m.spaven made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons

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The request was partially successful.

Dear House of Commons,

I would like to request the following information about Commons corporate procurement cards

The number currently in use.
Details of spending on them in the last financial year.
Details of what the money went on broken down to individual transactions
Yours faithfully,


FOI Commons, House of Commons

1 Attachment

Dear M Spaven,


Thank you for your request for information dated 22 February 2016,
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 21 March 2016.


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


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FOI Commons, House of Commons

2 Attachments

Dear M Spaven



Freedom of Information Request F16-113


Thank you for your request for information as copied below. You asked for
the number of House of Commons corporate procurement cards currently in
issue and for details of the spending on them in the last financial year,
broken down by individual transactions.


The House of Commons holds this information. There are currently 200
Government Procurement Cards (GPC) in issue as at the date of your
request. GPC cards are intended to be used by House of Commons &
Parliamentary Digital Service (PDS) staff to make quick, simple and cost
effective purchases when they are either away from their workplace on
business (e.g. on a committee visit in the UK or overseas) or when raising
a purchase order would not provide value-for-money, e.g. very low value
items. Details of all spending for the last financial year (2014/2015) is
provided in the attached list and is broken down by individual
transactions, showing the date of the transaction, amount, department and
type of expenditure. Please note that where some codes were operational in
the financial year 2014/15 but are now no longer in use the field will
display ‘Do Not Use’ or ‘Not to be used’ before the appropriate code.


Some information on the spreadsheet has been redacted. This material is
exempt under the following sections of the Freedom of Information Act 2000


Section 40 (personal data)

Some personal information, for example names of operational staff have
been redacted from these receipts. This information is exempt by virtue of
section 40 (2) of the FOIA (the exemption for personal information), as
disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s
view, would not be consistent with the data protection principles in the
Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the
public interest test does not apply.


Section 31 (Law enforcement)

In addition, we have redacted the details of hotels regularly used by the
Members of Parliament for some delegations. This has been withheld in
accordance with section 31 (1) (a) of the FOIA, as to disclose this
information would be likely to prejudice the prevention and detection of
crime. This is not an absolute exemption and requires a public test to be

We have considered our obligation to assist the public in understanding
how we conduct our business and the legitimate interest in the use of
resources funded by the taxpayer. However, the disclosure of this
information may assist people of malicious or criminal intent to predict
the whereabouts of Members at future visits, exposing them to an
unacceptable risk of criminal harm. Disclosure of such information would
fail in our duty to assist those services providing us with law
enforcement services as it would hinder their work in preventing and
detecting crime and apprehending offenders.


Section 24(1) National security

Information relating to the details of hotels regularly used by Members on
delegations is also withheld under section 24 (1) of the FOIA, which
provides an exemption from disclosure where provision of the information
would make the UK or its citizens more vulnerable to a national security
threat. This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public
interest test applies.

There is a public interest in understanding that Members representing the
UK abroad are securely accommodated in hotels and that the measures in
place to safeguard national security are effective. The countervailing
risk is national security being compromised if the names and locations of
these hotels was disclosed, allowing Members to be specifically targeted.
Groups planning attacks are known to conduct extensive research into how
best to gain access to their targets. Releasing details of regularly used
locations of Members into the public domain would allow them to be
directly targeted by criminals, terrorists or fixated individuals. In
these circumstances it is our view that the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.


Section 38 (Health and safety)

Some of the information you require is being withheld on the basis that
its disclosure to the public generally would be likely to endanger the
physical health and safety of individuals while attending events. We have
therefore concluded that some details of hotels used regularly by
delegates is exempt from disclosure as provided by section 38(1) (a) and
(b) of the FOIA. This is not an absolute exemption and requires a public
test to be performed.

We have considered the public interest in understanding how taxpayer money
is spent by Members of Parliament when attending events. However, there is
a countervailing public interest that the health and safety of those
individuals, and those of other guests and staff, may be harmed by the
release of details of some hotels regularly used by delegates. The
disclosure of the information you seek would actively prejudice the
security, health and safety of delegates and others by identifying
locations and making them more vulnerable to attack, thereby increasing
the risk of harm. It is our view that the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.



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 [1][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,


Yours sincerely,




Carole Fisher | IRIS Officer
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service | House of

Tel: 0207 219 4025 | Text Relay: 18001 219 4025 | Third Floor, 7 Millbank,
London, SW1P 3JA



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