To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2019 to Question 253492 on Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority: ICT, what the evidential basis is for the assertion that the new system will save time for Members and their staff.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
13 June 2019
I have asked IPSA to reply.
As the system is new, IPSA continue to work closely with MPs and their staff to help them understand how IPSA Online works, and how to realise the full benefits. We are continuing to hold group and one-to-one training in Parliament and have staff available on the phone to answer queries. IPSA are conducting a survey to gather more feedback about the new system, with plans for further improvements in due course. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.
During the development of the new system, IPSA Online, IPSA carried out usability testing to look at how long a range of tasks and functions would take, compared with the old claims system. Based on this testing, IPSA found that improvements in the new system would take MPs and their staff about 30 per cent less time, due to the simplification of processes and forms. Feedback collected at training sessions also indicated that MPs’ staff expected IPSA Online to be easier and quicker to use than the old system.
MPs and their staff members will also benefit from the following time-saving changes:
- ‘Single sign-on’ capability enables MPs and their staff to access IPSA Online directly through their secure parliamentary account without an additional logon.
- The new system allows claims from different budgets to be submitted on the same form, rather than having to submit multiple forms.
- Because MPs and staff no longer need to send paper receipts and invoices to IPSA, but can scan or photograph them and upload them digitally onto the system, we can process and reimburse claims more quickly.
- Staff members can now be reimbursed directly by IPSA for their own expenses, so that MPs no longer need to wait to pay staff once they themselves have been reimbursed.
- Additional information is available to them directly, for example on the amounts left in budgets and the status of any repayments or amounts owed, so MPs and their staff no longer need to wait for a monthly financial statement or contact IPSA staff to ask about these issues.
- MPs and their staff are now able to amend their personal details, including any change of name or address, on the new system themselves, without needing to submit a form to IPSA