Committee on Members Allowances - Practice Note 1
An appeal will be initiated by the Member notifying the Clerk of the Committee in writing (by letter or email) that he or she wishes to appeal and setting out the background to the case and the reasons why the Member believes the appeal should be upheld.
The Member's submission must be a freestanding document upon which the Committee can reach a view of the case, rather than being intelligible only in conjunction with supporting documentation, which should be kept to a minimum.
Appeals may be made only when all possibilities for further consideration have been exhausted and the Department of Resources has given a final rejection of the Member's claim or request for approval. They must be made within three months of such a final rejection (unless the circumstances are exceptional).
Appeals should relate to whether a claim or potential claim is allowable under the principles and rules governing the allowances. They may not relate to a matter raised by an auditor or to complaints against a Member.
Appeals will not be anonymised during the Committee's consideration. However, any published material recording the outcome of the appeal will be anonymised.
Members appealing may not discuss the appeal with members of the Committee.
On being informed of an appeal, the Department of Resources will provide its written response to the appeal within two weeks, including any relevant precedents. Beyond the two initial submissions, further written submissions are discouraged unless new issues have been raised, but the Member may have a week if he or she requests it to respond to the Department, and the Department a week to respond to the Member if it so requests (e.g. to correct matters of fact).
All written submissions will be available both to the Department and the Member concerned.
Appeals will be dealt with as far as possible on the basis of written submissions. Senior officials from the Department of Resources may be present to answer questions when the Committee considers an appeal, but may be asked to withdraw. Members appealing will be heard in person only if, upon request, the Committee decides that this is justified by the circumstances. Any such proceedings will be in private; a note will be taken by Committee staff for the use of the Committee only.
The Chairman will write to the Member after an appeal has been considered, stating the outcome of the appeal; this will be copied to the Department of Resources.
A note will be prepared setting out briefly the substance of the case, the issues involved and the Committee's decision. The note will be submitted to the Committee for approval at its next meeting. The Committee will consider whether the outcome note should be published in any form, and whether the issues raised warrant the production of a Practice Note.
The Committee's published minutes will record only the number of appeals considered.
Appeals will not be considered during recesses, though they may be submitted during recesses.