No need to book IPSA calls in advance

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There’s no longer any need to book calls to IPSA in advance, you can just call them directly on 020 7811 6400. Your call will be answered by a member of the team, not necessarily your Account Manager or Payroll Officer, who will try to resolve your issue or will forward to a member of the team

However, if you do still want to book a call with a specific team member at a particular time, you can still do this too, using call booking system. You can find the link at the bottom of every IPSA Bulletin.

IPSA Budgets for 2022-2023

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IPSA has confirmed the budgets for MPs’ offices for 2022-2023 and you can read the bulletin here: https://assets.ctfassets.net/s90k6prbkeee/3Qh3dqtF4hBC3WpZ2ADrMi/65f374248b72727a3154424b2a77f5e3/Bulletin__2_March_2022.pdf

and the finer details here: https://www.ipsaonline.org.uk/guidance/reports-and-budgeting#summary-of-2022-23-budgets

You can find an updated monthly and yearly salary calculator here: https://www.ipsaonline.org.uk/guidance/reports-and-budgeting#document-downloads

Financial Year-End Support from IPSA

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It’s that time of year when MPs’ proxies start to gather together all of the information required to finalise their accounts. There’s forms to fill in, accruals and prepayments to check and whilst it’s usually plain sailing, there’s sometimes a few furrowed brows.

Never fear, though – IPSA is on hand to help.

From 14 February 2022, IPSA will be hosting weekly webinars, drop-in sessions every Tuesday to answer queries and you can also book a call with your IPSA Account Manager for individual support. You can also call IPSA directly on 020 7811 6400 without booking, but your call will be answered by a member of the team, not necessarily your Account Manager or Payroll Officer, who will try to resolve your issue or will forward to a
member of the team.

Even if you think you know what you’re doing, it’s still worth listening to the webinars in case there’s anything you’ve missed.

You can find out more information about these events here: https://www.ipsaonline.org.uk/notices/year-end-support

Recruitment and Selection – Best Practice Guide

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The House of Commons Members’ HR Service has produced a Best Practice Guide to Recruitment and Selection.

It provides practical advice on efficient and effective recruitment practices.  The guide aims to support Members (and their Office Managers) with the tools to attract and recruit people with diverse backgrounds, skills and abilities.

Recruiting staff can be a rewarding experience, unfortunately, there are some common pitfalls if the process is rushed or not well thought through.  There is also a legal requirement placed on all employers to ensure that recruitment practices meet the requirements of the Equality Act (2010).  It is therefore important to ensure that your recruitment practices are not only deemed to be fair, consistent and transparent but that this is also the experience of the individuals going through your recruitment process.

The guide looks at the different stages of a recruitment process, which would normally include:

  • Identifying the role you need and how it will support the function of your office.
  • How to write a job description in line with the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) requirements.
  • Guidance on writing a person specification.
  • Putting an advert together and exploring various options to advertise your vacancy.
  • Best practice on selection methods.
  • Making the job offer, and the following checks that need to be carried out e.g. security vetting, employment references etc.

Although this is a guide to recruitment and selection, it is well worth reading it even if you’re not currently in the process of seeking a new employee.  It contains a wealth of valuable information which could also be used to help you to carry out appraisals and self-assessments.

You can find the guide here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/Documents/Best%20Practice%20Guide%20-%20Recruitment%20and%20Selection.pdf

You can find an index of best practice guides here: https://intranet.parliament.uk/employment/house-of-commons-members/members-hr-advice-service/employing-new-staff/advice-on-employing-new-staff/

Complaints about an MP

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w4mp is not able to investigate complaints about MPs or the House of Commons. Please do not send complaints or personal information to w4mp, as we will not be able to assist.

There are two organisations which deal with complaints about Members of Parliament:

You may wish to contact the House of Commons Enquiry Service for further advice on how to make a complaint.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will investigate allegations that an MP has broken the Code of Conduct and the rules associated with it. These include for example rules about: „

The Commissioner will not investigate complaints about:

  • policy matters;
  • an MP’s views or opinions;
  • an MP’s handling of or decision about constituency cases and correspondence at any stage; (A local MP will generally do as much as they can to help a constituent, but (s)he is not obliged to take up every matter that is brought to their attention);
  • the conduct of an MP’s wider public life, unless the MP’s conduct has caused serious damage to the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole or of MPs more generally.

Further information can be found here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-financial-interests/parliamentary-commissioner-for-standards/complaints-and-investigations/

Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

http://www.parliamentarycompliance.org.uk/

The post of Compliance Officer for IPSA was established by the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.

The Compliance Officer’s remit is defined in statute and is to:

  • conduct an investigation if he has reason to believe that an MP may have been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs (the Scheme) that should not have been allowed; and
  • at the request of an MP, review a determination by IPSA to refuse reimbursement for an expense claim, in whole or in part.

As the Compliance Officer’s role is confined to matters pertaining to the Scheme, he has no power to investigate complaints that pre-date the creation of IPSA in May 2010.  Complaints regarding expense claims prior to May 2010 are usually handled by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.