Skip to main content
Menu

Speaker's residence spending (2018)

Request

A breakdown of all spending on the Speaker's residence since April 2017. Could receipts be supplied where available, and any correspondence between the Speaker/Mrs Bercow and the House authorities concerning the work.

 

 

Response

You asked for a breakdown of all spending on the Speaker's residence since April 2017, including receipts where available. We have interpreted your request to be for information relating to any maintenance or repair works carried out on the Speaker’s apartment. 
 
This information is held by the House of Commons. 

Just like any work requests in the House of Commons, requests for maintenance and repairs of the Speaker’s residence are recorded in a database.  The above information has been arrived at by keyword search of this system and therefore may not be exhaustive. 

The relevant receipts:

Please note that some personal data has been redacted from the receipts in accordance with section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).  The House has concluded that disclosure of this information to the public generally 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, a small amount of information has been withheld in order to prevent prejudice to the prevention and detection of crime, and is exempted in accordance with sections s.31(1)(a) and (b) FOIA. This is not an absolute exemption and requires a public interest test to be performed. In favour of disclosure is the argument of transparency and openness in how the House conducts its affairs.

However, this is outweighed by the risks of criminal activity being undertaken if the information were disclosed. In disclosing details of Order numbers we might be providing those wishing to defraud the House or our suppliers with a means by which to do so more easily. And in disclosing the one address that has been redacted, we would be providing useful information to anyone wishing to circumvent the arrangements in place for the secure receipt and delivery of items to Parliament. We would therefore be failing in our duty to maintain sensible precautions which in turn would be failing in our duty to assist those services providing us with law enforcement.
 
It may help you to know that an itemised breakdown of all spending charged to the Speaker’s official House account in 2017 has been published on Parliament’s website.

You also asked for any correspondence between the Speaker/Mrs Bercow and the House authorities concerning the work. The House of Commons holds no records of correspondence between the Speaker or Mrs Bercow and the House regarding the work carried out on the Speaker’s apartment.

 UPDATE: as of 13 August 2018, no further spending has been recorded since this request.