To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the system for reimbursing MPs expenses; and if IPSA will make it its policy to reinstate the previous system for the reimbursement of expenses.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
20 June 2019
IPSA considered a range of options for its new system of reimbursing MPs’ business costs and expenses. The system selected is more integrated and efficient than its predecessor systems, and holds the personal data of MPs and their staff more securely. The software selected is widely used in the United Kingdom, including in many public bodies. Prior to its launch in April, the effectiveness of the system was thoroughly tested, including by MPs and their staff. Its benefits include:
- A ‘single sign-on’ capability to allow MPs and their staff to access the system directly through their secure parliamentary account without an additional logon.
- 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. This improves data security and means that IPSA can process and reimburse claims more quickly.
- MPs’ staff members can now be reimbursed directly by IPSA for their own expenses rather than via their MPs.
- 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.
- The new system allows claims from different budgets to be submitted on the same form, rather than having to submit multiple forms.
- MPs and their staff have constant access to financial information about the amounts left in their budgets and the status of any repayments or amounts owed, rather than waiting a monthly financial statement from IPSA.
As of 13 June, 612 MPs have successfully submitted claims on the new system. IPSA is committed to supporting and training MPs and their staff as they become accustomed to the new online claims system. IPSA does not intend to make it its policy to reinstate the previous system.