Correspondence between IPSA and Andrea Jenkyns and her office regarding her accommodation budget
IPSA holds the information that you request.
MPs, including Ms Jenkyns, correspond with us on a regular basis on matters relating to their pay, pensions, business costs and expenses, accommodation and the management of their staff. Similarly, MPs’ staff may correspond with us on behalf of their MP.
Such correspondence constitutes the personal data of Ms Jenkyns and her staff members and as such, we are obliged to consider whether it would be fair and lawful to disclose the information, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.
We recognise that there is a legitimate interest in ensuring transparency in matters relating to the spending of public funds, which we believe is met by the significant amount of information already published relating to MPs’ business costs, expenses, accommodation and staffing arrangements.
Information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person is ‘personal data’, as defined by the General Data Protection Principle (GDPR).
Section 40(2) of the FOIA provides that personal information is exempt information if:
(a) it constitutes personal data; and
(b) the condition set out in s. 40(3A)(a) of FOIA is satisfied, namely that disclosure to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles in the GDPR.
In our view (a) is satisfied because the information sought by you relates to an identifiable, living individual, and (b) is also satisfied because disclosure would breach the first data protection principle in Article 5(1)(a) of the GDPR, which requires that personal information is processed fairly, lawfully and in a transparent manner; processing includes disclosure. In relation to fairness, IPSA is required to process personal data in a manner in which people, including MPs and their staff, would reasonably expect.
We do not consider it within the reasonable expectations of Ms Jenkyns or her staff that the correspondence exchanged with us about her accommodation budget and spend during the three year period would be disclosed. We further consider that her staff members in particular would have a considerably higher expectation of privacy.
As such, we do not consider that disclosure of three years’ worth of correspondence about her accommodation budget and spend would be fair, and are obliged to withhold it from disclosure under section 40(2) of the FOIA.
This part of the section 40 exemption is an absolute exemption and so no consideration of public interest arguments for and against disclosure is required.
This concludes our response to your request.
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- 28 January 2019
- CORRESPONDENCEMPs' ACCOMMODATION
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 40