Dear House of Commons,
I am writing to request information as to whether any public authority pays for the salary and/or other remuneration for the Speaker's Chaplain.
I would be grateful if you could advise the amount of such remuneration and it's breakdown over the last 48 months if indeed it is funded by public monies. In addition, please provide details of the chaplain's employment status - is s/he a direct appointment and employee of Parliament?
I have addressed this to the House of Commons since the appointment of Speaker's chaplain is within the purview of the Speaker of the House of Commons. However, if this information is likely to be held by another public authority any assistance you can provide would be appreciated.
Dear Mr Hillst
Thank you for your request for information dated 2 Dec 2012, received by us on 3 Dec 2012.
We will endeavour to respond to your request promptly but in any case within 20 working days i.e. on or before 3 Jan 2013.
If you have any queries about your request, please use the request number quoted in the subject line of this email.
IRIS Support Officer
Dear Mr Hillst,
Thank you for your request for information which is copied below.
The custom of prayers being said in the House of Commons Chamber dates back to 1558 however, it was not until 1597 that a Minister of Religion was brought in as a temporary change, in order to read prayers each day. The Chaplain to the Speaker undertakes this role each day the House of Commons sits and is also available pastorally to Members of Parliament, Peers, their staff and the Staff of both Houses of Parliament. As a permanent employee of the House of Commons (part-time, 13.5 hours a week), the Chaplain receives a salary and has received this in monthly instalments for the past 48 months. The full time equivalent pay scale applicable is £46,071 - £61,255. The costs come out of the Speaker’s Office budget which is publicly funded.
The exact salary figure is exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the exemption for personal information), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
You may, if dissatisfied with the handling of your request, ask the House of Commons to conduct an internal review of any decision regarding your request. Requests for internal review should be addressed to: Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, House of Commons London SW1 0AA or [House of Commons request email]. Please ensure that you specify the full reasons for the internal review and 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, www.ico.gov.uk.
Katarina Ndrepepaj | Freedom of Information Coordinator
Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service
House of Commons