Monday 13 December 2004
The Speaker, in the Chair
Sir Stuart Bell
Sir Patrick Cormack
Mr Peter Hain
Mr Oliver Heald
Sir Archy Kirkwood
1. Freedom of Information
The Committee agreed general guidance on responding to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.
2. Incidental Expenses Provision
The Committee decided that no change was necessary at present to the current level of IEP, and to authorise the offer to Members of property specialists to help identify reasonably-priced office accommodation in high-price areas.
3. Implementation of 3 November Resolutions on Members Allowances
The Committee approved the proposed mechanism for optional transfer of up to 10 per cent of Staffing Allowance to the IEP to be used to fund constituency office costs.
The Committee approved rules on car parking reimbursement, to the effect that Members should be able to claim the reasonable cost of UK parking where it has been wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for the purpose of performing Parliamentary duties, normally meaning that the parking will be linked to a journey which qualifies for the mileage allowance, and excluding the costs of long-term garaging; that Members would be able to claim car park season tickets provided that they certify that they expect to justify their use; and that Members would be asked to provide receipts if available, and in any event for all monthly claims of £250 or more.
4. Mileage Allowance
The Committee agreed to ask the Leader of the House to put a Motion before the House seeking its view on phasing in the reduction in mileage allowance over the lifetime of a Parliament, and on maintaining the existing higher rate threshold.
The Committee agreed to regular publication of its formal minutes on a Committee website.
The Committee agreed to publish, initially electronically, a list of the Resolutions on Members Allowances &c.