Repayments by MPs, Lords and public representatives

Request

I wish to know if all the MPs, House of Lords, public representatives etc who have been found guilty of receiving any money from the public, illegally or in any way money to which they were not entitled have paid back the FULL amount. Should there be those who have not repaid money can you explain why.

Can you also indicate when you expect investigations into this matter to be concluded.


Response

I can confirm that the Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) holds some of the requested information.

Specifically you requested:

  1. whether all the MPs, House of Lords, public representatives etc. who have been found guilty of receiving any money from the public, illegally or in any way money to which they were not entitled have paid back the full amount;

  2. an explanation as to why any who have not repaid money, have not done so; and

  3. an indication as to when investigations into these matter are to be concluded.

In relation to your requests, I can confirm that the Compliance Officer for IPSA holds some information regarding MPs’ expenses post-May 2010. However, the Compliance Officer for IPSA does not hold any information in respect of the House of Lords or public representatives.

Your request regarding the House of Lords should be directed to the House of Lords FOI Team, who may be able to assist you. You can write to them at:

House of Lords, Freedom of Information Office Team, London SW1A 0PW

If you have access to the internet, you can also contact them by email at foilords@parliament.uk, or through their website at http://www.parliament.uk/siteinformation/foi/request-foi/.

With regard to your request regarding public representatives, this will vary depending on the organisation or body the representatives serve. It is, therefore, not possible to provide you with any direction as to whom this part of your request should be addressed.

With regards to Members of Parliament, I can confirm that the Compliance Officer for IPSA knows of one MP who has received money which was not allowed under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme and who has not repaid the full amount to IPSA. The reason for this is that the MP had previously received correspondence from IPSA which indicated that the expense would be permissible under the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. When the matter came to IPSA’s attention, the MP was notified that the expense fell outside the rules of the Scheme and that similar claims would not be reimbursed in future. IPSA, however, conceded that their previous guidance may have been confusing. Consequently, the Compliance Officer determined that it would not be proportionate to launch a Preliminary Investigation into the matter, on the grounds that the MP had received conflicting advice and that IPSA had acted promptly in addressing the matter at the time of complaint. No repayment was, therefore, requested from the MP.

Finally, in respect of your third request, it is not possible to determine when the investigations being undertaken by the Compliance Officer will be completed due to the differences in each particular case. I cannot, therefore, give you an indication at this time. I can, however, confirm that the findings from all Substantive Investigations will be published upon their conclusion.

Further information

Download the original PDF version of this Freedom of Information response.

Ref:
​FOI2011-001
Disclosure:
September 1, 2011
Categories:
INVESTIGATIONS
Exemptions Applied:
None