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An independent office holder whose primary role is to enquire into allegations regarding MPs' claims for business costs and expenses

IPSA Launches Public Consultation on Compliance Officer's Procedures

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has today launched a public consultation into proposed changes to the procedures governing the work of the Compliance Officer for IPSA.

The Compliance Officer is a statutory office holder and has two main functions:

  • to investigate complaints that a claim under the MPs’ Scheme of Business Costs and expenses may have been wrongfully paid to an MP; and
  • to review a decision by IPSA not to pay, in whole or in part, a claim under the Scheme.

IPSA is required to provide the Compliance Officer with procedures and guidance to assist him in these functions. The current procedures and guidance were published in November 2011. Over the past three years the Compliance Officer has had the experience of operating under these procedures and has identified potential areas for improvement.

The consultation published today outlines where improvements could be made.

The main changes IPSA are proposing will require the Compliance Officer to publicise the facts of an investigation once it has concluded, and will limit attendance at hearings conducted as part of an investigation to the MP and relevant witnesses. They will also, for the first time, make clear the way in which reviews of IPSA’s decisions will be conducted.

Sir Ian Kennedy, IPSA Chair, said:

“The changes that we are proposing reflect the experience of the past three years. They are designed to make the processes more effective and fair. They reduce the risk that an investigation could be prejudiced by an unwillingness to participate, or that an MP could suffer unfair reputational damage before the Compliance Officer has had an opportunity to consider a case.

“Should we make these changes, I believe that we will ensure that the Compliance Officer is able to carry out investigations in a rigorous and balanced manner.”

You can find a copy of the consultation document here, which is also available on IPSA's website www.parliamentarystandards.org.uk. The consultation closes on 3 November 2014.  

Notes to Editors

  • The revised Procedures will be published, taking account of any responses to the consultation, in December. The new Procedures and Guidance will come into effect on 1 January 2015.
  • The legislation governing the Compliance Officer is the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009, as amended by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010.
  • The current Compliance Officer is Peter Davis.
  • IPSA Communications Manager: Greg Tinker, 0207 8116490, greg.tinker@parliamentarystandards.org.uk
© Compliance Officer for IPSA, 4th Floor, 30 Millbank, London, SW1P 4DU