Technical details for publication of MPs' expenses in July

Alex Skene made this Freedom of Information request to House of Commons

The request was partially successful.

From: Alex Skene

17 May 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please provide under the Freedom of Information Act:

1) full details of the functional and technical specifications for
how the House of Commons will be implementing the publication of
MPs' expense receipts online in July.

2) any recorded technical information on exactly what search
meta-data or APIs will be made available.

3) details of what copyright licensing conditions will be required
for re-use of the data, for example whether a Parliamentary
Click-Use License would be sufficient.

I would argue that there is overwhelming public interest to publish
these plans well in advance of the receipts' publication date, in
order to allow interested third parties to prepare their own
websites to allow custom searches or links direct to the
information (eg direct links to a specific receipt image, or to a
specific MP or date).

Many thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Skene

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From: FOICOMMONS
House of Commons

20 May 2009

Dear Mr Skene

Thank you for your email dated 17 may 2009 and received 18 May 2009.

Accordingly, we will endeavour to provide a response by 16 June 2009.

Mandy Kelly
Freedom of Information Assistant

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From: KELLY, Mandy
House of Commons

16 June 2009

Dear Mr Skene,

Thank you for your email dated 17 May which is shown below. Our response
to your questions is as follows:

Questions 1 and 2
The functional and technical spefications have not yet been finalised.
Therefore this information is not held by the House of Commons

Question 3
The information is being made available to the public generally. While
the information would be subject to copyright, no restrictions are
envisaged.

You may, if dissatisfied with the treatment of your request, ask the
House of Commons to conduct an internal review of this decision.
Requests for internal review should be addressed to: Freedom of
Information Officer, Department of Resources, House of Commons London
SW1 OAA or [House of Commons request email]. Please ensure that you specify the
nature of your complaint 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.

Yours sincerely

Bob Castle
Head of Information Rights and Information Security
House of Commons

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Dutch Antaris left an annotation (18 June 2009)

Quote-marks "Questions 1 and 2
The functional and technical spefications have not yet been finalised. Therefore this information is not held by the House of Commons"

Impressive, the House of Commons managed to build a platform from no specification in 24 hours... One wonders why they can't use the on the other IT projects that the Gov. have been involved with

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