PHSO contracts over £10k

The request was partially successful.

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please supply the PHSO file data of companies/ organisations etc, with contracts over £10k.

The original data should at least specify the amounts of these contracts title of the contract and a brief nature of the business of the contract

Time span:

July 2015 - to date.. Which would follow on from this request...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

::::

NB Example of the information sought,-

Abc company

£24k

Cleaning offices at Millbank Floors 1/2/3
vacuuming, dusting and disinfection of sanitary ware.

Contract to run from X date to y date.

Please note -a list is not the entirety of this request- which requires the contract data on file ...and not just a list made for the purposes of this request. And not forgetting to include the temporary contracts whch were omitted in July 2015 from the response.

:::

Please note:

3.2 It was noted that Board had not approved the business case for the procurement of the café service contract, though the three year total was over £100,000. It was agreed that a report detailing how and why the governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in place to avoid repetition would be considered at the next Audit Committee meeting on 2 March 2016.

PHSO board meeting

::

This contract was not included within the previous response to the contracts of over £10k FOIA of July 2015( above).

I would like to read it- even if it was not within the July 2015/to date time period -as specified above in this request.

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section (Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request, not put in a PDF or any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees, and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear J T Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-267912)

I am writing in response to your email of 21 August in which you asked for
details of PHSO contracts.

As you may be aware, section 10(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA) allows public authorities to extend the 20 working day limit where
it requires more time to determine whether or not the balance of the
public interest lies in maintaining a qualified exemption.  In this case,
the relevant exemption is section 43(2) FOIA, the commercial interests
exemption.

We aim to provide you with a full response by 17 October 2016.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Aimee Gasston

Acting Head of Freedom of Information / Data Protection

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [1]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [2][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353591 email]]
Sent: 21 August 2016 22:54
To: InformationRights
Subject: Freedom of Information request - PHSO contracts over £10k

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please supply the PHSO  file data of companies/ organisations etc, with
contracts over 10k.

The original data should at least specify the amounts of these contracts
title of the contract and a brief nature of the business of the contract

Time span:

July  2015 - to date..  Which would follow on from this request...

[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

::::

NB Example of the information sought,-

Abc company

24k

Cleaning offices at Millbank Floors 1/2/3 
vacuuming, dusting and disinfection of sanitary ware.

Contract to run from X date to y date.

Please note -a list is not the entirety of this request-  which requires
the contract data on file ...and not just a list made for the purposes of
this request. And not forgetting to include the temporary contracts whch
were omitted in July 2015 from the response.

:::

Please note:

3.2  It was noted that Board had not approved the business case for the
procurement of the caf頳ervice contract, though the three year total was
over 100,000. It was agreed that a report detailing how and why the
governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in
place to avoid repetition would be considered at the next Audit Committee
meeting on 2 March 2016.

PHSO board meeting

::

This contract was not included within the previous response to the
contracts of over 10k FOIA of July 2015( above).

I would like to read it- even if it was not within the July 2015/to date
time period -as specified above in this request.

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section
(Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under
section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of
the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or
any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on
file, rather than newly written letters of response.

[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs
department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees,
and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[5][FOI #353591 email]

Is [6][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman? If so,
please contact us using this form:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit [10]http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
2. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
3. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
4. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
5. mailto:[FOI #353591 email]
6. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
7. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
8. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
9. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
10. http://www.symanteccloud.com/

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

What's changed?

The PHSO readily answered this request last year

Your information request (FDN-229841)

I am writing further to your email of 30 July 2015, in which you asked for
a ‘a list of companies/ organisations etc. contracted to the PHSO - with
contracts over 10k’. You asked for this information in relation to the
last two years.

Please find this data in the attached spreadsheet, which covers the period
from 31 July 2013 to the present. This information covers all bespoke
contracts placed, which are generally tendered to meet high value and/or
particularly complex requirements. In addition, some values are estimates
based on anticipated usage, which may change by the end of the contract.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

Presumably the PHSO isn't following central government's commitments to 'openness and transparency' with regards to procurements and contracting.

Here's what it says:

As part of the transparency agenda, the government has made the following commitments with regard to procurement and contracting:

All new central government ICT contracts over the value of £10,000 are to be published in full and online from July 2010
All new central government tender documents for contracts over £10,000 are to be published on a single website, with this information to be made available to the public free of charge
All new central government contracts are to be published in full from January 2011

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about...

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

InformationRights, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

2 Attachments

Dear Jt Oakley

 

Your information request (FDN-267912)

 

I have considered your request in line with the Freedom of Information Act
2000 and can confirm that we do hold some of the information you have
requested.

 

Please find attached a list of contracts procured between 31 July 2015 and
21 August 2016 at Annex A.

 

As requested, please find information relating to PHSO’s contract with
Elior attached at Annex B.  

 

I hope you find this information useful. If you are unhappy with the way
in which your information request has been handled you may ask for an
internal review of my decision by emailing
[1][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]. Further to that you may contact the
Information Commissioner’s Office. Her contact details can be found at
[2]www.ico.org.uk.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Freedom of Information and Data Protection Team

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

W: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Please email the FOI/DP team at: [4][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353591 email]]
Sent: 21 August 2016 22:54
To: InformationRights
Subject: Freedom of Information request - PHSO contracts over £10k

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please supply the PHSO  file data of companies/ organisations etc, with
contracts over 10k.

The original data should at least specify the amounts of these contracts
title of the contract and a brief nature of the business of the contract

Time span:

July  2015 - to date..  Which would follow on from this request...

[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

::::

NB Example of the information sought,-

Abc company

24k

Cleaning offices at Millbank Floors 1/2/3 
vacuuming, dusting and disinfection of sanitary ware.

Contract to run from X date to y date.

Please note -a list is not the entirety of this request-  which requires
the contract data on file ...and not just a list made for the purposes of
this request. And not forgetting to include the temporary contracts whch
were omitted in July 2015 from the response.

:::

Please note:

3.2  It was noted that Board had not approved the business case for the
procurement of the caf頳ervice contract, though the three year total was
over 100,000. It was agreed that a report detailing how and why the
governance process was not followed and what measures have been put in
place to avoid repetition would be considered at the next Audit Committee
meeting on 2 March 2016.

PHSO board meeting

::

This contract was not included within the previous response to the
contracts of over 10k FOIA of July 2015( above).

I would like to read it- even if it was not within the July 2015/to date
time period -as specified above in this request.

:::

Request Title/summary within scope.

I am writing to make an open government request for all the
information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000.

Please send me recorded information, which includes information
held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

If this request is too wide or unclear, and you require a
clarification, I would be grateful if you could contact me as I
understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and
assist requesters.(Section 16 / Regulation 9).

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify
all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I
will also expect you to release all non-exempt material. I reserve
the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to
charge excessive fees.

If any of this information is already in the public domain, please
can you direct me to it, with page references and URLs if
necessary.

Please confirm or deny whether the requested information is held ( section
(Section 1(1)(a) and consider whether information should be provided under
section 1(1)(b), or whether it is subject to an exemption in Part II of
the Act.

If the release of any of this information is prohibited on the
grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with
copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that
information should not be treated as confidential if such an
agreement has not been signed.

I would like the above information to be provided to me as
electronic copies, via WDTK. The information should be immediately
readable - and, as a freedom of Information request,  not put in a PDF or
any closed form, which some readers may not be able to access.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within
the 20 working days after you receive this letter. I would be
grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received
this request.

::::::::

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on
file, rather than newly written letters of response.

[6]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs
department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees,
and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[7][FOI #353591 email]

Is [8][Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email] the wrong address for Freedom of
Information requests to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman? If so,
please contact us using this form:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[11]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit [12]http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
2. http://www.ico.org.uk/
3. http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/
4. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
5. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...
6. https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...
7. mailto:[FOI #353591 email]
8. mailto:[Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman request email]
9. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
10. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
11. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
12. http://www.symanteccloud.com/

Dear InformationRights,

Dear anonymous,

Thank you,

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please review: Grounds Not ORIGINAL data

Please consider the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on file, rather than newly written letters of response.

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees, and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

:::

The list presented as a response - redacted if necessary - cannot be one written AFTER the request has been made, as the FOIA covers existing file data.

Please provide data existing on file at the time of request -redacted if necessary - but containing the basic information as requested.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

informationrights@ombudsman.org.uk, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


Thank you for your e-mail to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This return e-mail shows that we have received your correspondence.

______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

Holmes Helen, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Dear JT Oakley

 

Thank you for your email to request an internal review of your Freedom of
Information request.

 

Your internal review (FDN-267912)

Further to your email of 21 October 2016, I am writing with a response to
your request for an internal review.  This review will look at whether
your information request was dealt with in compliance with the
requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). 

 

Was the request responded to in time?

We received the request on 21 August 2016 , and issued a public interest
test extension on 19 September that extended the deadline for response to
17 October 2016. We responded to your request on 17 October 2016.  As this
was within the time limits allowed under the FOIA when an extension is
applied, we responded to the request in a timely fashion. 

 

Was the request complied with?

Your request was for “PHSO file data of companies/organisations etc, with
contracts over 10k.  The original data should at least specify the amounts
of these contracts title of the contract and a brief nature of the
business of the contract. Time span July 2015 –to date which would follow
on from this request ….
[1]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c....
 NB Example of information sought,- ABC company 24k cleaning offices at
Millbank Floors 1/2/3 vacuuming, dusting and disinfectant of sanitary
ware.  Contract to run from X date to y date.  Please note – a list is not
the entirety of this request- which requires the contract data on file…
and not just a list made for the purposes of this request.  And not
forgetting to include the temporary contracts which were omitted in July
2015 form the response.  Please note:  3.2 it was noted that Board has not
approved the business case for the procurement of café service contract,
though the three year total was over 100.000.  It was agreed that a report
detailing how and why the governance process was not followed and what
measures have been put in place to avoid repetition would be considered at
the next Audit Committee meeting on 2 March 2016.  PHSO Board meeting::
this contract was not included within the previous response to the
contracts of over 10k FOIA of July 2015 (above).  I would like to read it-
even if it was not within the July 2015/to date time period- as specified
above in this request”

We provided a list of contracts procured between 31 July 2015 to 21 August
2016 as an Annex.  The Annex set out a list of contracts and for each
contract the following information was provided:    

·         Supplier

·         Total Value

·         Contract Duration

·         Start Date

·         Description of key Terms

We also provided you with information relating to PHSO’s contract with the
café contract attached at Annex B.

Your FOIA request was a request for file data held by the PHSO for the
period of a year, and you set out the categories of information you were
seeking, and you set out an example of the information sought.  This was
provided to you in an Annex.  You also requested a contract which was
provided to you.  As such, the response explicitly addresses the question
that you raised.  You have been provided with the information relevant to
your request, and so my view is that the PHSO provided you with a response
to the two questions you raised in a manner that is compliant with the
provisions of FOIA.

You asked that we consider the ICO ruling in the matter of FS50442125
dated 23 October 2012 which we have done as part of this review.  That
concerned a request for three original expense receipts, and the ICO
considered whether the information provided from those receipts was
sufficient to comply with FOIA. 

Outcome of review

Having conducted this review, my view is that your request was dealt with
in a legally compliant manner.  If you remain dissatisfied with our
handling of your request, it is open to you to complain to the Information
Commissioner’s Office ([2]www.ico.org.uk).  If you are unhappy with a
service you have received from PHSO or a decision it has made, information
on how to raise such concerns is available on our website at the following
link: [3]www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/feedback-about-us

 

regards

 

Helen Holmes

Legal Services

 

 

 

From: Jt Oakley [mailto:[FOI #353591 email]]
Sent: 21 October 2016 10:02
To: InformationRights
Subject: (FDN-267912) Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
PHSO contracts over £10k

 

Dear Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,

Please review: Grounds Not ORIGINAL data

Please consider  the ICO's Decision on the provision original documents on
file, rather than newly written letters of response.

[4]https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

This request does not require a letter, drafted by the External Affairs
department, or any other written input by reputational defence employees,
and purporting to be the response to a FOIA request.

:::

The list presented as a response  - redacted if necessary - cannot be one
written AFTER the request has been made,  as the FOIA covers existing file
data.

Please provide data existing on file at the time of  request -redacted if
necessary  - but containing the  basic information as requested.

Yours faithfully,

Jt Oakley

show quoted sections

Dear Holmes Helen,

Please do not assume a name to give me a name that I do not possess - and divulge it on the internet in response to a public request.

You should not pick a name from your filing system and, if you do, you should get it right.

Please ask WDTK to retrieve your response and address me - as per request.

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Dear Holmes Helen,

Please refer to the Upper Tribunal judgement : following ICO judgement FS5044212

The ICO Decision was upheld by the Upper Tribunal

The appeal was by IPSA.

Here is the decision: FS50442125

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-tak...

::::

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

v

The Information Commissioner and Leapman

[2014] UKUT 0033 (AAC)

GIA 2383 2013

THE UPPER TRIBUNAL Appeal No. GIA 2383 2013

ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS CHAMBER

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v Information Commissioner and another (GIA)

Oral hearing 16 December 2012

Philip Coppel QC, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP, for the appellants

Robin Hopkins of counsel, instructed by the solicitor to the Information Commissioner, for the first respondent

The second respondent did not appear and was not represented

DECISION

The appeal is dismissed.

A direction to the parties about the relevant information is set out at the end of this decision.

REASONS FOR DECISION

1 This appeal is part of the long-running debate about the publication of invoices and receipts submitted by members of Parliament to the relevant authorities for reimbursement. As a result of the controversy arising about the previous processes for reimbursement, Parliament passed the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. This created a new office, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). IPSA is the appellant in this case.

The appeal is in response to a FOIA request that is in effect a challenge to the way in which, and the extent to which, IPSA publishes details of invoices produced by, and amounts refunded to, members of Parliament under the new system.

2 The focus of this case is a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for specific invoices produced to IPSA by three named members of the House of Commons. That request was made by an individual, Ben Leapman. I consider it relevant to note that in a Telegraph Media press release of 27 October 2012, in an article under the name of Ben Leapman, it was claimed that the ruling of the Information Commissioner to which I refer below ``is a victory for the Sunday Telegraph''. The article also states that the original request for the invoices was a request by ``this newspaper''. The article then recalls the history of the dispute about publishing receipts of this sort, noting that Mr Leapman was a party to earlier applications also.

3 I make those comments because it is unfortunate in my view that, for whatever reason, neither Mr Leapman nor, if it was involved, the Telegraph group took any part in the hearing before me or the submissions that led up to it. As a result I found myself during part of the hearing listening to rival submissions by the two parties present about what Mr Leapman was actually requesting by way of information. The public record shows that he is well versed in the relevant processes and his comments would have been of assistance. However, it is always important to have in mind that the identity and personal purposes of any applicant under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) are irrelevant as the Act is ``motive blind''. In the Upper Tribunal I am concerned only with issues of law arising from the decision of the First-tier Tribunal. The arguments before me show that IPSA and the Information Commissioner are some distance apart in their views about what ought to be put on the public record by IPSA as a matter of law. That must be my focus. As that must apply in principle to every invoice produced by every member of Parliament (of both Houses) under the current system, individual details of individual requests or receipts are of limited relevance.

Background to the appeal

4 IPSA is now the official body set up to deal with expenses of members of Parliament. It describes itself on its website ( http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/Pag... ) as follows:

``The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was created by Parliament in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal. IPSA was given the remit and powers to introduce independent regulation of MPs' business costs and expenses and, subsequently, pay and pensions.

Our approach and rules are a clean break from the old system of self regulation by MPs and the House of Commons. The new rules are fair to MPs and the public purse, workable and, crucially, transparent - anyone can go online and see what their MP has claimed for and what they are paid.

IPSA is independent and in everything we do, we focus on our main duty: to serve the interests of the public.''

5 Mr Leapman did not accept that. On 9 12 2010 he made the following request to IPSA. As there was some dispute about what he actually asked for, I repeat the terms of his request:

``I would like to see the original receipts submitted by several MPs in support of expenses claimed during the period May-August 2010. IPSA has published details of the claims on its website. Ipsa has published details of the claims on its website, but as not published the original receipts (despite the High Court ruling in May 2008 that he disclosure of receipts was in the public interest.)

The receipts I would like to see relate to the claims:

[Details of three claims, taken I assume from the website, are then itemised]

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to clarify any aspect of this request. Whilst I would prefer to see the original receipts in unredacted form, I appreciate that elements may need to be redacted for security reasons.''

6 The response to this by IPSA was to provide transcripts of information from the requested receipts with redactions, including the individual numbers of the invoices, made under section 31(1) of FOIA. Mr Leapman did not accept that as adequate. He asked for a review, commenting:

``My request was for the original receipts. What I have been sent is a copy of the wording on the receipts, retyped. This is not the same thing, and I would still like to see the original receipts.''

7 When IPSA declined to change its stance, Mr Leapman complained to the Information Commissioner asking him specifically to consider ``the refusal ... to release copies - redacted if necessary - of the original receipts submitted by MPs to justify their expenses claims.''

8 The Commissioner investigated the matter and on 23 10 2012issued decision FS50442125. This dealt, as discussed below, with what were seen as different aspects of Mr Leapman's request. IPSA's stance to the Commissioner was, to quote from the Commissioner's decision:

`We are confident that images of the invoices/receipts contain no additional data that imparts or conveys knowledge to the recipient. The only additional attributes of the invoice/receipt are merely ``presentational'' such as the colour of the font used or the design of the logo. Unlike visual materials such as photographs or charts, these presentational attributes do not impart or convey any additional knowledge or information. In short, [the complainant] has been provided with an accurate

transcript or copy of all of the information contained within the receipts.'

9 The Commissioner concluded, however, that IPSA was obliged to provide copies of the requested receipts/invoices. The central approach taken by the Commissioner was to look at what had been disclosed and what was missing (save for justified redactions). At paragraph 25 of his decision, he adopted the following approach to what was missing:

``25. The four categories of information contained within the documents, which the Commissioner considers can be used as general descriptors, are as follows:

? Characters - letters, figures or symbols - this includes the wording (including the exact phrasing) and figures recorded within the document (characters may also form part of the style/layout and/or design of a document).

? Logos and letterheads.

? Handwriting/manuscript comments.

? Layout, style and/or design of a document.''

After examination of the invoices against that approach the Commissioner concluded that it was necessary for IPSA to release copies, redacted as necessary, of the documents and that transcripts were not enough.

10 IPSA appealed. Mr Leapman was joined as a party to that appeal. After detailed exchanges between IPSA and the Commissioner, the matter came before a First-tier Tribunal for full hearing on 23 04 2013. The tribunal (Judge Angus Hamilton sitting with two expert members) unanimously...

::::

IPSA LOST the case - and the ICO/leapman judgement was upheld.

Please therefore explain why PHSO held data would be in contradiction to this upheld ICO/ Leapman judgement,

:::

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v The Information Commissioner and Leapman

[2014] UKUT 0033 (AAC)
GIA 2383 2013
THE UPPER TRIBUNAL Appeal No. GIA 2383 2013
ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS CHAMBER
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority v Information Commissioner and another (GIA)
Oral hearing 16 December 2012
Philip Coppel QC, instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP, for the appellants
Robin Hopkins of counsel, instructed by the solicitor to the Information Commissioner, for the first respondent
The second respondent did not appear and was not represented
DECISION
The appeal is dismissed.
A direction to the parties about the relevant information is set out at the end of this decision.
REASONS FOR DECISION
1 This appeal is part of the long-running debate about the publication of invoices and receipts submitted by members of Parliament to the relevant authorities for reimbursement. As a result of the controversy arising about the previous processes for reimbursement, Parliament passed the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. This created a new office, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). IPSA is the appellant in this case.
The appeal is in response to a FOIA request that is in effect a challenge to the way in which, and the extent to which, IPSA publishes details of invoices produced by, and amounts refunded to, members of Parliament under the new system.

2 The focus of this case is a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for specific invoices produced to IPSA by three named members of the House of Commons. That request was made by an individual, Ben Leapman. I consider it relevant to note that in a Telegraph Media press release of 27 October 2012, in an article under the name of Ben Leapman, it was claimed that the ruling of the Information Commissioner to which I refer below ``is a victory for the Sunday Telegraph''. The article also states that the original request for the invoices was a request by ``this newspaper''. The article then recalls the history of the dispute about publishing receipts of this sort, noting that Mr Leapman was a party to earlier applications also.

3 I make those comments because it is unfortunate in my view that, for whatever reason, neither Mr Leapman nor, if it was involved, the Telegraph group took any part in the hearing before me or the submissions that led up to it. As a result I found myself during part of the hearing listening to rival submissions by the two parties present about what Mr Leapman was actually requesting by way of information. The public record shows that he is well versed in the relevant processes and his comments would have been of assistance. However, it is always important to have in mind that the identity and personal purposes of any applicant under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) are irrelevant as the Act is ``motive blind''. In the Upper Tribunal I am concerned only with issues of law arising from the decision of the First-tier Tribunal.

The arguments before me show that IPSA and the Information Commissioner are some distance apart in their views about what ought to be put on the public record by IPSA as a matter of law. That must be my focus. As that must apply in principle to every invoice produced by every member of Parliament (of both Houses) under the current system, individual details of individual requests or receipts are of limited relevance.
Background to the appeal
4 IPSA is now the official body set up to deal with expenses of members of Parliament. It describes itself on its website ( http://parliamentarystandards.org.uk/Pag... ) as follows:
``The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was created by Parliament in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal. IPSA was given the remit and powers to introduce independent regulation of MPs' business costs and expenses and, subsequently, pay and pensions.
Our approach and rules are a clean break from the old system of self regulation by MPs and the House of Commons. The new rules are fair to MPs and the public purse, workable and, crucially, transparent - anyone can go online and see what their MP has claimed for and what they are paid.
IPSA is independent and in everything we do, we focus on our main duty: to serve the interests of the public.''
5 Mr Leapman did not accept that. On 9 12 2010 he made the following request to IPSA. As there was some dispute about what he actually asked for, I repeat the terms of his request:

``I would like to see the original receipts submitted by several MPs in support of expenses claimed during the period May-August 2010. IPSA has published details of the claims on its website. Ipsa has published details of the claims on its website, but as not published the original receipts (despite the High Court ruling in May 2008 that he disclosure of receipts was in the public interest.)

The receipts I would like to see relate to the claims:
[Details of three claims, taken I assume from the website, are then itemised]
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to clarify any aspect of this request. Whilst I would prefer to see the original receipts in unredacted form, I appreciate that elements may need to be redacted for security reasons.''
6 The response to this by IPSA was to provide transcripts of information from the requested receipts with redactions, including the individual numbers of the invoices, made under section 31(1) of FOIA. Mr Leapman did not accept that as adequate. He asked for a review, commenting:

``My request was for the original receipts. What I have been sent is a copy of the wording on the receipts, retyped. This is not the same thing, and I would still like to see the original receipts.''
7 When IPSA declined to change its stance, Mr Leapman complained to the Information Commissioner asking him specifically to consider ``the refusal ... to release copies - redacted if necessary - of the original receipts submitted by MPs to justify their expenses claims.''

8 The Commissioner investigated the matter and on 23 10 2012 issued decision FS50442125. This dealt, as discussed below, with what were seen as different aspects of Mr Leapman's request. IPSA's stance to the Commissioner was, to quote from the Commissioner's decision:

`We are confident that images of the invoices/receipts contain no additional data that imparts or conveys knowledge to the recipient. The only additional attributes of the invoice/receipt are merely ``presentational'' such as the colour of the font used or the design of the logo. Unlike visual materials such as photographs or charts, these presentational attributes do not impart or convey any additional knowledge or information. In short, [the complainant] has been provided with an accurate
transcript or copy of all of the information contained within the receipts.'

9 The Commissioner concluded, however, that IPSA was obliged to provide copies of the requested receipts/invoices. The central approach taken by the Commissioner was to look at what had been disclosed and what was missing (save for justified redactions). At paragraph 25 of his decision, he adopted the following approach to what was missing:

``25. The four categories of information contained within the documents, which the Commissioner considers can be used as general descriptors, are as follows:

? Characters - letters, figures or symbols - this includes the wording (including the exact phrasing) and figures recorded within the document (characters may also form part of the style/layout and/or design of a document).
? Logos and letterheads.
? Handwriting/manuscript comments.
? Layout, style and/or design of a document.''
After examination of the invoices against that approach the Commissioner concluded that it was necessary for IPSA to release copies, redacted as necessary, of the documents and that transcripts were not enough.

10 IPSA appealed. Mr Leapman was joined as a party to that appeal. After detailed exchanges between IPSA and the Commissioner, the matter came before a First-tier Tribunal for full hearing on 23 04 2013. The tribunal (Judge Angus Hamilton sitting with two expert members) unanimously...

Yours sincerely,

Jt Oakley

Jt Oakley left an annotation ()

44. The Commissioner does not consider that IPSA could communicate all the information that it obliged to disclose under section 1 of the FOIA to the complainant without providing copies of the three receipts/invoices containing the recorded information. IPSA is therefore required to disclose copies of the three receipts/invoices with the information IPSA has withheld under section 31(1)(a) of the FOIA (law enforcement) and section 40(2) of the FOIA (third party personal information) redacted from the documents.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org