Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The cost of expenses informationSpending taxpyaers money to tell us how they spend taxpayers money?

In the autumn, after many freedom of information requests, MPs expenses will be published in full. At that point we find out which MP's are value for money and which of them is blagging the taxpayer for every possible penny.

The cost of delivering this information to us? Apparently it will be £950,000, which mind sound like value for money, however, most of the work to do it is being contracted out and will be done "in secure conditions" (that means they will lock the door I guess).

Surely though, the expenses claims of MP's should be known by the MP's themselves? Why should it cost just short of million to give us the information? Anyone in business that makes expenses claims keeps records, don't our lords and masters?

11 comments:

Alex said...

That's around £1,500 per MP. Employing someone on £30,000 would probably cost £50,000 when all the extra costs are added in, so that is 19 man years to list the expenses of 650 MPS, or around 10 man days per MP.

Lola said...

All it takes is the basic version of Sage, a PC (which every MP surely has by now), keep all the receipts and relevant info employ a book-keeper for about 1 or perhaps two hours a week for each MP to run their 'accounts' at say £100 per month all in. The book keeper will run their private office in a way in which all the facts could be made available. Output the info to Excel and convert to a PDF and publish on each MP's web site. There you go. Job done. What's the problem? Why the bloody hell we need to spend more money on this shower of shit is beyond me.

Henry Crun said...

Perhaps they are employing Crapita or Electronic Disaster Systems to "build" and MP Expenses Tracking Solution.

Half The Story said...

By my maths it is costing us the yearly wages of 20 qualified accountants to sort this.

Surely it is on a fucking spreadsheet!

ianvisits said...

So tempting to file an FOI request to seek a copy of the itemised invoice for the work done by the "outside contractor" and see how they justify the costs.

(please let an MP be on their board of directors!)

TheFatBigot said...

It's obvious, innit? All data produced by MPs will have to be laundered by the spin department, it's a long and expensive process.

dougal said...

Well, my Outer London MP has recently distributed one of his regular newsletters throughout the constituency, and part of it lists all his Parliamentary expenses, including that he owns no second home (unlike his Labour predecessor, who lived 1 mins walk from an Undergroud Station).

Every MP could have been instructed to do much the same thing by posting such a list on his/her website.

Tom F said...

Firstly, welcome back, hope you and your partner had a great holiday.

Could you say what the source of the figure of £950,000 is?

Thanks

dizzy said...

House of Commons Commission, Nick Harvey MP

Anonymous said...

Copying and scanning each invoice submitted to the fees office, as the written answer (to which you have chosen not to link) made clear.

What you didn't spot was the number of MPs claiming the maximum additional costs allowance.

Anonymous said...

Dizzy is - I think - asking MPs to resubmit details of claims whioch have already been submitted for payment. But even then the details would have to be checked against what was submitted originally.

The FoI request was for the House of Commons to deliver up the information on claims made from the Member's Vote. It's the House that is the public body under the FOI Act, not the individual MPs making the claims.

The request for "information" covers the provision of each and every document submitted in support of claims, and as such meeting it is a rather bigger job than lola etc. might thing.