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Parliamentary Questions disclosure log Total: 181 Cost: £27,874 (based on House of Commons estimate of £154 per question) PQ Date MP Question Answer number 51619 3/4/2011 Laura Sandys If he will request the Independent Parliamentary Standards Figures for the financial year 2010-11 have not yet been finalised. We will be publishing details of all Members staffing costs in July and Authority to publish the highest amount claimed by an hon. will write to you with this information at that time. Member for staff costs over the financial year 2010-11. 49475 3/24/2011 John Spellar Pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2011, Official Report, column The Board routinely assesses IPSA’s presence in the media. Any substantive discussions on matters relating to the Board can be found in 2W, on departmental publications, what assessment the board has the Minutes of the Board which once agreed, in keeping with IPSA’s policy on transparency, are posted on IPSA’s website. made of Mr Ken Olisa's remarks. 45793 09/03/201 Helen Jones Pursuant to his Answer of 3 February 2011, Official Report, column The Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, provided that there be a 510W, on pay: staff, which actual compliance roles were used as Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. comparators to determine the salary range for the Independent We considered a range of vacancies being offered for Compliance Officer roles at the time we began the recruitment process in order to Parliamentary Standards Authority's new compliance officer. help us establish the range in which to advertise the salary. These vacancies were primarily in the financial sector. We did this was for indicative purposes only and, for this reason, did not consider it necessary to keep a record. These advertised salaries ranged between £70,000 and £120,000. We then sought advice from our recruitment consultants who recommended a salary range corroborating the range identified by our internal research. Having received this advice, we took the view that this range was too high (whilst taking into account the knowledge, experience and capabilities required for this statutory office) and advertised a lower rate equivalent to an IPSA Grade F position (pay band £60,000 to £73,000, full-time equivalent). 49474 3/24/2011 John Spellar Pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2011, Official Report, column The members of staff did not receive any payment on their departure. 3W, on employment, whether the three members of staff received any payment on their departure from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 48197 3/18/2011 Chris Ruane What arrangements are in place in the Independent Parliamentary IPSA seeks to promote a healthy work-life balance for its employees. IPSA has recently developed a stress risk assessment which Standards Authority to (a) reduce levels of work-based stress and managers will shortly start using to identify symptoms of stress in both individuals and teams. The assistance provided will depend on the (b) provide assistance to staff diagnosed with such stress. cause of stress. 46885 3/11/2011 Yasmin Qureshi On what date the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA will outline MPs’ budget limits for 2011-12 when it publishes the revised MPs’ Expenses Scheme on 25 March 2011. expects to publish budget limits for 2011-12. 45797 3/9/2011 Helen Jones What the cost to the public purse was of recruitment consultancy IPSA agreed to a fee of £1,500 + VAT for the recruitment consultancy services used for the recruitment of the Compliance Officer for services used for the recruitment of the Independent IPSA, an office provided for in statute by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Parliamentary Standards Authority's incoming compliance officer. Governance Act 2010. The recruitment consultancy's services included providing assistance in drawing up a job description, preparing and placing the advertisement for the job in the Sunday Times, updating and advertising the vacancy and a dedicated micro-website, and undertaking an initial sift of the 60 applications received in response to the advertisement. 45128 3/4/2011 John Spellar How many people have terminated their employment at the Three members of staff have resigned since IPSA’s inception. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority since its inception. 44623 3/3/2011 Caroline Lucas For what reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA took the decision to offer new MPs’ staff members a salary sacrifice scheme for childcare vouchers on the basis that this type of Authority decided to (a) remove the childcare salary supplement scheme is common practice across large parts of the public and private sector. scheme for new members' staff and replace it with a salary The childcare salary supplement scheme payments for returning MPs' staff is taken from the staffing budget on the grounds that these sacrifice scheme, (b) take the childcare salary supplement scheme payments form part of MPs' overall staffing costs and should therefore fall under this budget category. payments for returning members' staff from the staffing budget The reason IPSA operates seperate arrangements for returning MPs' staff and new MPs' staff is because IPSA did not want to alter rather than a central budget and (c) operate different childcare existing contractual arrangements in this regard for returning MPs' staff, but wanted to bring the practice for new MPs' staff into line support arrangements for new members' staff and returning with the practice that is common across most sectors. members' staff. 44624 3/3/2011 Caroline Lucas What estimate the Independent Parliamentary Standards The financial benefit per month based on a salary supplement scheme would be £336 per month for an employee who has two children Authority (IPSA) has made of the financial benefit per month to a under the age of 5 years. This £336 would be subject to income tax and national insurance contribution and the exact amount will member of staff with two children under five working full time for therefore vary per employee. The benefit for employees in receipt of childcare vouchers is the difference between the net and gross an hon. Member would receive under (a) the salary supplement amount of the salary sacrifice, which can be up to £243 per month, irrespective of the number of children they have. scheme and (b) the salary sacrifice scheme in the latest period for which figures are available; what consultation IPSA undertook on the equity of the changes made to such childcare support arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 43252 2/28/2011 Chris Ruane Whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has IPSA employees may apply for reasonable time off for voluntary public duties. IPSA also enables employees to donate via the payroll a policy to encourage its employees to (a) volunteer and (b) system. IPSA will be developing these policies further over the coming months. donate via payroll giving. 41806 2/16/2011 Bob Russell For what purposes the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA has not engaged the services of Saxton Bampfylde and no money has been paid to this agency. Authority engaged the recruitment agency Saxton Bampfylde; and how much was paid to that agency in fees. 41679 2/16/2011 John Spellar Whether the board of the Independent Parliamentary Standards The Board does not seek to authorise comments made by members in the course of dealings with the media. Authority authorised the comments made by Mr Ken Olisa in his interview with Total Politics magazine published on 5 January 2011. 40437 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How much members of the Board of the Independent Details of expense claims made by IPSA Board Member in the first and second quarters of the current financial year (2010-11) are Parliamentary Standards Authority have claimed under each available on IPSA’s website. The only claim made in the third quarter was as follows: category in each month since their appointment. Rt Hon Sir Scott Baker: £57.50 for Travel to Board Meeting. No claims have been made in the fourth quarter to date. 40429 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How many public opinion surveys the Independent Parliamentary IPSA has commissioned one public opinion survey, in November 2010. The survey was conducted by YouGov, who were selected Standards Authority (IPSA) has commissioned; what the cost of following a competitive procurement process, at a cost of £2,600. The questions were composed by YouGov working from a brief each was; who composed the questions in each survey; and if he provided by IPSA. will arrange for IPSA to place in the Library a copy of the questions IPSA published the survey questions in its publication Annual Review of the MPs’ Expenses Scheme Consultation – January 2011. This asked. document was lodged with the Vote Office on 5 January 2011 who deposited copies in the Library. 40433 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How much the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA has, since its inception to 14 February 2011, made payments totalling £2,219,000 to Calyx. has paid Calyx UK Ltd since its inception; what payments are We anticipate making further payments totalling £407,000 in the remainder of the current financial year. anticipated to be made in the remainder of the current financial We are still in the process of compiling our estimate for 2011-12. year; and what estimate has been made of the payments to be made in 2011-12. 40435 2/9/2011 Bob Russell What discussions the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA took careful steps in the planning of the filming to ensure no personal data of MPs was disclosed. The BBC were asked to provide, Authority (IPSA) had in respect of (a) security and (b) data and gave, strict assurances that no personal data of MPs would be shown in any of their camera shots. Appropriate steps were taken in protection were undertaken before permission was granted for the planning of and execution of the filming to ensure no such details were shown and the BBC gave an undertaking that it would not the BBC to film the personal details of hon. Members at IPSA show any such data were any to be filmed inadvertently. offices for broadcast on 3 February 2011. 40438 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How much has been paid in salary to members of the Board of the The Chairman and the Board of IPSA are not salaried; instead, they are paid a per diem rate for their time, at the rate advertised at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in each month time of their recruitment. The payments made from April 2010 to January 2011 are set out in the table below. Amounts paid prior to 1 since their appointment. April 2010 were published in IPSA’s annual report for 2010-11, which is available on the IPSA website at www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. (Table attached) 40431 2/9/2011 Bob Russell What services and equipment Calyx UK Ltd provide to the The scope of the contract with Calyx UK Ltd and Calyx Managed Services Ltd covers infrastructure and enterprise software support. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; and whether Infrastructure support includes server hardware, desktops and laptops, network hardware, office infrastructure, firewalls, anti-virus, web quotes from other suppliers were obtained before the contract proxy and hosting services, Wide Area Network link, security solutions, email and telephony. with Calyx was signed. Enterprise support includes software support for financial accounting, the online expense system, payroll, human resources and a relationship management system. IPSA selected Calyx as its ICT systems provider following a structured procurement exercise run through OGC Buying Solutions. A number of specialist ICT providers bid for the work and were evaluated against pre-agreed criteria by a selection panel made-up of IPSA Directors and ICT staff working for IPSA. The OGC maintained an oversight of the procurement. Three responses were received to the invitation to tender for the Infrastructure Solution and three for the Enterprise Solution. The scope of the contract with Calyx UK Ltd and Calyx Managed Services Ltd covers infrastructure and enterprise software support. Infrastructure support includes server hardware, desktops and laptops, network hardware, office infrastructure, firewalls, anti-virus, web 40436 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How many hours each member of the Board of the Independent The table hosting services, number of days and hours between December 2009 and January 2011 for which the Chairman and Board proxy and below details theWide Area Network link, security solutions, email and telephony. Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) have spent on their members have received remuneration. IPSA does not collect information that distinguishes between the number of hours the Board have duties at (a) the offices of IPSA and (b) elsewhere in each month spent on their duties at the offices of IPSA or elsewhere. The hours charged under-represent the actual number of hours Board members since their appointment. have committed to IPSA. (Table attached) 40434 2/9/2011 Bob Russell How many items of furniture of each type the Independent The total cost of furniture obtained from Triumph was £239,000 (excluding VAT). The number of items of furniture purchased, and the Parliamentary Standards Authority purchased from Triumph type and cost of each item is set out in a schedule, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons library. Corporate Furniture and Storage; what the cost was of each item; Triumph was selected to supply furniture to IPSA following a structured procurement exercise run through OGC Buying Solutions. Three and whether quotes from other suppliers were obtained before suppliers who provide standard office furniture were approached and responded and, of those three, Triumph provided the best solution the order was placed. in terms of design, flexibility, and price, and was able to deliver against a tight timescale. (Table attached). 40430 2/9/2011 Bob Russell if he will request the Independent Parliamentary Standards We have undertaken to publish details of expenditure on items over £25,000. This is consistent with the Government’s transparency Authority to publish a list of the expenditure it has incurred for agenda. There are no plans at this stage routinely to publish items below this threshold but we will keep this policy under review. sums lower than £25,000. 39156 2/4/2011 Bob Russell What the job descriptions are for the Independent Parliamentary As of 28 February, the communications team consists of two people. Copies of their job descriptions have been placed in the House of Standards Authority's communications officers. Commons library. 39159 2/4/2011 Bob Russell If he will publish the career history of those people employed as Details of the career history of our Director of Communications are available on IPSA’s website. I will not, however, be releasing details of communications officers for the Independent Parliamentary the career history of the other two members of the communications team as these members of staff do not form part of IPSA’s senior Standards Authority. management and I consider this to constitute personal information which should be treated in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. 39154 2/4/2011 Bob Russell How many apologies the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA does not keep a record of apologies it has issued for wrongly rejecting claims. We do, of course, apologise whenever we have acted Authority has issued to hon. Members for wrongly rejecting claims in error. for expenditure incurred. 39160 2/4/2011 Bob Russell How many communications officers are employed by the Our communications team consists of three people. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 39155 2/4/2011 Bob Russell How many expense claims from hon. Members have been rejected Since 7 May 2010 IPSA has found, following requests from MPs for reviews of determinations not to reimburse a claim due to insufficient by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on evidence being submitted, that in some 58 cases (of over 96,000 processed to date) sufficient evidence had in fact been submitted at the the grounds that insufficient evidence was provided but it was time the original determination was made. In each case, the original determinations were consequently overturned and the claims subsequently found to be the fault of IPSA losing the reimbursed. In none of these cases is it clear that the original determination was made as a result of a loss of documentation by IPSA. documentation provided since IPSA's inception. 39157 2/4/2011 Bob Russell What the salaries are of the Independent Parliamentary Standards The salaries of the members of the communications team have previously been published, in £5,000 bands, in answer to Parliamentary Authority's communications officers. Questions 15729 and 15730, published in Hansard on 12 October 2010, column 260W. (Document attached) 39158 2/4/2011 Bob Russell If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) will We have no plans to take such steps. Whilst we do provide support and advice to MPs by telephone, we do not believe that it is take steps to ensure all communications between IPSA and hon. appropriate or beneficial to make this the sole method of communication for the purposes suggested. Members for the purposes of clarification of a submitted claim is required to take place on the telephone. 38205 2/2/2011 Helen Jones What comparators the board of the Independent Parliamentary The recruitment process for the compliance officer is currently underway and the salary any successful candidate will be offered will be Standards Authority used to determine the salary to be offered to dependent on the skills and experience of the candidate. its incoming compliance officer. The advertised salary range was determined following a market comparison which was undertaken by reviewing similar compliance roles currently being advertised and following advice from the recruitment consultancy. 35447 1/19/2011 Mrs Anne Main What consultation was conducted by the Independent Many MPs had said to us that they felt that they had to wait too long when calling our information line. In the light of this feedback, we Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) prior to the 50 per cent. decided to switch to a different model, where our ‘phone lines are open for a shorter period but they are staffed more intensively during reduction in the opening hours of the IPSA telephone enquiry that period. The approach we have taken reflects both the feedback we have received from MPs themselves but also our own data, service. which shows that more MPs and their staff choose to call us in the afternoon. The outcome of this approach has been a marked improvement in the service we provide to MPs and their staff. Previously, we were answering around 50 per cent of calls in 60 seconds. In the fortnight since we introduced the new operating hours, call volumes have remained steady - but we are now answering around 98 per cent of calls within 60 seconds. 35148 1/19/2011 Mr Bernard How much has been paid by the Independent Parliamentary We have paid a total of £110,672.50 to Members for the provision of website services in this financial year and such payments have been Jenkin Standards Authority to hon. Members for the provision of website made to 149 Members. services in the current financial year to date; and in respect of how many hon. Members such payments have been made. 34371 1/17/2011 Bob Russell Whether allowance limits for hon. Members will be increased to For the remainder of this financial year, the budget limits set out in the MPs’ Expenses Scheme will not be increased to cover the increase cover increases in (a) the rate of value added tax and (b) National in VAT. Decisions regarding the budget limits for 2011-12 will be taken as part of the Annual Review of the Expenses Scheme, which is Insurance contributions for staff. currently underway. The decisions will take account of the rates of VAT (for those expenses on which VAT is paid) and National Insurance Contributions in 2011-12. We will publish the budget limits for 2011-12 during March 2011. 32916 12/22/2010 Miss Anne What the average time taken by the Independent Parliamentary IPSA does not monitor the time taken to process rental claims independently of other claims. IPSA has a target of processing 95% of all McIntosh Standards Authority to process claims for rental payments was in claims within 12 working days, where appropriate evidence has been provided. If property has not been registered, or insufficient the latest period for which figures are available; what target time evidence has been supplied, the time taken to process a claim may be extended. During November 2010 – the latest period for which has been set for the processing of such claims; what the reason figures are available - 89.81% of claims were processed within 12 working days, This represents 13,156 out of a total of 14,648 claims has been for the time taken to process such claims; and if he will received. make a statement. The average time taken to process a claim during November was 7.33 working days. 32917 12/22/2010 Miss Anne For what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards The new operating hours for the telephone enquiry service are being introduced in order to provide a more effective service to users by McIntosh Authority (IPSA) proposes to operate its telephone enquiry service concentrating the available resources during the peak period for demand between 1pm and 5pm. IPSA receives between 150 and 200 between the hours of 1pm and 5pm on weekdays; for what reason calls per day, and monitors demand for its telephone advice service carefully. It is intended that, by concentrating resources to the no telephone enquiry service is to be provided before 1pm; what busiest period, it will be possible to answer calls more promptly. the cost to IPSA was of operating the system under the existing Our aim in doing this is to provide a more speedy and cost-effective service to MPs and their staff. hours; what estimate IPSA made of the cost of operating the The cost of the current service is based on staff costs for 4 dedicated team members; the revised service will be based on 7.5 members of system under the new hours; and if he will make a statement. staff available between 1pm and 5pm. 32524 12/21/2010 John Spellar Pursuant to the Answer of 16 December 2010, Official Report, I can confirm that a copy of the correspondence will be placed in the Library. column 856W, on Members: allowances, if the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will arrange for a copy of the correspondence to be placed in the Library. 31056 12/14/2010 John Spellar On which dates the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA received a Freedom of Information request from the Times newspaper on 22 September. We responded on 19 October advising the Authority (IPSA) received a request for information under the requestor that we would require more time to consider the use of a qualified exemption. On 19 November we provided a substantive provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 from The Times answer. On 22 November we received a further request pursuant to our response. This resulted in the release of additional information newspaper on Members' expenses; and on what dates the IPSA on 30 November and further information on 14 December. responded. 30883 12/10/2010 Bob Russell Pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2010, what the appropriate Following the claims made in the House on 2 December, I met the individual named to discuss the matter. I have not seen any evidence steps were which the Interim Chief Executive took to investigate to support the allegations made. Hence, I fully endorse the statement made by IPSA’s Chairman on 2 December refuting the allegations. allegations of improper behaviour by staff at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority made in the House on 2 December; and what the position is of each member of staff investigated for evidence to support the allegations. 30407 12/9/2010 John Mann How many business bank accounts operated by the offices of hon. IPSA can register a number of bank accounts for each MP; the purposes of each are determined by MPs themselves. By the end of Members the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority November, IPSA had made payments relating to MPs’ salaries and expenses into a total of 1,483 bank accounts. This number includes not made payments in the latest period for which figures are available. only MPs’ bank accounts, but accounts held by certain members of MPs’ staff and MPs’ landlords. Of these 1,483 bank accounts, some 295 are, for IPSA’s purposes, operated by MPs exclusively for the payment of expenses. A further 645 of the 1,483 bank accounts are used to pay MPs’ salaries, and we estimate that some 348 of these 645 are also used for the payment of expenses and other non- personal transactions. 29703 12/7/2010 Bob Russell Whether contracts of employment signed by Independent All IPSA staff are required to sign contracts of employment which include conditions relating to confidentiality. All staff have also signed a Parliamentary Standards Authority staff include conditions relating separate confidentiality agreement. to confidentiality; and if he will make a statement. 29686 12/7/2010 Bob Russell If he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) application form and Applicants were requested to send their CV and a supporting statement based on the job specification and person specification. This (b) supporting documentation for the person appointed as information constitutes personal data and I will therefore not be releasing it. Copies of the job description and person specification are, Director of Communications for the Independent Parliamentary however, available on the IPSA website. Standards Authority. 29495 12/7/2010 John Mann How many site visits were carried out by the Independent During October 2010, IPSA officials carried out five visits to Westminster offices to discuss policy matters, and 50 visits for assistance with Parliamentary Standards Authority in October and November the online expenses system. In November 2010, IPSA officials made five visits to MPs in their constituencies, 10 visits to Westminster 2010. offices to discuss policy, and 53 visits for assistance with the online expenses system. In addition, IPSA Board members paid MPs two visits during this period. 29714 12/7/2010 Bob Russell What steps have been taken to investigate allegations that I take any allegations about improper behaviour by members of IPSA’s staff, from whatever source, extremely seriously. Following those informal media briefings were provided prior to the publication of made in the House of Commons on 2 December relating to briefing of journalists, I took appropriate steps to investigate these and I have Parliamentary expenses information on 2 December 2010; and if seen no evidence supporting these allegations. I therefore fully endorse the statement made by IPSA’s Chairman on 2 December refuting he will make a statement. them. 29687 12/7/2010 Bob Russell With which media organisations (a) the Director of IPSA’s policy is that any media enquiries are dealt with by the communications team. In the course of their work, staff in IPSA’s Communications, (b) staff in the communications section and (c) communications team regularly speak to members of media organisations. During the two weeks prior to publication, communications other staff in the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority team members responded to telephone enquiries from a large number of journalists from both the national and regional media. We do communicated in the two weeks prior to the publication on 2 not keep records of calls received. December 2010 of information on hon. Members' expenses. 29497 12/7/2010 John Mann How much the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority The MPs’ Expense Scheme provides for two limits on constituency office rental costs: one for constituency offices in the London Area as spent on each type of office rental in the latest period for which defined by the Scheme, and one for constituency offices outside the London Area. figures are available. Taking both bands together, the lowest monthly office rental payment paid by IPSA since May 2010 was for £102.30 and the highest was for £1,117.50 per month. Not all rental contracts are directly comparable. Some will solely cover the right to occupy the premises. Others will encompass ancillary services such as cleaning or may include provision for energy costs. Care should therefore be taken when making comparisons, and the highest figure quoted here includes cleaning and energy costs. 29685 12/7/2010 Bob Russell By what means the post of Director of Communications at the The post of the Director of Communications was initially advertised in February 2010, but a candidate was not found. In May 2010, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was advertised; role was re-advertised online on a number of websites, including PR Week, Guardian Jobs, Exec-Appointments.com, Green Park, who was responsible for drawing up the shortlist of candidates for Executivesontheweb.com, and diverse-leaders.com. Candidates were shortlisted for interview by IPSA from a long-list of applicants. that role; how many people were included on the shortlist of There were four candidates on the shortlist. Final interviews were conducted by IPSA’s Chief Executive, IPSA’s Chairman, and an candidates; who sat on the interview panel; and on what date the independent panel member. The successful candidate’s appointment took effect on 20 September 2010. appointment took effect. 29496 12/7/2010 John Mann How many hon. Members have been refused advance loans by the We offered Members the facility to apply for an interest-free advance of up to £4,000 each. The advance is to assist Members to cover Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in 2010 to date. any expenses they incur that are allowable under the Scheme. As of 8 December, 253 Members had applied for and had received such an advance. No applications for advances of up to £4,000 have been refused. One application for a greater sum was refused. This application was subsequently resubmitted for a permissible amount and approved. We have also provided loans for deposits on rented office and living accommodation. As of 8 December, 172 loans have been made to 157 Members. No applications for such loans have been refused. In one instance a Member submitted and subsequently withdrew an application as the deposit was no longer required. 27943 11/30/2010 David Winnick What the (a) names, (b) responsibilities and (c) annual salaries are A substantive answer to the hon. Member’s Question was provided on Friday 3 December *Official Report , col. 1076W] (Table attached) of each member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's senior management team. 26780 11/24/2010 David Winnick What procedure is followed in handling e-mails sent by hon. The majority of correspondence sent to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is dealt with by the Information Team, who Members to the Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary have the information and the authority to deal with most queries. Members of this team pass on correspondence when appropriate. Standards Authority; what arrangements are made to ensure that Emails sent direct to me, as Chief Executive, are handled according to the nature of the query. Routine queries are passed to the the Chief Executive sees such correspondence; and what target Information Team for reply; complaints are handled under IPSA’s complaints procedure; and, in a small number of cases, queries are time is set for the provision of a response. dealt with either by my office on my behalf, or by me direct. The overall target for correspondence within the organisation is to resolve 90% within five working days. Correspondence to be answered by me or by my office specifically is, by its nature, more complicated and tends to raise broader policy issues. Consequently, the expectation is that more items in this category will fall outside the overall five-day target. I approve all letters sent under my name. 26072 11/19/2010 John Mann What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA does not pay travel expenses for candidates attending interviews for its own vacancies. Authority is on the reimbursement of travel expenses of those called for interviews for jobs with the Authority. 26071 11/19/2010 John Mann What comparators the Independent Parliamentary Standards Reimbursement for travel expenses for interview candidates, while still prevalent in some industries, is no longer standard practice in Authority took into account in determining its policy on payment either the public or private sectors. for reimbursement of travel expenses for persons travelling to job interviews with hon. Members. 26016 11/19/2010 John Mann What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Travel expenses for interview candidates are not a reimbursable expense under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. Support for travel expenses Authority is on responsibility for the reimbursement of travel may be available from Job Centre Plus for certain candidates. expenses of candidates who have interviewed for jobs with hon. Members. 25196 11/17/2010 David Winnick What the (a) names, (b) responsibilities and (c) annual salaries are Andrew McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Responsible for management and leadership of IPSA, delivery of its business plan and the of each member of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Board’s strategic objectives, £105,000 - £109,999. Bob Evans, Director of Finance & Corporate Services, Responsible for the financial Authority's senior management team. management of IPSA, and for its corporate service functions, including Human Resources, finance, IT and data security, facilities, procurement and contract management, £65,000 - £69,999. Anne Power, Director of Communications, Responsible for the strategic planning and delivery of internal and external communications, and responsible for IPSA’s publication programme, £75,000 - £79,999. John Sills, Director of Policy, Responsible for the management and strategic direction of policy development. £85,000 - £89,999. Scott Woolveridge, Director of Operations, Responsible for the management of IPSA’s core business processes, including payroll, the validation and reimbursement of expenses, and support services, £80,000 - £84,999. 25172 11/17/2010 Bob Russell If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has no plans to establish a human resources department for MPs’ staff. establish a human resources department to deal with staff of hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. 24238 11/11/2010 Luciana Berger How many interns have been employed by the Independent IPSA has not employed any interns. Parliamentary Standards Authority since its creation; what (a) pay and (b) expenses they received; and what duties they carried out. 22057 11/5/2010 Bob Russell What measures the Independent Parliamentary Standards Deductions for National Insurance contributions for MPs and their staff are deducted on a monthly basis through payroll. Month-end Authority has in place to ensure that the National Insurance reconciliations happen to ensure deductions are correct and payment to the National Insurance Contributions Office (NICO) take place contributions in respect of (a) hon. Members and (b) staff of hon. before the monthly cut-off date. From September, monthly reports have been run to ensure that all individuals have a table letter and Members are paid on the correct dates so as to ensure that there that no individuals are on an X code (no contributions involved), unless they are self-employed. is no break in each individual's record of contributions; and if he will make a statement. 22830 11/5/2010 Bob Russell What steps the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Due to an error in the data transferred from House of Commons to IPSA, four people were transferred with a “table letter X” which led to has taken to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of no contributions being collected from them. The error was rectified in September when all contributions were brought up to date to each instance where the record of National Insurance payments of include contributions for the missing months of June, July and August. (a) an hon. Member and (b) staff of an hon. Member has been broken as a result of a failure to contribute the appropriate payment on the due date; and if he will make a statement. 22829 11/5/2010 Bob Russell In respect of how many (a) hon. Members and (b) staff of hon. IPSA has not informed the Department for Work and Pensions of any cases where National Insurance payments of MPs or their staff have Members the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has been broken due to incorrect contributions. In the few cases where contributions were not made, for whatever reason, IPSA has not deducted monthly National Insurance payments on the correct subsequently brought these contributions up to date. There is no reason to notify the Department for Work and Pensions. date; and how many months were involved in each case. 22881 11/5/2010 Helen Jones Whether a letter from an hon. Member needs to be headed We request that Members head complaints as such so that they can be identified easily and the complaints investigation process can be complaint to be classified as a complaint by the Independent instigated. As stated in the published complaints procedure, we ask that letters or emails be headed “formal complaint”. Parliamentary Standards Authority (ISPA); and what would satisfy the requirements of IPSA complaints procedure to clearly indicate that an e-mail or letter should be treated as a complaint. 22340 11/4/2010 Helen Jones What contracts the Independent Parliamentary Standards Aside from where IPSA provides assistance to Members of Parliament on a case by case basis, IPSA does not hold any contracts with the Authority (IPSA) has with (a) the Government Car Service and (b) Government Car Service or other transport providers. No IPSA staff are entitled to use transport provided by the Government Car Service other transport providers; what the terms are of each such or other such providers. contract; what the annual cost to the public purse is of each such contract; and how many IPSA staff are entitled to use transport provided under each such contract. 22339 11/4/2010 Helen Jones What meetings members of the Independent Parliamentary In the course of their work, IPSA staff have meetings and conversations with a wide range of people, including from time to time with Standards Authority (IPSA) staff have held with representatives of members of press and media organisations. Disclosure of details of such meetings would, in my view, inhibit free and frank discussions. press and media organisations since IPSA's inception; on what date each such meeting was held; where each such meeting was held; and what the names were of those who attended each such meeting. 21699 11/2/2010 Mark Pritchard What account the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority In framing our policy on what information IPSA should publish, we have been mindful of our duties under the Freedom of Information Act takes of the likely effects on the security of the (a) family and (b) (2000) and the Data Protection Act (1998). We have carefully considered any security issues that may arise and have consulted the staff of hon. Members when taking questions on the release of the Information Commissioner’s Office and the House authorities, including the House security advisor, on these matters. documentation to the public. 21923 11/2/2010 Helen Jones How many members of staff of the Independent Parliamentary IPSA currently deducts trade union fees from the salaries of 15 employees. Standards Authority have trade union membership fees deducted from their salaries. 21924 11/2/2010 Helen Jones How many staff of hon. Members have (a) not received salaries to We are not aware of members of MPs’ staff not receiving either their full salary with a matching payslip, or an advance payment to cover which they are entitled and (b) received less than their full salary any missing salary or significant underpayments. The table below shows the number of advances made and the reasons why the from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in each employee was underpaid or did not receive a payslip. The table also shows the number of salaries paid in each month to provide some month since May 2010. context. (Table attached). 20346 10/27/2010 Helen Jones What provision will be made for a review of the efficiency and cost- IPSA launched an organisational review in October which will run in parallel with the forthcoming review of the expenses scheme for hon. effectiveness of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Members. The organisational review is aimed at improving IPSA’s efficiency and cost-effectiveness and will make use of internal and Authority (IPSA) as part of the forthcoming review of the expenses external professional advice as appropriate. scheme for hon. Members; and what professional advice will be provided to IPSA on those matters. 20660 10/27/2010 Ian Liddell- Pursuant to the Answer of 21 October 2010, Official Report, The total annual cost to the public purse of IPSA staff participation in Benenden Healthcare will be nil, as the scheme is funded by Grainger column 875W, on the Independent Parliamentary Standards contributions from staff. Authority: manpower, what the total annual cost to the public purse is of staff participation in Benenden Healthcare. 12178 10/27/2010 Alison Seabeck How many staff of the Independent Parliamentary Standards A total of 9 IPSA members of staff have taken sick leave since May 2010. The numbers of staff absent in each month and the consequent Authority have taken sick leave in each month of its operation; number of working hours lost is recorded below. how many hours of work have been lost in consequence; and May 1 (5 Days or 37.5 Hours) whether any temporary staff have been recruited to cover such June 4 (10 Days or 75 Hours) absences. July 5 (32 Days or 1200 Hours). IPSA has not recruited any temporary staff to cover sick absence. 19888 10/25/2010 Ian Liddell- How much funding the Independent Parliamentary Speaker's In the current financial year to date, IPSA has granted season ticket loans totalling £22,777.56 to 20 employees. Assuming an average Grainger Authority has allocated to the provision of interest-free season notional rate of interest of 3.5%, the annual cost of the scheme is currently £797.21. The average cost of the scheme for each ticket loans for its staff; and what the average cost is of the participating member of staff is therefore £39.86. This scheme is also available to MPs’ staff. scheme for each participating member of staff. 19821 10/25/2010 Ian Liddell- How many staff of the Independent Parliamentary Speaker's There are a total of 54 employees at IPSA who are entitled to ‘privilege days’ at IPSA. The notional cost per employee per annum for this Grainger Authority are entitled to privilege days; and what the annual cost benefit is approximately £375 (net). to the public purse is of the entitlement per employee. 18608 10/19/2010 Paul Flynn If IPSA will bring forward proposals to reduce its running costs. Even before the Government brought forward its proposals for spending cuts across the public sector, our Board was clear that we should be looking to reduce costs by around 5% per annum. Sir Ian Kennedy, in evidence to the Speaker’s Committee for IPSA, has said that we will take into account the Government’s target of 25% over five years. We will be bringing forward our proposals on running costs early next year. These proposals will take account of the additional functions we will be undertaking - not least, a review of MPs’ pay and pensions in 2011/12. 18422 10/18/2010 Helen Jones If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will IPSA does not keep time records of how long Members of Parliament or their staff spend dealing with IPSA, nor does IPSA keep any estimate (a) the average time spent by (i) hon. Members and (ii) estimates of the cost to the public purse of their doing so. IPSA does keep records of the number and length of phone calls from the staff of hon. Members dealing with the Authority and (b) the Members of Parliament and their staff. In September, the last full month for which there is data, IPSA received some 2,980 calls to our cost to the public purse of the time so spent. information line with each call lasting on average 5 minutes and 30 seconds. 18421 10/18/2010 Helen Jones What criteria the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA’s complaints procedure is published on IPSA’s website under “Publications”. The procedure sets out the criteria. Any official uses to classify as an official complaint representations received complaints need to be submitted in writing in order for IPSA to be able fully to investigate the complaint and provide a comprehensive (a) by correspondence and (b) by other means. response to the complainant. 18098 10/15/2010 Helen Jones What the average amount paid by the Independent Parliamentary Average mortgage payments in each month since May are as follows: May - £606.40, June - £736.32m, July - £783.99, August - £715.43, Standards Authority to each hon. Member receiving payments for September - £712.20, October - £694.63. Average rent payments in each month since May are as follows: May – £793.22, June - £889.37, (a) mortgage interest and (b) rent has been in each month sinceJuly - £1063.89, August - £1067.65, September - £1060.34, October - £1173.81. The average mortgage interest payments are lower than May 2010. average rental payments, in part due to historically low interest rates. The reason the expenses scheme does not provide for future payments of mortgage interest, picking up one of the recommendations that was central to the report on MPs’ expenses and allowances made by the Committee for Standards in Public Life: Recommendation 3: MPs should no longer be reimbursed for the cost of mortgage interest payments or any other costs associated with the purchase of a property. No new arrangements for support of mortgage interest should be allowed from the date of this report. In future only rent or hotel costs should be reimbursed. 17890 10/14/2010 Helen Jones How many (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff the Independent The number of permanent, fixed term and temporary full time equivalent staff employed in each IPSA salary range as of 14 October 2010 Parliamentary Standards Authority employs in each pay band. is shown below. Temporary staff have been assigned to the salary grade of the position in which they are working. (Table attached) 17689 10/14/2010 Anne McIntosh In respect of how many claims submitted by hon. Members and IPSA’s expenses scheme came into force on 7 May 2010. No claims pre-dating 7 May therefore fall within IPSA’s remit and no claims due for settlement in (a) April and (b) September 2010 the made before 7 May are therefore outstanding. It is for the House of Commons to reimburse expenditure prior to 7 May. At present, 162 Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has yet to make out of 5,256 claim forms submitted to us in September are still awaiting payment. In all cases this is because either the form has been payment; what the reasons are for the time taken to make completed incorrectly, insufficient supporting evidence has been submitted or some other query has been raised with a Member. payment in such cases; and if he will make a statement. 17627 10/13/2010 Ian Liddell- What benefits package is being offered to the new member of the The benefits received by the Director of Communications are the same as those received by other IPSA staff, namely: 25 days annual Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's communications leave, rising to 30 days after five years’ service, 2.5 privilege days per year, opportunity to participate in Civil Service pension team. arrangements, the offer of an interest-free season ticket loan, sick pay, opportunity to participate in Benenden Healthcare. 17618 10/13/2010 Ian Liddell- Which companies, other than Calyx (UK), responded to the The companies that responded to the invitation to tender for the provision of infrastructure and enterprise software support were: Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's invitation to Computacenter (UK) Ltd tender for the provision of infrastructure and enterprise software • Insight Direct (UK) Ltd support; and what criteria were used determine which respondee • Probrand Ltd was awarded the contract. Calyx (UK) Ltd formed part of the Insight Direct (UK) Ltd tender. Information on the assessment criteria applied during this process has already been provided in our answer given in respect of a previous question on 12 October 2010, Official Report, column 258W. (Document attached) 15241 10/9/2010 Michael How many and what proportion of telephone calls to the It is not possible to provide the requested statistics at this time. IPSA intends to provide MPs with information on its performance against Meacher Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from hon. its call handling and other service targets shortly. Members were not answered within 15 minutes in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 16029 9/16/2010 Luciana Berger What the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (IPSAs) During the month of September, the average call waiting time on the IPSA enquiry line was six minutes and fifty-seven seconds. most recent estimate is of the average waiting time for hon. Members who call the IPSA enquiry line. 15943 9/15/2010 Ian Liddell- How many people at each pay band there are in the policy unit ofThere are four members of staff in the policy team in the following pay bands. Grainger the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Senior Civil Service Payband 1 (£58,200 - £117,750): 1 person IPSA Grade E (£46,000 - £61,500): 1 person IPSA Grade D (£35,000 - £46,000): 1 person IPSA Grade C (£30,500 - £37,000): 1 person 15903 9/15/2010 John Spellar On average how many employees staff the hon. Members' enquiry on average how many employees staff the hon. Members' enquiry line each day; and how many such employees staffed that enquiry line line each day; and how many such employees staffed that enquiry on 10 September 2010. line on 10 September 2010. 15732 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- How much Apex Communications was paid for its work in Apex Communications were paid £69,375 for work conducted over the period October 2009 – July 2010. Apex was commissioned to Grainger establishing the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; provide a press office capability to deal with a high level of media interest and to organise activities. Apex then helped to establish and and what its remit was. support IPSA’s small in-house communications team. While the process of recruiting a director of communications was undertaken, they continued to provide practical help and strategic communication advice to IPSA through to July 2010. 15724 9/14/2010 Bob Russell How many errors by staff of the Independent Parliamentary MPs whose claims for reimbursement are not paid by IPSA are able to request a review on the grounds that the rules have been applied Standards Authority in processing claims have been recorded since incorrectly, or that IPSA has made an administrative error. Since 7 May 2010, IPSA has concluded that the decision not to pay was its inception. incorrectly determined in 19 instances. 15729 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- How much each member of the communications team of the One member of the communications team receives a salary within the range £45,000-50,000, and the other member of the Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority receives in (a) communications team receives a salary within the range £30,000 - £35,000. The benefits received are similar to those offered by many salary and (b) benefits. employers – such as 25 days annual leave, pension contributions and the offer of a season ticket loan. 15730 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- How much the Director of Communications for the Independent The Director of Communications will receive a salary within the range £75,000 - £80,000. The benefits received are similar to those Grainger Parliamentary Standards Authority will receive in (a) salary and (b) offered by many employers, such as 25 days annual leave, pension contributions and the offer of a season ticket loan. benefits. 15731 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- For what reasons officials working for the Independent The merits of basing IPSA in a location other than Westminster were considered early in IPSA’s implementation phase. It was concluded Grainger Parliamentary Standards Authority are working in central London; that the most appropriate location for IPSA’s permanent home was central London, within a reasonable distance of the Palace of what consideration was given to locating them in a less expensive Westminster. This decision was taken to minimise the risk of disruption during the handover period between the old system part of the country; and if he will make a statement. administered by the House of Commons and IPSA’s new system, not least in respect of the potential impact on those staff transferring from the House of Commons to IPSA. 15723 9/14/2010 Bob Russell How much was paid to Apex Communications for services provided Apex Communications was paid £69,375 for work conducted between October 2009 and July 2010. Apex worked an average of 100 hours to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) since a month providing services to IPSA. In September 2009, IPSA’s implementation team held a competition after identifying, researching its inception; how many hours work were carried out by Apex and approaching three corporate communication agencies with an invitation to tender for a contract to provide communications support Communications; what the (a) commencement and (b) concluding to IPSA. Following this competition, the contract was awarded to Apex Communications. date was of the contract with Apex Communications; and what mechanism was used to select Apex Communications to provide communications services for IPSA. 15727 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- How many responses the Independent Parliamentary Standards In total 3 responses were received to the invitation to tender for the Enterprise Solution and 3 for the Infrastructure Solution. Grainger Authority received to the invitation to tender for which Calyx (UK) The assessment criteria for the procurement exercise were: was shortlisted; what the criteria were for the contract; and what • Ability to provide a requirements compliance traceability document. the specification was for the system. • Ability to provide an executive summary including an overview of the solution and the associated perceived costs. • Ability to provide details of their organisation. • Ability to provide details of how their solution meets all functional and non functional requirements. • Ability to provide details of reference sites • Ability to provide full details of the whole life cost including: o Software license capital costs o Technical architecture costs o Initial implementation costs o Annual costs associated with ongoing support • Suitable contingency plans detailed in the event of non-delivery. • Behaviours of the suppliers and cultural fit with IPSA. • Capability to deliver to required dates. • Creation of a web based access point for MPs and their staff. • Capability to publish data early and a flexible approach. • Outsourcing costs and implications. • Strong data security, both internal and nationally. An architectural overview of the online expense system can be found on the following website: 15728 9/14/2010 Ian Liddell- How many staff members have been supplied to the Independent http://www.systemsatwork.co.uk/download/content/PDF/expense@work%20Architectural%20Overview.pdf excluding VAT. Two temporary staff members were provided for a short period by GovGap. This was at a cost to IPSA of £22,036 Grainger Parliamentary Standards Authority by Govgap since May 2010; and at what cost to the Authority. 15033 9/9/2010 Ann McKechin What proportion of claim refusal decisions communicated to hon. IPSA does not currently communicate refusal decisions by email. MPs are provided with summary details of the refusal via the online Members by 7 September 2010 were accompanied by accurate system under heading ‘Refusals’. IPSA is developing a process to provide MPs with an automated e-mail alert informing them of the written accounts of the reasons for which claims had been status of claims and to enable Members to view detailed refusal reasons. refused. 15036 9/9/2010 Ann McKechin What procedures are followed by the Independent Parliamentary Post deposited in the drop box in Portcullis House is collected by hand and, together with the mail posted directly to IPSA, is sorted every Standards Authority to record the receipt of supporting morning. MPs’ expense claims and accompanying receipts are placed in individual, transparent pockets with all staples and paperclips documents submitted in relation to claims made by hon. removed. Each claim is then logged using documentation tracking software and scanned directly to the online expenses system for Members; and whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards validation. The documents are then filed immediately to members’ records. Currently all post received is sorted, logged, scanned and Authority plans to review those procedures. filed within one day. All IPSA processes during this initial phase of operations are kept under review. 14924 9/9/2010 Christopher When the Chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority does not intend to comment publicly on individual correspondence with MPs. At Chope Authority plans to reply to the letter to him of 13 July 2010 from present, IPSA aims to respond to all emails and letters within 5 working days. the office of the hon. Member for Christchurch. 15035 9/9/2010 Ann McKechin How many documents submitted to the Independent IPSA does not record numbers of documents which are thought to have been lost. Parliamentary Standards Authority by hon. Members in support of their claims had been lost on 30 August 2010. 15034 9/9/2010 Ann McKechin How many Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority staff Currently 7 senior members of IPSA staff are able to make final decisions on MPs expense claims. Where a claim is refused, MPs are able are authorised to make claim refusal decisions on claims; and what to request a review within 14 days on the grounds that the rules have been applied inconsistently or that IPSA has made an procedures are followed in circumstances in which such staff make administrative error. If the review finds that the claim should have been paid, the claim is revisited and processed. Individual members an error in communicating such a refusal decision to an hon. of staff are informed of the review and further training provided where required. Member. 15032 9/9/2010 Ann McKechin How many refusals of claims had been communicated to hon. Where a claim is refused in full or in part, MPs are provided with summary details of the refusal via the online system under heading Members by means of (a) the Independent Parliamentary ‘Refusals’. By close of business on 09 September, 25872 claim lines had been approved and 1574 claim lines had been refused. Standards Authority website and (b) by email on 7 September Currently refusals are not communicated via e-mail. 2010. 14619 9/8/2010 Ian Liddell- How many staff were employed in each department of the The number of Full-Time Equivalent staff employed in each department of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in each Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in each month month since 6 May 2010 is given below. This figure includes permanent and fixed-term IPSA employees, permanent employees of other since 6 May 2010. organisations seconded to IPSA, interims and temporary staff who are not IPSA employees. (Table attcahed). 14624 9/8/2010 Ian Liddell- How many staff are employed by the Independent Parliamentary IPSA currently employs two members of staff in its communications team. One person has responsibility for external communications, Grainger Standards Authority (IPSA) to work on public relations; what the including the media, and one person has responsibility for internal communications and website management. A director of total cost to the public purse of employing staff for public relations communications will soon be joining IPSA to provide strategic oversight and direction to its communications activities. work has been since it began operation; and which (a) agencies Since IPSA began operations on 7 May 2010, the total spend on employing staff for all aspects of communications activities has been and (b) Government departments have provided staff to £37,840. This includes the associated expenditure of national insurance and employer pension contributions and VAT on contracted staff undertake such work for IPSA in that period. supplied by GovGap. No government departments have provided staff to IPSA’s communication team in this period. IPSA did receive communications advice and support from Apex Communications during the initial phase of operation as it was recruiting and establishing its in-house communication team, but does not anymore. 14621 9/8/2010 Ian Liddell- How much was spent under each budgetary heading on expenses Since IPSA began operations, only Sir Scott Baker has claimed expenses. These were all for travel on IPSA business. The months and Grainger for each member of the board of the Independent Parliamentary amounts are detailed below. Standards Authority in each month of its operation; and for what June £65.80 purpose in each case. May £44.30 August £48.10 14631 9/8/2010 Ian Liddell- How much was owed to hon. and right hon. Members in unpaid In this context, the question ‘how much was owed...’ can be interpreted as both expense claims submitted but not yet paid by the end of Grainger expense claims by the Independent Parliamentary Standards the month and expense claims approved for payment but not yet paid by the end of the month. Figures for both interpretations are Authority (a) on the most recent date for which figures are provided in the tables below. available and (b) in each month since 6 May 2010. Table 1: value of expense claims submitted but not yet paid by the end of each month. Claims Submitted Value End June £128,219.02 End July £60,332.85 End August £235,325.87 End September £201,965.68 Table 2: value of expense claims approved but not yet paid by the end of each month. Claims Approved Value End June £38,622.06 End July £45,107.11 End August £91,710,51 14499 9/8/2010 Ian Liddell- End September £68,279.50 What the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (IPSA) The consultation on IPSA's publication policy, including salary details for MPs’ staffs, has recently closed. IPSA is working to analyse Grainger policy is on the public disclosure of individual salary details for staff responses, and draw up the final policy on publication, which will include details of the publication of MP staff salaries. This policy will be of (a) the IPSA and (b) hon. Members. announced shortly. IPSA intends to publish salary details of its own staff in its annual report. IPSA intends to comply both with the upcoming Government procedures on senior salary publication for staff earning over £58200 and with the principles of the publication scheme for Members’ staff. 14306 9/7/2010 Ian Liddell- If he will list each of the changes made to the rules and procedures A small number of changes to the MPs’ Expenses Scheme were introduced in July 2010, following the consultation required by the Grainger implemented by IPSA since its inception. Parliamentary Standards Act. The changes are detailed The MPs’ Expenses Scheme: Second Edition, which has been made available to all MPs and is available on www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. In addition since 7 May 2010, IPSA has introduced a number of changes to procedures to help MPs, including: • the introduction of a £4,000 advance for MPs and advance payments on production of invoices for a number of high cost items; • a facility for proxies to process expenses for MPs who are not their employer; • the extension of the 90 day deadline for claims until 1 October 2010, • the introduction of the “grace period” until early September, under which claims submitted over the summer which are outside the rules will not be published. These and other changes have been documented in the IPSA MPs’ Bulletin, which is sent to all MPs each week and available on www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk 14307 9/7/2010 Ian Liddell- What the (a) value and (b) length of contract is for the computer The Contract is with Calyx (UK) Ltd. The length of the contract is 5 years from February 2010. Grainger system used by IPSA; and with which organisation the contract is The scope of the contract covers infrastructure and enterprise software support as follows: made. - Infrastructure support covers: Server hardware, desktops and laptops, network hardware, office infrastructure, firewalls, anti-virus, web proxy and hosting services, WAN link, security solutions, email, telephony. - Enterprise software support covers: Software support for financial accounting, online expense system, payroll, HR, customer management system. The annual value of the contract including both infrastructure and enterprise support is £194,000 in the first year and £252,000 per year in subsequent years. 14305 9/7/2010 Ian Liddell- How many IPSA staff have received redundancy payments; for No IPSA staff have received redundancy payments. Grainger what amount in each case; and for what reasons. 13666 9/6/2010 John Mann How many field visits staff and officers of the Independent The Online Expenses System is monitored remotely for effectiveness frequently. This allows IPSA to see how the remote access system is Parliamentary Standards Authority have made to assess the working and therefore field visits specifically to assess remote access are not required. effectiveness of its remote data access system since 7 May 2010. 13668 9/6/2010 John Mann what the log out parameters for the Independent Parliamentary To log off the online expenses system users must first click the “log off” button in red at the top of the screen and close the window Standards Authority online claims system are. before signing out of the secure website by clicking on “sign out” on the right had side of the screen. If the page is closed prematurely while the user is logged in, the system will lock the user out for a period of approximately 5 minutes. In addition, to protect MPs data, the online expense system automatically logs users out after 5 minutes of inactivity. 13669 9/6/2010 John Mann For what reason the hon. Member for Bassetlaw was unable to The Online Expense System suffered a technical problem on the 29th July resulting in a short period of unavailability. This was remedied access the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority online on the same afternoon by stopping and restarting the web services. expenses system at 14.30 on 29 July 2010. 13670 9/6/2010 John Mann when the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority plans to IPSA does not consider it appropriate to comment publicly on expense claims submitted by individual MPs. reimburse the hon. Member for Bassetlaw for his claims for sums spent on office rental. 13690 9/6/2010 Michael What steps the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has recently introduced a new call handling system. This has allowed IPSA to make a Meacher taking to reduce the average length of time taken before number of improvements (such as queuing calls more efficiently across a wider group of operatives) which will enable them to deal with telephone calls from hon. Members are answered. calls more effectively and reduce the average call waiting time. 13667 9/6/2010 John Mann How many complaints the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA is not aware of any complaints relating to loss of data entered into the Online Expenses System. Authority has received about loss of data entered into its online claims system since 7 May 2010. 11844 7/23/2010 Helen Jones For what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA apologises for any incorrect information that was given to Members with regard to claiming associated expenditure. Authority has informed certain hon. Members that they may claim During June and July 2010, IPSA consulted on various proposals to amend the MPs Expenses Scheme, including a proposal to allow Non- other accommodation costs without claiming mortgage payments; London Area MPs who own their property but who are not claiming mortgage interest subsidy to claim associated expenditure. This has whether the Authority plans to allow backdated claims for such now been incorporated into the revised Scheme which was published on 26 July 2010. The online system will be updated to support this costs from other hon. Members; and what arrangements the change by 16 August 2010 and all scheme changes and claims can be backdated to 7 May. Authority intends to make to compensate hon. Members who Where demonstrable financial loss has occurred, IPSA will look at evidence submitted in writing and will make decisions on a case to case have incurred demonstrable financial loss as a result of following basis. advice from officers of the Authority which was at variance with the Authority's policy. 11513 7/23/2010 Grahame M. how many staff of the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA’s staff recognition scheme enables staff to nominate colleagues for modest awards in recognition of outstanding performance. The Morris Authority (IPSA) have received reward and recognition payments scheme has only just commenced and so no staff members have so far received such awards. It is not possible to predict how many staff since its inception; and how many such payments IPSA expects to will receive such awards in 2010/2011. make in 2010-11. 11730 7/23/2010 Helen Jones For what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards All Members who have incurred expenditure on the travelcard within the month will receive a paper copy sent to their home address. Authority has issued electronic copies of travel claim forms to the The paper copy will be sent at the end of each month. All Members who have a registered proxy on the online expenses system will also proxies of hon. Members only; and what consideration the receive an electronic copy, sent to their proxy. Where Members do not have a proxy, they may use an alternate logon to access the Authority gave to notifying hon. Members that such forms had electronic statement. We are working on a system change to develop an improved IT solution to this issue. been issued. 11729 7/23/2010 Helen Jones What reports the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority To date, IPSA is not aware of any major problems experienced by Members when using the travel card. Minor problems such as lost or has received of difficulties in using the travel cards issued by the locked PIN numbers have been resolved on an individual basis. Authority for making claims; and what steps the Authority is taking in consequence. 11728 7/23/2010 Karen Bradley What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA’s policy is that it will reimburse taxi fares where a journey is necessary and at least one of the following criteria is satisfied: no other Authority is on reimbursement of travel expenses to hon. reasonable method of transport is available for all or part of the journey, or alternative methods of transport are impracticable due to Members in respect of travel by taxi with heavy luggage between pregnancy, disability, illness or injury of the MP or of a staff member. Heavy luggage may be a factor in the MP deciding these criteria a London rail terminal and the Palace of Westminster. apply. Whether the journey is between a London rail terminus and the Palace of Westminster is not, in itself, a criterion, although taxi fares will not be reimbursed for any part of MP’s daily commute between their London home and Westminster, or their constituency home and office. 11822 7/23/2010 Ian Liddell- What assessment he has made of the extent of liability of the Holding: It has not been possible for IPSA to provide a response to this question by the named day. IPSA will respond as soon as possible. Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for any Provided 20 July 2010. Substantive: Under section 13(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, an individual MP who can show that he or she financial implications for hon. Members in the event of the alleged has suffered damage by reason of any contravention by IPSA of any of the requirements of the Data Protection Act is entitled to claim unauthorised disclosure of personal details by IPSA. compensation from IPSA for that damage. 11602 7/23/2010 Helen Jones What system the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority I have been informed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority that, in cases where emails or letters seek information operates to associate emails and letters from hon. Members with about a particular claim, the Information Team extracts information relating to the claim from the online system and uses this to respond the claim to which the correspondence relates. to queries. In cases which are not straightforward, the Information Team may speak directly to members of the Validation Team regarding the progress or details of the claim. Where letters or emails cover receipts or other supporting documentation, these are passed directly to the Validation Team. 11823 7/23/2010 Ian Liddell- How many agency staff have been contracted to work at the The numbers of agency staff that have been contracted by IPSA has varied by month and is illustrated below. Grainger Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in each week since 1 May 2010. Week of 07/05/2010 - 56 Week of 14/05/2010 - 56 Week of 21/05/2010 - 56 Week of 28/05/2010 - 56 Week of 04/06/2010 - 61 Week of 11/06/2010 - 61 Week of 18/06/2010 - 61 Week of 25/06/2010 - 61 Week of 02/07/2010 - 56 Week of 09/07/2010 - 56 Week of 16/07/2010 - 56 11825 7/23/2010 Ian Liddell- How many staff of the Independent Parliamentary Standards There are currently 27 permanent members of IPSA staff. Of these, 9 have had authorised sick absences in the past 3 months. There have Grainger Authority have been authorised to be absent from work owing to been no absences for study leave or unpaid leave over this period. (a) sickness and (ii) other reasons in the last three months. Due to the nature of temporary employment, there are no equivalent figures available for temporary staff. 11824 7/23/2010 Ian Liddell- How many full-time staff each department of the Independent As of 27 July 2010, there are 78 full-time members of staff working at IPSA, broken down as below. Grainger Parliamentary Standards Authority employs; and what the staff • Chief Executive’s Unit – 1 permanent, 1 temporary. turnover has been in each week since 1 May 2010. • Operations – 16 permanent, 35 temporary. • Finance and Corporate Services – 4 permanent, 11 temporary. • Policy, Communications and Secretariat – 6 permanent, 4 temporary. There has been no turnover in our permanent staff since 1st May 2010. Due to the nature of temporary employment, there are no figures available for turnover in temporary staff. 11515 7/23/2010 Grahame M. What estimate the Independent Parliamentary Standards The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has informed me that no estimate has been made of the cost to the public purse of Morris Authority has made of the cost to the public purse of publishing publishing salary details of MPs' staff. However, any cost is expected to be minimal as it is a straightforward transaction. Following a the (a) salary details of staff of hon. Members in £5,000 bands and recently closed consultation, it is no longer proposed to publish precise salary details of staff who are connected parties. (b) precise salary details of staff of hon. Members who are connected parties in 2010-11. 11514 7/23/2010 Grahame M. How many staff seconded to the Independent Parliamentary IPSA does not routinely collect information on bonuses paid to seconded staff by their home departments. Any performance-related Morris Standards Authority (IPSA) from Government departments have bonuses paid to staff seconded to IPSA from government departments have been in respect of performance periods prior to the date received performance-related bonus payments since its inception; when IPSA became operational. IPSA will not pay any performance-related bonuses to seconded or other staff in 2010-11. and how many such payments IPSA expects to make in 2010-11. 11727 7/23/2010 Helen Jones How many complaints the Independent Parliamentary Standards I have been informed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority that the Chief Executive’s office has investigated 16 official Authority has received in respect of incorrect advice given to hon. complaints since 7 May. These complaints are not recorded by type. Where a Member has identified incorrect advice, IPSA has said it will Members by its staff; and what steps the Authority has taken in take steps to ensure that correct advice is given in future. consequence of such complaints. 11929 7/23/2010 Jim Sheridan For what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards In the first months of operation, IPSA’s priorities have been to pay the salaries of MPs’ staff and to make the required statutory and Authority decided that trade union subscriptions for staff of hon. pension deductions. IPSA has not made an assessment of the cost of deducting trade union subscriptions for MPs’ staff. Members should not be deducted from their pay at payroll. We are currently reviewing the situation in relation to trade union subscriptions and hope to offer this as a facility in the near future. To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what estimate the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has made of the annual cost of deducting trade union subscriptions for the staff of hon. Members from their pay at payroll. 11333 7/22/2010 Helen Jones What procedures the Independent Parliamentary Standards Members are required to submit the completed online travel card form within 14 days of it being available on the system with the Authority plans to put in place during the recess for hon. Members corresponding invoices/receipts being sent within 21 days. If for a particular month an individual Member is unable to comply with these who are unable to verify travel card statements within seven days. timescales (for example if they are away on business or holiday) they should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the reason and the date they will be able to submit the completed form. When all or a large number of Members may be unable to comply with the normal timescales (for examples during the summer of Christmas recess) then the timescales will be automatically increased to allow for this fact. 11335 7/22/2010 Helen Jones What the average time taken by the Independent Parliamentary At present, IPSA aims to respond to all emails and letters within 5 working days. It is not possible to readily provide data regarding the Standards Authority to reply to emails from hon. Members is; and percentage of queries which have been answered within this timeframe to date. IPSA has recently introduced a new case management how many emails have not been answered within two weeks in system. This will both reduce the response time to emails, and ensure accurate records of correspondence between Members and IPSA. the current parliamentary session. IPSA will provide Members with information on its performance against these and other service targets once this system is fully rolled out across the organisation. 11182 7/22/2010 Ann McKechin Pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2010, Official Report, column Under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme, LALP is not payable in relation to any period before notification is given to IPSA that the MP intends to 812W, on Members: allowances, for what reasons some hon. claim it. However, IPSA has decided to exercise discretion in the operation of the rule, so that where a Member informed IPSA of their Members have been advised by the Independent Parliamentary intent to claim before 15 June 2010, they will have their claim backdated to 7 May. Where a member informed IPSA of their intent to Standards Authority (IPSA) that claims can be backdated to the claim after this date, their claim will be backdated only to the date they informed IPSA. This acknowledges that Members would not have date of election; and by what methods an hon. Member was able been able to submit a claim for LALP before they were provided with access to the online expenses system. to submit such a claim before being provided access to IPSA's IT system for claims. 11334 7/22/2010 Helen Jones What steps the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is All Members who have incurred expenditure on the travelcard within the month will receive a paper copy sent to their home address. taking to identify hon. Members who have not received electronic The paper copy will be sent at the end of each month. All Members who have a registered proxy on the online expenses system will also copies of their travel card statements and to ensure that such hon. receive an electronic copy, sent to their proxy. Where Members do not have a proxy, they may use an alternate logon to access the Members receive their statements. electronic statement. We are working on a system change to develop an improved IT solution to this issue. 10424 7/20/2010 Denis MacShane How many right hon. and hon. Members have received payments Up to 26 July 2010, 374 Members have received expense payments from IPSA, totalling £1,024,487.82. from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in the current parliamentary Session. 10857 7/20/2010 Anne Main whether the Inter-government Despatch Service may be used to Whether the Inter-government Despatch Service may be used to send correspondence to the Independent Parliamentary Standards send correspondence to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Authority. 10234 7/19/2010 Anne McIntosh What the (a) purpose of and (b) procedure is for validation of The purpose of the validation process is to ensure expenses claimed by Members are eligible for reimbursement under the MPs’ claims undertaken by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Expenses Scheme and that documentary evidence has been presented to support each expense. The type and nature of evidence Authority; and what the reasons are for the time taken for required in relation to each expense is set out in our published guidance. validation of claims. The validation process commences when IPSA receives the receipts or other supporting evidence to support the claim. The receipts are then scanned into the system and IPSA staff review each claim to assess eligibility for reimbursement. At present, all claims undergo a three-stage review process by IPSA staff before they are then released for payment. IPSA anticipates moving to a two-stage review process in due course. 10203 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson How many times the Board of the Independent Parliamentary The IPSA Board has met on 17 occasions since its first meeting of 4 December 2009. 12 of these meetings constituted formal Board Standards Authority has met; how many times it will meet in the meetings for which minutes and agendas are prepared. The minutes of these meetings, which include the agendas, are made available on next 12 months; and if the Authority will publish the agendas and the IPSA website once the minutes have been agreed by the IPSA Board. minutes of such meetings. Ordinarily the IPSA Board meets at least once every month and intends to do so over the next 12 months, with the exception of August 2010. 10204 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff work for the As of 19 July 2010, IPSA has 83 staff of whom Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; and if the a) 82 are full-time and Authority will publish its standard employment contract for staff. b) 1 part-time. IPSA will send the standard employment contract template to the Hon. Member. 10206 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson What legal advice the Independent Parliamentary Standards The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has informed me that it is not their practice to confirm whether or not legal advice Authority obtained on its publication of names and salaries of hon. has been obtained, or to release details of such legal advice where it has been obtained. No Members' staff names and salaries have yet Members staff. been published pending the policy being finalised following the public consultation. The policy on publication will be announced in due course. 10202 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson What the (a) longest, (b) shortest and (c) average time has been At present, IPSA aims to respond to all emails and letters within 5 working days. Historical data regarding the timeframe for responding to for staff of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to queries received to date is not readily available. However, IPSA has recently introduced a new case management system which will reply to an email from an hon. Members. improve the response time to emails, letters and telephone queries; and ensure accurate records of correspondence between Members and IPSA. Once this system is fully rolled out across IPSA, IPSA will provide Members with information on its performance against these and other service targets. 10207 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson How much was claimed by hon. Members from the Independent According to the claims submitted using the online expenses system, in June 2010 hon. Members incurred expenses worth £832,111.50. Parliamentary Standards Authority for expenditure incurred in Many of the claims for these expenses were not submitted until July and are either awaiting the submission of receipts, awaiting June 2010; and how much had been paid to hon. Members in validation or have been passed for payment. Up to 12 July 2010, £218,240.80 of this amount had been paid to hon. Members, and claims reimbursement for such claims as at 12 July 2010. worth £28,217.28 were returned to hon. Members for further explanation. 10205 7/19/2010 Glenda Jackson what the (a) capital and (b) estimated annual running cost is of the The capital cost of the software expenses@work was £126,000 (including VAT at 17.5%). The estimated annual running cost of Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's computerised expenses@work is not identified separately. The estimated annual running cost of expenses @ work is not identified seperately. The claims system. support contract for all IT software support at IPSA, which includes support for Microsoft Office, the Financial Accounting System "Great Plains", the Payroll software "Jane HR" as well as expenses@work, is £116,000 (including VAT at 17.5%) per annum. 10008 7/16/2010 Anne McIntosh Whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has IPSA has not sought advice specifically on the security implications for Hon. Members. The information was released only to a small sought advice on the security implications for hon. Members number of MPs and their nominated proxies through the Expenses@Work system. IPSA takes incidents such as this extremely seriously following the alleged unauthorised disclosure of their personal and is now conducting a full investigation to determine the exact types of data that was exposed and what the scope of exposure was. details. When it has this information, IPSA will review the implications and take any appropriate action. 10140 7/16/2010 Helen Jones What assessment he has made of the implications for hon. An IPSA administrative report was temporarily available on the secure expenses website. IPSA removed the report immediately this was Members of the alleged unauthorised disclosure of their personal disclosed, notified the Information Commissioner, and ordered immediate changes by its IT contractor. IPSA will have these changes information by the Independent Parliamentary Standards audited by a third party. Authority; and if he will make a statement. IPSA takes these matters very seriously. However, no sensitive personal data were made available to the public, the report was only available for a short period of time, and the report was accessed by only 5 MPs and 6 nominated proxies. These individuals are being contacted directly. 10054 7/16/2010 Richard Burden What the policy of the IPSA is on payment for (a) office equipment IPSA, as an employer, provides office premises and facilities for its staff directly from its budget rather than on the basis of retrospective and furniture, (b) rent, business rates and utilities attributable to reimbursement. its office premises and (c) office consumables (i) directly from the Authority's budget and (ii) by members of the Authority's board and senior staff on the basis of retrospective reimbursement. 10010 7/16/2010 Anne McIntosh For what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards The basis of IPSA’s scheme is that Members should receive expenses for costs actually and reasonably incurred. Members can submit Authority does not allow items relating to the constituency office claims for costs incurred for the performance of parliamentary functions relating to their constituency office and surgeries from the of an hon. Member to be charged to the budget allocated for this dedicated Constituency Office Rental Expenditure budget. In addition, Members may submit appropriate claims for expenditure to the purpose; and if he will make a statement. General Administrative Expenditure budget, which covers items such as office equipment, procurement of services, and communications 10036 7/16/2010 Anne McIntosh What recruitment procedure was followed for those working at The processing of claims from Members by IPSA is handled by staff from a range of backgrounds. A significant number of staff are drawn the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority processing from the House of Commons Members’ Pay and Allowances team and have considerable experience of processing MPs’ claims. They are claims from hon. Members; and what relevant previous complemented by temporary staff selected for their experience and skills. A total of 29 staff with relevant experience will have experience they had. transferred from the House of Commons to IPSA by August 2010. IPSA has made a significant investment in staff training. All staff attend an induction course which covers IPSA values, behaviours and team working, the MPs’ Expenses Scheme, data assurance and protection, and operational functions. 9814 7/16/2010 Therese Coffey For what reasons the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA took the view that screenshots would be sufficient to provide an initial overview of the system at induction. This overview could not Authority offered training to hon. Members on the operation of be provided using the live system because inductions were provided at a variety of locations convenient to MPs, not all of which had a the online system for claiming reimbursement from allowances by guaranteed internet connection. MPs who wish to have training using the live online system have been invited to contact IPSA to arrange means of a screenshot presentation rather than by means of the this. They have also been welcomed to attend the same training sessions as have been available for their staff. on-system training offered to hon. Members staff. 9883 7/16/2010 Graham Allen If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will take The IPSA remittance advice note or notification of the expense claim payment does identify the invoice or invoices in respect of which steps to ensure that each notification of reimbursement to reimbursement is being made. The note identifies all correspondence to a unique reference number. This number is created by a MP or Members identifies the invoice or invoices in respect of which the his or her proxy when they enter a claim in the Expenses@Work system. reimbursement is being made. 10139 7/16/2010 Helen Jones What assessment he has made of the extent of liability of the Holding: It has not been possible for IPSA to provide a response to this question by the named day. IPSA will respond as soon as possible. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for any Provided 20 July 2010. financial implications for hon. Members in the event of the alleged Substantive: Under section 13(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, an individual MP who can show that he or she has suffered damage by unauthorised disclosure of personal details by IPSA. reason of any contravention by IPSA of any of the requirements of the Data Protection Act is entitled to claim compensation from IPSA for that damage. 10088 7/16/2010 Helen Jones What the average length of time is to (a) validate a claim and (b) Up to 23 July 2010 the average length of time to scan and validate a claim by IPSA was 10 days once IPSA had received the accompanying effect payment of a claim; and if he will make a statement. receipts. Once approved for reimbursement, payment was made within 3 days. 9863 7/16/2010 Graham Allen What steps the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is IPSA maintains address information in two systems, HR Payroll and Expenses@Work. Address information in the Expenses@Work system taking to provide sufficient fields in its IT system to enable the full is required to provide a check that any invoice or receipt that the MPs submits to IPSA for reimbursement is for the correct property. addresses of all hon. Members' homes and offices to be entered Only the first line of the address and postcode is required for verification. IPSA uses this to match the invoice or receipt to the registered and accepted. property. IPSA does not does not store more information than necessary in Expenses@Work systems, and IPSA has no plans at present to include additional fields for addresses. What the average length of time is of work he expected for a The HR Payroll system has the full address of all MPs. This address is used for correspondence. 10007 7/16/2010 Anne McIntosh At present, IPSA aims to respond to all queries within 5 working days. IPSA has recently introduced a new case management system response to a query by (a) email, (b) hard copy letter and (c) which will improve the response time to emails, letters and telephone queries; and ensure accurate records of correspondence between telephone call by an hon. Member to the Independent Members and IPSA. Once this system is fully rolled out across IPSA, it will provide Members with information on its performance against Parliamentary Standards Authority. these and other service targets. 10052 7/16/2010 Richard Burden If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will assess IPSA is considering the best mechanism for the continued provision employer and public liability insurance when it ceases to be provided the comparative cost to the public purse of (a) continuing existing by the House, including whether it should be provided centrally through IPSA or claimed individually by Members. In its analysis, IPSA group and employer and public liability insurance for the offices of will consider value for money and the cost to the public purse. hon. Members and (b) introducing a system where hon. Members negotiate and pay for the provision of such policies individually and claim reimbursement from the Authority. 10009 7/16/2010 Anne McIntosh What penalty can be applied if a substantive reply is not given There are no penalties. IPSA is dealing with very large volumes of queries and claims at this time. While this is having an effect on the within a reasonable time and if a payment is not processed within average time required to process queries and claims, IPSA is confident that this average will reduce significantly over time. a reasonable time. 10141 7/16/2010 Helen Jones What steps will be taken by the Independent Parliamentary An IPSA administrative report was temporarily available on the secure expenses website. IPSA removed the report immediately this was Standards Authority to notify hon. Members in cases where disclosed, notified the Information Commissioner, ordered immediate changes by its IT contractor and will have these changes audited personal details have been placed on the IPSA website and were by a third party. The report was only available for a short period of time, and the report was accessed by only 5 MPs and 6 nominated accessible to other hon. Members and their staff. proxies. These individuals are being contacted directly. If personal data had been made available to the public, IPSA would notify the Members concerned. However, this has not happened. 9864 7/16/2010 Graham Allen How many staff working for hon. Members (a) were not paid and In May, 17 members of MPs’ staff did not receive their salary, and 1 member of staff received an incorrect salary, out of a total number (b) did not receive the correct amount of pay in (i) May and (ii) of 156 staff then on the IPSA payroll. These equate to 11% and 0.7% of the total number of staff members. For June, the figures were 81 June 2010; and what steps the Independent Parliamentary and 6 respectively out of 2345 members of staff, or 3.5% and 0.3% of the total number. Standards Authority is taking to correct this. These errors arose from the complications of creating the Payroll with information being provided by different sources, in different formats and on occasions incomplete, and with late amendments to pay details and new contracts being issued. IPSA does not anticipate these problems continuing. 9618 and 7/15/2010 Hugh Bayley what assessment the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA has not conducted a review of the administrative burden placed on Members by the online claims system in comparison with the 9620 Authority (IPSA) has made of the administrative burden its online previous paper-based system. It has received a number of representations on this matter, some indicating that the system is easier and claims system places on hon. Members in terms of hours worked simpler to use than expected and others that it places unreasonable burdens on Members and their staff. IPSA continues to review the per month compared to the paper-based claims system in use online system to ensure that it meets industry standards of usability and accessibility, and enables the transparency and accountability previously; and what representations IPSA has received about this required by the Parliamentary Standards Act. In addition, we are offering MPs one-to-one one- assistance with the online system. matter from hon. Members. To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) will make it its policy to adapt its administrative systems in order to reduce the time required of hon. Members and their staff to complete expenses claims to the minimum that is consistent with the transparency and accountability required by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. 9469 7/15/2010 Richard Burden what guidance the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA’s staff are provided with its policy on this matter, which is that IPSA aims to answer all queries which are received on the IPSA Authority provides to its staff on when enquiries from hon. Information Line immediately over the telephone. Only where these queries are complex, give rise to advice on Members’ specific Members should be replied to (a) in writing and (b) by telephone. circumstances that should be recorded, or give rise to issues which require further consideration, will IPSA request that the query is submitted in writing. Queries received by email or letter will be answered in writing, except in cases which can be more quickly or usefully resolved by telephone. 9405 7/15/2010 David Winnick How many senior Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA does not systematically record this information. However, IPSA is aware that the Compliance Officer, Alan Lockwood, was a (IPSA) officials have been Parliamentary candidates; and what parliamentary candidate in the general election of 2005. posts each of those has held in IPSA. 9501 7/15/2010 Richard Burden What the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's target At present, IPSA aims to respond to all emails and letters within 5 working days. It cannot readily provide data regarding the percentage time is for the provision of a substantive reply to correspondence of queries which have been answered within this timeframe to date because it has recently introduced a new case management system. received from hon. Members (a) in hard copy and (b) This will both improve the response time to emails, and ensure accurate records of correspondence between Members and IPSA. Once electronically; and what percentage of such correspondence has this system is fully rolled out across IPSA, it will provide Members with information on its performance against these and other service been replied to within these times to date. targets. 9499 7/15/2010 Richard Burden whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA has chosen to publish the majority of its information in email and online, as this represents the best value for money for the (IPSA) rules and procedures enable IPSA to allocate funding for the taxpayer and is a quick and efficient way of disseminating information. Our website contains a wealth of information for Members to preparation and publication of hard copy reports on its activities. read or print off, including a variety of training presentations giving guidance on the online system. All publications can be printed off by Member’s staff if they wish to read these in hard copy. In addition, our guidance to the Scheme, FAQs and MP Bulletins are available in hard copy from the Documentation Centre and Members’ Centre. IPSA currently intends to publish its statutory Annual Report in hard copy, and has published all consultations in hard copy form. 9502 7/15/2010 Richard Burden what the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's (IPSA) The consultation on IPSA's publication policy, including salary details for MPs’ staffs, has recently closed. IPSA is working to analyse policy is on the public disclosure of individual salary details for staff responses, and draw up the final policy on publication, which will include details of the publication of MP staff salaries. This policy will be of (a) the IPSA and (b) hon. Members. announced shortly. IPSA intends to publish salary details of its own staff in its annual report. IPSA intends to comply both with the upcoming Government procedures on senior salary publication for staff earning over £58200 and with the principles of the publication scheme for Members’ staff. 9619 7/15/2010 Hugh Bayley if the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) will IPSA is currently making a number of changes to the IPSA Information Line – including the recent installation of a new call handling make its staff available to advise hon. Members on the telephone system – which will enable it to deliver improvements to the level of service which is being provided to MPs. At present, IPSA has no in the evenings and at weekends for the same hours that the PICT plans to extend the operating hours of the IPSA Information Line. service helpdesk is open. 9500 7/15/2010 Richard Burden How much funding the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA’s allocated funding for communications in the next 12 months is £278,200. This is broken down as follows: Authority has allocated in respect of communications in the next - £232,200 staff costs (including basic salaries at £172,000, pension contributions and earnings related national insurance contributions 12 months. (ERNIC)) - £30,000 website maintenance - £16,000 publications 9617 7/15/2010 Hugh Bayley Whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA has not conducted a systematic assessment of satisfaction levels with its services amongst MPs or their staff. It does, however, (IPSA) has taken steps to assess the level of satisfaction with its record both complaints and compliments to inform its reviews of the expenses system. There are also planes for further liaison with service among (a) hon. Members and (b) their staff; and if IPSA will representative groups of MPs, which will provide opportunities for feedback about IPSA’s services. At this early stage of operations, IPSA publish a Charter of Service Standards to guarantee service users has not decided whether or when to publish a Charter of Service Standards. prompt, accurate and helpful answers to their requests for information and advice. 9620 7/15/2010 Hugh Bayley If the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) will IPSA has not conducted a review of the administrative burden placed on Members by the online claims system in comparison with the make it its policy to adapt its administrative systems in order to previous paper-based system. It has received a number of representations on this matter, some indicating that the system is easier and reduce the time required of hon. Members and their staff to simpler to use than expected and others that it places unreasonable burdens on Members and their staff. IPSA continues to review the complete expenses claims to the minimum that is consistent with online system to ensure that it meets industry standards of usability and accessibility, and enables the transparency and accountability the transparency and accountability required by the Parliamentary required by the Parliamentary Standards Act. In addition, we are offering MPs one-to-one one- assistance with the online system. Standards Act 2009. 9004 7/14/2010 David Winnick What recent consideration the Chair and Chief Executive of the The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has taken and is taking significant steps to work closely with Members in Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have given to delivering the new Expenses Scheme. In response to consultation responses and feedback from Members IPSA now offers one-to-one steps to improve working relations between the Authority and assistance with the online system, cash flow advances of up to £4000 to help Members with legitimate expenses, and a contingency fund hon. Members. to help Members who are unable to keep within their budgets for this financial year. IPSA is also keen to develop further the suggestion of a liaison group with the Leader of the House and other interested Members. This will help to ensure that IPSA understands the varied working patterns of Members and that Members are able to access accurate information on IPSA and the Scheme. IPSA is keen to continue to develop its relationship with Members and welcomes comments and feedback sent to email@example.com. 9015 7/14/2010 Jim Murphy How many hon. Members who have correctly completed an 148 Members have not yet collected their travel cards from the IPSA Documentation Centre in 1 Parliament Street. 5 Members have application to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority supplied the required information for a travel card application. These cards have been ordered and will be available for collection for a travel card have not received their travel card. immediately. 8 Members have not yet provided IPSA the required details to order a travel card. Travel cards awaiting collection can be collected from the IPSA Documentation Centre at 1 Parliament Street, which is open every day from 0900 to 1300 and 1400-1600, until 31 July 2010. 9003 7/14/2010 David Winnick On what date the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority The Documentation Centre at 1 Parliament Street is due to close on 30 July. After this point IPSA will aim to provide one-to-one support proposes to close its office premises on the Parliamentary Estate; for Members as required, for as long as there is a demand for such a service. and what arrangements the Authority plans to make thereafter for hon. Members to meet its staff at its premises. 9002 7/14/2010 David Winnick What the average time taken between the receipt for approval of IPSA currently responds to requests for approval of staff contracts within two working days of receipt. a proposed contract of employment of a member of staff of an hon. Member by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and the decision by the Authority on such a contract. 9016 7/14/2010 Jim Murphy what is the cost price to the Independent Parliamentary Standards The price of the key fob cannot be separated from the cost of the security token, as they are purchased as one integrated device. The Authority is of the key fobs used to assist in the electronic current cost to IPSA of the key fob and the integrated security token is £75 plus VAT, inclusive of postage and packaging. Replacement processing of claims. security tokens (where for example they are lost or stolen) will be charged to the MP at cost price. IPSA does not make a profit on the security tokens. This is a reduction on the original cost of replacement tokens, which was £127.58 plus VAT. IPSA has extended its IT support contract to absorb the costs of set-up, registration and testing, meaning the supplier does not charge IPSA support costs per token when supplying replacements. The cost to IPSA and to MPs now just covers the physical device and post and packaging. 8639 7/13/2010 David Winnick What further consideration has been given for claims by hon. The merits of introducing a paper-based system for claiming expenses were considered during the start up phase of IPSA. It was Members to be made on paper with all supporting evidence. concluded that in line with current expectations of IT-led delivery within the public sector, it would be inappropriate to design a new expenses process which was not based at least in part on an IT-led solution. IPSA remains of the view that an IT-led, rather than paper-based, system is most appropriate. Using an IT-led solution allows IPSA to achieve a high level of transparency more easily and cheaply than an equivalent manual approach. It will also allow any future changes to processes to be more easily implemented. IPSA does not intend to introduce a parallel, paper based system of MPs’ Expenses. 8640 7/13/2010 David Winnick What the average length of time taken by the Independent As of 13 July 2010, the average time from receipt of correct supporting documents to payment is 15 working days. IPSA’s steady state Parliamentary Standards Authority is from receipt to payment of a target is for this period to reduce to 12 working days by the last quarter of this year. claim by an hon. Member. 8098 7/9/2010 David Anderson What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards IPSA does not provide additional staff resources specifically to assist with the processing of claims under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. If Authority is on provision of additional staff resources for hon. MPs are unable to remain within their staffing budget for the current financial year, they can apply to IPSA for support from the Members to assist with the processing of claims for allowance contingency fund. All such applications will be considered on a case by case basis. payments. 8097 7/9/2010 David Anderson Whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has The merits of introducing a paper-based system for claiming expenses were considered during the start up phase of IPSA. It was recently considered the merits of introducing a paper-based concluded that in line with current expectations of IT-led delivery within the public sector, it would be inappropriate to design a new system for claiming allowance payments. expenses process which was not based at least in part on an IT-led solution. IPSA remains of the view that an IT-led, rather than paper-based, system is most appropriate. Using an IT-led solution allows IPSA to achieve a high level of transparency more easily and cheaply than an equivalent manual approach. It will also allow any future changes to processes to be more easily implemented. 8043 7/9/2010 Ann McKechin What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards The MPs’ Expenses Scheme only allows the costs of economy/standard class tickets or the equivalent to be reimbursed. MPs travelling on Authority is on reimbursement of hon. Members for first class rail sleeper train services are additionally entitled to claim for sleeper supplements, for either a single occupancy berth or a share of a twin travel on sleeper services in circumstances where single berths are occupancy berth. Both companies which provide sleeper train services within the UK will allow travellers to purchase either berth as a not available on such services at fares equal to or less than the supplement to a standard class ticket. standard open ticket tariff (a) with and (b) without a supplement. The total cost of the ticket plus sleeper supplement may be higher than the price of a standard open ticket. Therefore, as the guidance to the Scheme states at paragraph 7.7, the total cost will be reimbursed in these cases. IPSA believes that this will allow Members to obtain a single berth on all sleeper services. Where this is not the case, IPSA would welcome evidence from Members. 7730 7/8/2010 Richard Bacon how many claims by hon. Members were received by the The claims received and paid out on the relevant days are shown in the chart below. The amounts have been rounded to the nearest Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on (a) 23 pound. June 2010, (b) 24 June 2010, (c) 25 June 2010, (d) 28 June 2010, (e) 29 June 2010, (f) 30 June 2010, (g) 1 July 2010, (h) 2 July 2010, (i) 5 IPSA has advised me that Aany calculation of the average cost to IPSA per transaction to date, including all expenditure incurred by IPSA July 2010 and (j) 6 July 2010; what the total monetary value was of since its inception, would be misleading and not provide an accurate reflection of the transaction cost. IPSA is exploring the best way to claims for which IPSA completed payment on each such day; and present these data and will provide an average cost per transaction after its first sixth monthsfull year of operation and again after its what the average administrative cost to IPSA was per transaction, first full year. (Table attached). including all expenditure by IPSA since its inception. 7894 7/8/2010 John Mann For what reasons officials working for the Independent The merits of basing IPSA in a location other than Westminster were considered early in IPSA’s implementation phase. It was concluded Parliamentary Standards Authority are working in central London; that the most appropriate location for IPSA’s permanent home was central London, within a reasonable distance of the Palace of what consideration was given to locating them in a less expensive Westminster. This decision was taken to minimise the risk of disruption during the handover period between the old system part of the country; and if he will make a statement. administered by the House of Commons and IPSA’s new system, not least in respect of the potential impact on those staff transferring 30-Jun 1-Jul 2-Jul 5-Jul 6-Jul from the House of Commons to IPSA. 7986 and 7/8/2010 Helen Jones what advice on the security implications of IPSA's publication The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has informed me that it is aware of the security advice issued to hon. 7987 proposals was obtained by IPSA before the launch of the Members and takes the security concerns of MPs and their staff very seriously. consultation on the proposals. 7896 IPSA has met the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Parliamentary Security Co-ordinator to discuss security issues, including the Whether the security advice issued to hon. Members was taken impact of our publication scheme. Following this advice, IPSA does not propose to publish MPs’ sensitive personal data, or any into account by IPSA in drawing up its publication proposals for information about the time of any journeys made. It stands prepared to respond to security concerns should they arise in any specific consultation. 7897 individual circumstances. 298 391 150 381 353 7679 7/8/2010 Ann McKechin What procedures the Independent Parliamentary Standards The MPs’ Expenses Scheme does not allow the London Area Living Payment to be paid in respect of any period before IPSA is notified Authority will adopt to reimburse hon. Members for London Area that an MP intends to claim it. Consequently, IPSA is not able to backdate any such claims to the date of the General Election. Living Allowance for the period between the date of the General Pursuant to the answer given above, IPSA has provided me with some additional information. Election and the date on which the initial claim for that allowance IPSA has decided to exercise discretion in the operation of the rule described in the original answer. was submitted. Where a Member informed IPSA of their intent to claim before 15 June 2010, they will have their claim backdated to 7 May. Where a member informed IPSA of their intent to claim after this date, their claim will be backdated only to the date they informed IPSA. This acknowledges that Members would not have been able to submit a claim for LALP before they were provided with access to the online expenses system. 42,222 6,725 63,581 49,965 30,275 7215 7/7/2010 John Mann How many hon. Members have had their staff trained by the As of 8 July 2010 approximately 400 Members' staff have been trained in the operation of online expenses system. Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority in the operation of its systems. 7214 7/7/2010 John Mann How many hon. Members have participated in training sessions As of 8 July 2010, 642 Members have completed the relevant training sessions offered by IPSA. offered by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 7027 7/7/2010 David Winnick Whether the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority IPSA has established an information line for MPs to contact its Support Services Team, who will take queries regarding MPs’ staffing, (IPSA) will publish a list of telephone numbers and names of office and travel costs. The telephone number for the information line is 020 7811 6400. Any IPSA official on the information line will be relevant IPSA officials who may be contacted by hon. Members on able to assist Members with their queries and will have access to records of their previous questions. all issues regarding their staffing, office and travel costs. 7213 7/7/2010 John Mann How many hon. Members have (a) applied for and (b) received As of 8 July 2010 640 MPs have ordered travel cards from IPSA by completing a Member’s Details Form. travel cards from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Of these, 182 Members have yet to collect their cards. The cards can be collected from the IPSA Documentation Centre at 1 Parliament Authority. Street, which is open every day from 0900 to 1300 and 1400-1600, until 31 July 2010. 7207 7/7/2010 Ann McKechin What the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) does not propose to publish account details submitted by MPs, including the Authority is on the disclosure of bank account details submitted to MP’s own account details, or those of their staff. This includes the details of bank accounts, mortgage, insurance or utility account the Authority by hon. Members. numbers, and account numbers provided on individual invoices. In accordance with the requirements of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, IPSA launched a consultation on its publication proposals on 16 June 2010. The consultation closed on 7 July 2010 and IPSA’s finalised policy will be published before parliament’s summer recess. 7216 7/7/2010 John Mann As of 8 July 2010, 639 Members have provided the required details to receive the RSA token, which enables them to use the online How many hon. Members have (a) supplied and (b) not supplied expenses system. 485 Members have logged on to the system and registered their intent to claim. the details required to use the online financial system operated by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 6849 7/6/2010 John Mann How many staff IPSA employs; and how many it will employ in The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has informed me that as of 7 July 2010, it employs 81 staff (80.5 FTE), of October 2010. whom 27 are permanent and 54 are temporary. The staffing levels in October 2010 will be dependent on the outcome of the organisational review. IPSA’s intention is to reduce these numbers to approximately 55 as it reaches a steady state.
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