Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: fifty-first report of session 2010-12, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence
The Stationery Office, Sep 23, 2011 - Business & Economics - 39 pages
This report examines the first year of implementation of the MPs' expenses scheme, and proposals for improving service levels in the future. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was established in the wake of the 2009 crisis in public confidence on MPs' expenses. IPSA established itself quickly and introduced a functioning expenses system on time in May 2010. Since then, IPSA has also been paying the salaries of MPs and their staff. Expenses have been paid within the rules, and MPs have been reimbursed accurately. In 2010-11, IPSA paid out over £118 million in total, comprising £98.6 million in salaries for MPs and their staff, and £19.5 million in MPs' expenses. IPSA assesses that 99.7% of all claims made by MPs are within the rules it has set. But its expenses scheme is expensive to administer and is not yet demonstrating value for money. Overall, 38% of claims submitted in 2010-11 were for less than the average cost IPSA incurs to process them. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of clear, easily accessible guidance for MPs and their staff, and the cumbersome nature of some processes, such as payment card reconciliation. There are two remaining issues which IPSA needs to address. Public confidence could be improved further if IPSA made clearer public statements about approved claims being wholly within the rules. And salaries should be separated from true expenses.
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