is mindful of the need for accountability and transparency when considering any request from the public, and considers that this requirement is met by the publication of job titles and contract status of those employed by MPs.  We considered whether disclosure of the individuals’ names would outweigh the interests, rights and fundamental freedoms of those individuals. IPSA maintains that, at the time the data was collected, that the individuals would have had a reasonable expectation that the information would not be disclosed and we also believe that providing the names could put those individuals at potential risk of harm due to the fact that they are employed by MPs.

In conclusion, IPSA finds that the personal data is exempt under sections 40(2) and 40(3A)(a) of FOIA.

Ref:
CAS-169954
Disclosure:
May 15, 2020
Categories:
Exemptions Applied:
Section 22, Section 40(2), Section 40(3A)(a)