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Speaker's Office Expenditure (2017)

Request

An itemised breakdown of all spending charged to the Speaker’s official House account since January 2016 (the date of the last disclosure).

Could this information include a description of what the spending was incurred for, and what event it related to.

 

Response

Please note, the Speaker is committed to cutting costs wherever possible, and the overall expenditure of the Speaker’s Office has fallen during his tenure from £626,029 in 2009/10 to £504,737 in 2015/16, representing a reduction of 23.7 per cent since he was elected to the role.

Please note that while the expenditure as detailed on the spread sheet relates to Mr Speaker and the nine staff of the Speaker’s Office, the salaries and staff costs expenditure relates solely to Speaker’s Office staff and not Mr Speaker.

Information relating to Mr Speaker’s travel expenses are proactively published on the parliamentary website quarterly since June 2013.
 and details for previous years can be found on our Freedom of Information Disclosures pages. As this information you request is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), your request is refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOIA. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.

Information relating to Mr Speaker’s travel expenses for January 2017 are due to be published in the spring of 2017. This information is withheld under section 22 (intended for future publication) of the Act. Section 22 is a qualified exemption, and accordingly we have to consider whether the public interest is in withholding the information or in disclosing it. The arguments for and against disclosure are detailed below.
The general argument in favour of releasing information is that there is a public interest in being able to scrutinise aspects of the House of Commons where that information might be easy to access and will not prejudice the House. Against disclosure the argument is the public interest in permitting public authorities to publish information in a manner and form and at a time of their own choosing. It is a part of the effective conduct of public affairs that the general publication of information is a conveniently planned and managed activity within the reasonable control of public authorities. Where the decision has been made in principle to publish, there is a reasonable entitlement to make arrangements to do so.

Details of any costs of ceremonial garments from 1 November 2016 to the date of your request are included in the spread sheet above. Costs for Speakers Office official ceremonial garments from 28 August 2015 to 31 October 2016 can be found on our FOI disclosures page. As this information is reasonably accessible to you otherwise than under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), your request is refused. In refusing your request the House is applying the exemption set out in section 21 (1) and (2) (a) of the FOIA. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.