Serjeant at Arms expenses (2016)

Request

I would like to request details of expenses claims and costs incurred by the Serjeant at Arms in each of the last five years, including receipts that have been submitted.

 

 

Response

Some information is held by the House of Commons.  All of the SAA directorate expenses are recorded against one cost code, including expenses for the Serjeant, which were only incurred in the performance of official duties.  The personal expenses of the Serjeant aren’t like that of a Member, as all costs are assessed as work-related rather than allocated as a personal allowance. 

We have attempted to separate specific costs incurred by the Serjeant (CSV CSV 3 KB), together with any relevant receipts held (PDF PDF 1.35 MB).  Only data from April 2012 onwards is held by the House of Commons; information prior to this point has been destroyed in accordance with the parliamentary records disposal policy.  Please note that, in some cases it has been difficult for us to accurately identify which costs were specifically for the Serjeant, so we cannot guarantee that the list is exhaustive. 

On two of the receipts, we have redacted personal names.  This information is exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the exemption for personal information), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

In addition, payment card information on the receipts has been redacted.  This has been withheld in accordance with section 31 (1) (a) of the FOIA, as to disclose this information would be likely to prejudice the prevention and detection of crime. This is not an absolute exemption and requires a public test to be performed.

We have considered our obligation to assist the public in understanding how we conduct our business and the legitimate interest in the use of resources funded by the taxpayer. However, the disclosure of this information may assist people of malicious or criminal intent to use those accounts illegally or access the banking details of individuals.  Also, disclosure of such information would fail in our duty to assist those services providing us with law enforcement services as it would hinder their work in preventing and detecting crime and apprehending offenders.