Visit the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) website here, for news and further information.
IPSA was created by Parliament in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal, as one of the main provisions of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009. It was initially conceived as an independent body for regulating the expenses system, and managing and validating MPs’ expense claims; but in 2010 the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act also provided for it to have responsibility for paying MPs’ and their employees’ salaries – making the IPSA an important organisation to know about if you work for an MP!
IPSA receives about 10,000 expense claims a month. After payment, the claims are reviewed with evidence checks. If an MP queries a decision, it is reviewed by an auditor.
Transparency is an essential element of IPSA, following the abolition of the Fees Office and the old system of allowances. All the expense claims of every MP are published on a separate website here. The individual claims are published in batches every two months, three months in arrears; with the annual total of each MP published in September.
The position of Compliance Officer for IPSA was created in 2009 and amended in 2010. You can visit the website here. The Compliance Officer holds their position for five years, and it is to them that the public should address any complaint about the reimbursement of an MP. A complaint can be made here. The role of the Compliance Officer is to:
- “conduct an investigation if they have reason to believe that an MP may have been paid an amount under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses (the Scheme) that should not have been allowed; and
- at the request of an MP, review a determination by IPSA to refuse reimbursement for an expense claim, in whole or in part.”
In addition to everything mentioned above, IPSA also conducts the following activities:
Offer MPs a range of support services, answering hundreds of telephone calls and emails each week;
Provide MPs and their staff training in the use of the online expenses system;
Operate a public information telephone line;
Answering Freedom of Information requests;
Preparing and publishing fully audited accounts;
Publishing an annual report; and
Ensuring clear governance structures are in place to ensure the organisation is compliant with relevant legislation and regulations.
Here are all the websites mentioned above: