Freedom of Information

As an officeholder within the public sector, the Compliance Officer for IPSA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

The FOIA gives a general right of access to information held by public authorities and we embrace our obligations under the Act.

We publish all our responses to these requests.

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We publish information on investigations and reviews, and so the information you are seeking may already be publicly available.

You can find details of all the complaints handled each financial year. Please be aware that the Compliance Officer and IPSA are separate public authorities for the purposes of the FOIA.

If your request relates to MPs' staffing & business costs, it is likely the information will be held by IPSA, and they may already have published the information you are seeking.

You can find details of all claims for MPs' staffing & business costs business on IPSA's website.

Read more about IPSA and Freedom of Information.

If you would like to find details of all requests made to the Compliance Officer you can search our Freedom of Information responses.

If you would like to make a Freedom of Information request, you can submit one:

When making a request, to help us please:

  • be specific about the information you are seeking

  • let us know in the format you would like the information (for example by post or email)

  • provide contact details

COVID-19 FOI and DPA requests

In line with government advice, our office is currently closed and staff are working from home.

We are keen to ensure that we can continue to support you as much as possible during this period of remote working with minimal impact on our service.

We strongly advise you not to send information requests to us by post as we have very limited and irregular access to our London office. There are likely to be significant delays between mail being delivered to the office and us collecting it for processing.

We will continue to receive and process any requests sent by email.

We aim to reply to requests promptly and will advise you when you can expect to receive a reply.

Under the Freedom of information Act 2000, we are obliged to provide a response within 20 working days.

If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive, you have the right to request an internal review.

As an officeholder within the public sector, the Compliance Officer for IPSA is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to information held by Public Authorities and we embrace our obligations under the Act.

The Code of Practice, issued under section 45 of the FOIA states that each public authority should have in place a procedure for dealing with complaints in relation to its handling of requests for information.

All requestors have the right to complain if they are unhappy with the handling of a request for information, made under the FOIA. This could be because:

  • an exemption was applied, meaning the request (or a part of it) was denied

  • the 20-working-day deadline was not met

  • a full response was not provided, or

  • the request was otherwise not handled correctly

Requesting an internal review

If you are unhappy with a response you have received under the FOIA, you should contact the Compliance Officer for IPSA within two months of the date of the response, at the following address:

Compliance Officer for IPSA, 2nd Floor, 85 Strand, London WC2R 0DW

or by email to

In the first instance, an attempt will be made to respond to your complaint(s) swiftly and informally.

If this is not possible, a full internal review will be carried out. You need not state your reasons for requesting an internal review, but it can help us to ensure your concerns are fully addressed if you do.


Unlike FOI requests, there is no statutory time frame for carrying out internal reviews, but we aim to provide a full response within 20 working days. In acknowledging any request for an internal review, we will inform you of the date you should expect a response.

If it is not possible for us to reach a decision within 20 working days, we will write to you again to keep you informed of our progress.


The Code of Practice states that the review should be undertaken by someone senior to the person who took the original decision, where this is reasonably practicable. As the Compliance Officer for IPSA is an independent office-holder in his own right, he/she is the most senior individual capable of undertaking the review.

The Compliance Officer will undertake a full re-evaluation of the case, taking into account the matters raised by the investigation of the complaint.

As part of the review, the Compliance Officer will consider whether:

  • the response provided was handled correctly under the terms of the FOIA

  • there have been any developments since the original response

  • the information contained within the response was correct and true, as of the date of responding

  • any further information should be provided

  • there are any lessons for handling requests in the future

Once the review has been carried out, you will be notified in writing whether the original decision has been upheld (or otherwise), alongside the conclusions informing the decision.

Complaining to the Information Commissioner

If you remain dissatisfied after an internal review decision, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner’s Office under section 50 of the FOIA. You may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Or you may wish to visit the ICO’s website.

FOI responses

You can search our responses to FOI requests by subject and year.

Search FOI responses