What do you think about MPs spending public money?
A lot has changed since the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009, but IPSA’s research shows that there are still misconceptions around MPs’ staffing and business costs. Here are some facts that might surprise you:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The use of parliamentary facilities, advocacy or lobbying where the MP has a financial interest.
The Commissioner will not investigate complaints about:
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.
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.