Invoice for a claim by Damian Collins for professional services


Please could I have a copy of the original invoice, or any other supporting documents, for an expense claim made by MP Damian Collins on 17/12/15 re claim number 474093, details "Fees for Noble Purpose" amount £6,000.


IPSA holds the information that you have requested.

Under the MPs' Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses ('the Scheme'), Staffing Expenditure may be claimed to meet the cost incurred in the provision of staff to assist with the performance of an MP's parliamentary functions. This includes payments for 'bought-in services'; staffing services provided by companies, self-employed individuals or others not on the payroll.

The following information has already been published on our publication website relating to this claim:

Form No.1Short Description2DateExpense TypeDetailsReimbursedStatus
0000474093Dungeness Review17/12/2015Professional Services (Staff.)Fees for Noble Purpose6000.00NOT PAID Not Under Scheme

Under the Scheme, no costs may be claimed relating to the purchase of goods or services, where the MP or a connected party is the provider of the goods or services in question. As such, this claim was not paid.

Please click here to view the invoice submitted by the MP in support of this claim.

Exemptions applied

Section 31 – law enforcement

We have withheld the invoice number and bank account details of the company, contained within the invoice, under Section 31(1)(a) (Law enforcement) of the FOI Act. This section of the Act states that information is exempt if its disclosure under the FOI Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention (or detection) or crime.

After considering the nature of the withheld information it is our opinion that were a disclosure to be made into the public domain it is probable that this information could be traced back to sensitive personal or commercial information which could be used for criminal activity. Although we recognise the public interest in transparency surrounding the publishing of information relating to MPs’ expenses, there is also a strong public interest in ensuring that we are able to protect our service users from the threat of being subjected to criminal activity. In our opinion the public interest in protecting the financial security of MPs and their suppliers outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Section 43 – commercial sensitivity

We have also withheld information relating to the work undertaken by Noble Purpose for the MP. Section 43 of the FOIA provides an exemption for information which is commercially sensitive, where disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).  We have considered whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure and concluded that the balance is in favour of withholding the information. As such, we are applying the exemption at Section 43 (2) of the FOIA to withhold the information requested.

14 December 2016
Exemptions Applied:
Section 43