What is the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and why was it created?
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is a new and independent body created by the Parliamentary Standards Act (PSA) 2009. IPSA will put in place a new independent system for the payment of salaries and allowances for MPs, and be responsible for its operation. The new regime will represent a break from old practices.
When will IPSA be fully operational?
An implementation team headed by Andrew McDonald, the Interim Chief Executive, is already in place and working on proposals to be taken forward along with the IPSA board members. IPSA will be operational by April 2010.
What powers does the IPSA have?
The IPSA will decide what allowances MPs receive and how they will be administered. It will administer the payment of MPs’ salaries and allowances.
Is the IPSA a permanent body or is it just a temporary measure?
The IPSA is a permanent body created by statute.
Is the IPSA part of Government?
The IPSA is an independent body. It is not part of the Government – or of Parliament.
Where will the IPSA be located?
The IPSA is temporarily based in Steel House on Tothill Street in Westminster. This is not on the Parliamentary estate. Possible permanent locations are currently being considered.
How independent is the IPSA?
The IPSA is an independent body. The Chair and board members were all appointed through an independent, rigorous, fair and open competition. [Please see further details on the appointments process below]
How much will IPSA cost?
The IPSA is under a statutory duty to aim to do things efficiently and cost-effectively. Implementation of IPSA is still at an early stage, with various options being developed. It is too early to say how much IPSA will cost to run as this will depend on decisions which have not been taken. The main cost of IPSA will be the allowances scheme itself and the salaries of MPs.
How can I take part in the consultation?
We have made provision for direct responses on our consultation website.
Here you will be able to respond to all of the questions posed in the paper through a quick online survey, or to download the full consultation paper.
Alternatively, you can respond in writing, by email if possible to firstname.lastname@example.org – please mark the email with the subject “consultation response”. Responses should be in Word format or a rich text format, with as little use of colour or logos as possible. If you do not have access to email, you may send a paper copy of your response to:MPs’ Expenses Consultation, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
Steel House, 11 Tothill Street
If you require a hard copy of the consultation paper you can request one in writing by writing to the above address or by emailing email@example.com
How long is the consultation open for?
The consultation period runs from Thursday 7th January to Thursday 11th February.
What will happen after I submit my responses?
Once the consultation period has closed, we will move quickly to analyse the responses. The responses will be published in full unless the respondent indicates otherwise, and as soon as possible after the close of the consultation period. We will also publish our analysis of the responses. We will then use the responses to inform the content of the expenses scheme, which will be laid before Parliament before the general election if it is called in May or June 2010.
How were the IPSA Chair and board members appointed?
The posts of Chair and board members of IPSA were openly advertised in September 2009, and candidates considered through an independent and open competition, run by a panel chaired by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. MPs had no involvement in that part of the process.
All those considered to be appointable were put forward to the Speaker who then decided who to appoint. The Speaker’s preferred candidates for each post were then put forward to the Speaker’s Committee, and the Committee asked to agree them. The names agreed by the Speaker’s Committee are as follows: Sir Ian Kennedy for Chair; Jackie Ballard, Rt Hon Lord Justice Scott Baker, Ken Olisa, and Professor Isobel Sharp as board members.
As set out in the Parliamentary Standards Act, the House of Commons was then asked to approve IPSA’s membership. They were not able to cherry-pick from a list of candidates. This is the same process as has been followed for appointments to other roles where independence is paramount – for instance that of the membership of the Electoral Commission.
The appointment of the Chair and Members of IPSA was in line with the principles set out by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
Who was on the interview panel?
Names of members of the interview panel are below:
Why wasn’t the full OCPA process used?
The OCPA process was established for Ministerial appointments and is therefore not available for these posts. However, all the OCPA principles have been firmly embedded in the appointments process.
How much does the Chair earn?
Details of remuneration were made public in the advertisements for the post – £700 per day plus reasonable expenses incurred. It is expected the Chair will work 3 days a week initially, reducing to 1 day a week, and capped at £100,000 for the first year.
What do the board members earn?
Details of remuneration were made public in the advertisements for the posts – £400 per day plus reasonable expenses incurred. It is expected the members will work 2/3 days a month initially.
When were the posts advertised?
The posts of IPSA Chair and Members were advertised on Sunday 13th September 2009. The permanent Chief Executive of IPSA will be appointed later – further details will be posted on this website.
When were the IPSA Chair and members appointed?
What is the role of the Interim Chief Executive?
The interim Chief Executive will take forward the IPSA implementation programme, working with the Chair and Members on appointment. The ICE will be the accounting officer for the IPSA implementation programme and for the IPSA until a permanent Chief Executive is appointed.
Who is the interim Chief Executive?
Andrew McDonald took up post on 14 September 2009. Andrew McDonald was previously the chief executive of Government Skills, the Sector Skills Council for central government and the Armed Forces. He has been a civil servant for the past twenty years and has undertaken a range of policy and operational roles including the delivery of a construction project, leading a new agency at its start-up and running the constitutional reform programme.
How much does the Interim Chief Executive earn?
The post of Interim Chief Executive is paid in the range £105,000 – £115,000 per annum. This was benchmarked against similar public sector roles and the salary compares favourably.
The post of permanent Chief Executive can only be appointed after the appointment of the IPSA, and will be subject to fair and open competition.
Will the Interim Chief Executive, Chair and Members publish their expenses?
Yes – they will publish details of his expenses on a rolling basis.
I’d like to work for IPSA – will I be able to apply for a job?
Details of vacancies will be made available in due course.
Who will set the ‘rules’ for MPs’ allowances?
An allowances scheme will be developed and set by the IPSA Chair and Members. The allowances scheme does not have to be approved by MPs. In developing the scheme they must consult a number of specified persons and bodies as specified in the Act (s5(4)). These include the Speaker of the House of Commons, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, and any other person the IPSA considers appropriate. Anyone interested can take part in the consultation. Further details can be found above.
What about the report published by the Committee on Standards in Public Life?
The IPSA in no way impacts on the work of the CSPL who conducted their inquiry into MPs’ allowances and published their report on 4th November 2009. The IPSA is obliged by the Parliamentary Standards Act to consult the Committee when developing its allowances scheme. Find out more about the CSPL’s inquiry.
Will the public have access to details of MPs expenses claims / are you publishing all expenses online?
We believe that all claims, whether approved or not, should be published along with the supporting evidence and details of the outcome.
We intend to publish the claims as quickly as possible after they are made. We will reject any evidence which the MP or their staff member has attempted to “redact” before passing to us.
I have a suggestion about how IPSA could work – who do I tell?
Please email the IPSA implementation programme at: firstname.lastname@example.org