14th Report - Child Maintenance Service (HC587)

The request was refused by House of Commons.

Dear House of Commons,

I am seeking information about the Cost of producing the above report that was published in March 2017 by the DWP Select Committee. Please provide the following:

- The total cost of running this committee (parliamentary time, internal room booking budget, cost of writing the report and any other information you have to show the TOTAL COST of the inquiry).

If you can break down the cost into constituent parts then please do so. If this is not available then a total cost figure will suffice.

If you don't hold the information on actual costs for the inquiry then please provide the budgeted cost for the inquiry.

Yours faithfully,

Mr A.J. Wilson

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

Freedom of Information request F17-327

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 2 August 2017, received
by us on the same date, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 1 September 2017.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted above and in the subject line of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

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FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

 

Freedom of Information request F17-327

 

Thank you for your request for information as copied below. You asked for
information relating to the cost of producing the ‘14th Report: Child
Maintenance Service (HC587)’, published in March 2017 by the Work and
Pensions Select Committee, which we have sought to address below.

 

1)  The total cost of running this committee (parliamentary time, internal
room booking budget, cost of writing the report and any other information
you have to show the TOTAL COST of the inquiry). If you can break down the
cost into constituent parts then please do so. If this is not available
then a total cost figure will suffice.

and

2)  If you don't hold the information on actual costs for the inquiry then
please provide the budgeted cost for the inquiry.

 

This information is not held by the House of Commons. While we hold
information for the overall cost of select committees, this is not broken
down to individual committees, specific inquiries or single evidence
sessions. In addition, we do not hold budget costs for individual
inquiries.

 

However, it may be helpful to know that information relating to the
overall costs of each committee, for each parliamentary session, are
published on the parliamentary website in the Sessional Returns, which are
available here:
[1]http://www.parliament.uk/business/public....

Sessional Returns are published at the end of each parliamentary session,
so records are available up until the 2016-17 session. Committees also
publish a large amount of information relating to inquiries on their
webpages, and information relating to the Work and Pensions Committee can
be found here:
[2]http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit...

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request. Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Department of HR and Change, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [3][House of Commons request email]. Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[4]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Lauren

 

 

Lauren Puckey | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Fifth Floor, 14 Tothill
St, London SW1H 9NB

 

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Click [6]here for information about FOI in the House of Commons,

or to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear FOI Commons,
Thank you for your response. It seems very strange to me that no justification is required when convening an inquiry. Surely, where parliamentary time is concerned there is a process to that is followed regarding the convening and holding of a committee inquiry. So, to that end, please confirm the following general information with respect to Parliamentary select committees:

- Please provide a copy of the process that select committees are required to follow when convening an inquiry. For example, is there a standard form/document that is required to be completed (if so, please provide a blank copy)?

- What additional information is required to be evidenced prior to an inquiry being "approved". If this process is different depending on select committee then I am interested in the process for the Work and Pensions Select Committee only. Additionally, if the requirements have changed I would like a copy of the historical requirements (and any associated documentation) as were in place in May 2016.

- Please provide any budgetary (where by time or monetary) limits that exist with respect to the formulation of an inquiry for the Work and Pensions Select Committee.

With

Yours sincerely,

Mr A.J. Wilson

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

Freedom of Information Request F17-343

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 16 August 2017, received
by us on the same date, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 14 September 2017.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted in the subject line of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Sarah Price

IRIS Support Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

 

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640

Click [2]here for details about Freedom of Information

in the House of Commons and to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

 

Freedom of Information Request F17-343

 

Thank you for your request for information. You asked for information
relating to parliamentary select committees, which we have sought to
answer below.

 

1)  Please provide a copy of the process that select committees are
required to follow when convening an inquiry. For example, is there a
standard form/document that is required to be completed (if so, please
provide a blank copy)?

 

This information is not held by the House of Commons. There is no such
form or documentation as described in your request.

 

2)  What additional information is required to be evidenced prior to an
inquiry being "approved". If this process is different depending on select
committee then I am interested in the process for the Work and Pensions
Select Committee only. Additionally, if the requirements have changed I
would like a copy of the historical requirements (and any associated
documentation) as were in place in May 2016.

 

This information is not held by the House of Commons. No additional
information is required to be evidence prior to an inquiry being approved
as described in our request. Committee’s determine their own work within
its terms of reference, as set out in Standing Order No. 152.

 

It may help you to know that Committees do most of their work via
inquiries into particular subjects within their remit. The scale of
inquiries varies, and they can last from a matter of weeks to many months.
So long as they remain within the terms given them by the House in their
Order of Reference, committees choose their own inquiry topics and how
they will conduct their inquiries.

Suggestions for inquiry subjects come from many sources, notably from the
Chair and committee members themselves, the committee staff, interest
groups and members of the public. Most departmental committees will select
a range of topics for inquiry or other consideration from time to time,
setting a forward programme that still leaves some space for urgent
response to changing events, such as the announcement of new policy by the
government or a significant media story breaking. For some other
committees, the choice of subjects may be more obvious: the Public
Accounts Committee, for example, considers reports produced for it by the
National Audit Office, while the European Scrutiny Committee must examine
documents emanating from the EU.

Additionally, it may be helpful to know that some information relating to
the establishment and progress of an inquiry will be published in the
formal minutes. The terms of reference are published in the inquiries call
for evidence.

Further information on Select Committees can be found on the parliamentary
website at: [1]https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/comm...

 

3)  Please provide any budgetary (where by time or monetary) limits that
exist with respect to the formulation of an inquiry for the Work and
Pensions Select Committee.

 

Information relating to budgetary limits for the formulation inquiries is
not held by the House of Commons.

 

There are no time or monetary limits set for inquiries. Some inquiries are
very short, with perhaps only a single day’s evidence and a quick report.
Committees may hold one-off evidence sessions without intending to report
at all, but to add to public debate or air an issue of immediate or wide
concern. Other inquiries may last several months, involving as many as ten
or fifteen evidence sessions. Committees must balance the desirability of
hearing from the widest possible range of witnesses with the need to
prevent an inquiry from going on so long that it ceases to be topical or
is overtaken by policy change or other events.

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request. Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research and Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [2][House of Commons request email]. Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[3]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Lauren

 

Lauren Puckey | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Fifth Floor, 14 Tothill
St, London SW1H 9NB

 

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or to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear FOI Commons,

Please thank Lauren for her response to my recent request. Given the content of the answer I would be interested if you could confirm the following:

Did the organisation known as "Gingerbread - The single parent charity" submit anything to the Work and Pensions Committee in the 6 months prior to the announcement of the Inquiry that led to the 14th Report into Child Maintenance. In particular, did Heidi Allen MP or Frank Field MP receive communications from this organisation (in their role as a prior member of and Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee)?

Did the work and Pensions Committee meet either individually or Collectively with Janet Allbeson from Gingerbread in the 6 months prior to the announcement of the inquiry?

If the answer to these questions is positive (ie yes) then please provide all documentation in relation to these submissions/meetings. If Gingerbread and or Ms Allbeson left any material to be considered please provide this also.

Yours sincerely,

Mr A.J. Wilson

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

Freedom of Information request F17-367

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 12 September 2017,
received by us on the same date, which is copied below.

 

We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case
within 20 working days i.e. on or before 10 October 2017.

 

If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number
quoted above and in the subject line of this email.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Lauren

 

 

Lauren Puckey | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Fifth Floor, 14 Tothill
St, London SW1H 9NB

 

[1]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640

Click [2]here for information about FOI in the House of Commons,

or to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Wilson,

 

Freedom of Information Request F17-367

 

Thank you for your request for information. You asked a number of
questions about communications and evidence submitted to the Work and
Pensions Committee, which we have sought to answer below. 

 

1)  Did the organisation known as "Gingerbread - The single parent
charity" submit anything to the Work and Pensions Committee in the 6
months prior to the announcement of the Inquiry that led to the 14th
Report into Child Maintenance?

and

2)  In particular, did Heidi Allen MP or Frank Field MP receive
communications from this organisation (in their role as a prior member of
and Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee)?

and

3)  Did the work and Pensions Committee meet either individually or
collectively with Janet Allbeson from Gingerbread in the 6 months prior to
the announcement of the inquiry?

and

4)  If the answer to these questions is positive (ie yes) then please
provide all documentation in relation to these submissions/meetings. If
Gingerbread and or Ms Allbeson left any material to be considered please
provide this also.

 

Some information is held by the House of Commons.

 

Material relating to the Child Maintenance Service Inquiry, including
evidence sessions, reports, and correspondence, has been published on the
Work and Pensions Committee webpages here:
[1]https://www.parliament.uk/business/commi....
 This includes two pieces of written evidence from Gingerbread, and an
oral evidence session from Janet Allbeson on 16 November 2016.

 

As the information you request is reasonably accessible to you otherwise
than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), your request is
refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set
out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOIA.  This is an absolute
exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

 

Any further information is subject to parliamentary privilege and is
exempt from disclosure under section 34(1) of the FOIA.  Section 34
exempts information from disclosure so far as it is required to avoid any
infringement of the privileges of the House. The application of this
exemption is required for the purpose of avoiding a breach of the
privileges of the House of Commons because any such information would
relate to the unpublished proceedings of a Select Committee, and one of
the privileges of the House is the right of select committees to decide
whether, when or how to publish material it has received. This is an
absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

 

Additionally, the House of Commons does not hold or have access to
correspondence or communications directly sent to Members, unless they
then forward it to the committee. As MPs are responsible for their own
correspondence, you may wish to consider contacting the two Members
directly to ask for the information you seek. Contact details are
available at: [2]http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-o...
However, Members of Parliament are not public authorities for the purposes
of the Freedom of Information Act.  This means that they are not obliged
to respond to requests made under the Act.  Similarly, the Act does not
apply to political parties.

 

 

You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, complain to
the House of Commons. Alternatively, if you are dissatisfied with the
outcome of your request you may ask the House of Commons to conduct an
internal review of any decision regarding your request. Complaints or
requests for internal review should be addressed to: Information Rights
and Information Security Service, Research and Information Team, House of
Commons, London SW1A 0AA or [3][House of Commons request email]. Please ensure
that you specify the full reasons for your complaint or internal review
along with any arguments or points that you wish to make.

 

Following an internal review, if the decision to apply section 34
(parliamentary privilege) of the FOIA is upheld, a certificate signed by
the Speaker may be issued.  This certificate provides conclusive evidence
that the exemption was required for the purpose described in our response.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner
at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF,
[4]www.ico.gov.uk.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Lauren

 

Lauren Puckey | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of
Commons

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Fifth Floor, 14 Tothill
St, London SW1H 9NB

 

[5]cid:image002.jpg@01D02B64.34D76640Click [6]here for information about
FOI in the House of Commons,

or to see what we publish.

 

 

 

 

 

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