Previous Section Index Home Page


1 Feb 2010 : Column 86

That is standard form wording used in social security legislation. I reread it and I think it works.

The money resolution relates specifically to the pension provisions, which will obviously transfer a liability for pensions, but there is no net increase over and above what would otherwise have been paid. We expect the other provisions to be broadly neutral, as compared with where we were before, as IPSA will be losing functions as well as gaining ones. Overall pay and pensions will not add hugely to running costs because IPSA is already paying. A small policy function will be required, and it will use the SSRB to do the analysis.

I have dealt with the issue of delay in pay and pensions, the issue of the compliance officer being wholly separate, and double jeopardy. I was asked whether a new compliance officer could be in post before Royal Assent and before April. Subject to the approval of the Committee today, which is the equivalent of a Second Reading of the new clauses, we are exploring with IPSA whether it would have the legal basis to go ahead and advertise for a compliance officer. It is entirely a matter for IPSA, but I hope it feels able to do so. Whether that means that the compliance officer will be in post by 1 April is a moot point, but I think we can expect the compliance officer to be in post by the time there is anything to comply with and any complaint to be made. I think IPSA will be able to meet that requirement.

The right hon. Member for North-West Hampshire asked about new schedule 7 on page 668 of the amendment paper. Paragraph 1, which gives the power to make a repayment direction, states at sub-paragraph (4)(b) that a Member could be required to

The suggestion was that that went far further than Kelly had recommended. If the right hon. Gentleman looks at recommendation 45 on page 19 of the Kelly report, he will see that it says:

7.30 pm

I shall certainly look again at whether the Bill goes too far. When the right hon. Gentleman first raised the matter, I thought that it did, but on further examination it does not. The issue is about reasonableness, which is better than appropriateness, and the Bill would be more tightly worded if it read,

A requirement under that proposed new sub-paragraph could alone be the subject of an appeal to the first-tier tribunal.

Finally, Members asked why it was necessary to provide for the examination and calling of witnesses before the compliance officer. Those provisions are about my anxiety to meet the wishes of the House, and they were recommendations from the Joint Committee on Human Rights in respect of previous legislation. If one is charged with a serious breach of regulations, one ought to have the opportunity, if necessary, to call one's own witnesses and to examine others. I think that that is
1 Feb 2010 : Column 87
a basic human right, with a capital H and a capital R. The situation might not come to that, and one hopes that it will not, but that right is pretty fundamental. In any case, one would have the right before the first tribunal, which would amount to a re-hearing of the case from the start.

I think that I have dealt with all the points that were raised. If the House will forgive me, it will, I hope, take those detailed explanations as a substitute for a lengthy, prolix peroration. I commend the new clauses and schedules to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

New clause 70 accordingly read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 71


Parliamentary standards: Membership of Speaker's Committee

'(1) Schedule 3 to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1-

(a) omit "and" at the end of sub-paragraph (c), and

(b) after sub-paragraph (d) insert ", and

(e) three lay persons appointed by resolution of the House of Commons."

(3) For the heading of paragraph 2 substitute "Appointed members".

(4) After paragraph 2 insert-

"Lay members

2A (1) In paragraph 1(e) "lay person" means a person who is not, and has never been, a member of either House of Parliament.

(2) A motion for a resolution under paragraph 1(e) may be made only with the agreement of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

(3) The person the subject of the motion must have been selected by the Speaker on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

(4) An appointment under paragraph 1(e) is to be for a fixed term not exceeding five years.

(5) A person who has been appointed under paragraph 1(e) may not be appointed under paragraph 1(e) again.

(6) A person appointed under paragraph 1(e) ceases to be a member of the Committee if the person becomes a member of either House of Parliament.

(7) A person appointed under paragraph 1(e) may resign from the Committee by giving notice to the Committee.

(8) The Speaker of the House of Commons may require the IPSA to pay to members of the Committee appointed under paragraph 1(e) such remuneration and allowances as the Speaker may determine.

(9) The IPSA must make the payment accordingly.".'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 72


Parliamentary standards: Transparency etc

'(1) The Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 3 insert-


1 Feb 2010 : Column 88

"3A General duties of the IPSA

(1) In carrying out its functions the IPSA must have regard to the principle that it should act in a way which is efficient, cost-effective and transparent.

(2) In carrying out its functions the IPSA must have regard to the principle that members of the House of Commons should be supported in efficiently, cost-effectively and transparently carrying out their Parliamentary functions."

(3) In section 5 (MPs' allowances scheme) after subsection (5) insert-

"(5A) When the scheme (or revision) is laid, the IPSA must publish in a way it considers appropriate-

(a) the scheme (or revision), and

(b) a statement of its reasons for adopting that scheme (or making that revision)."

(4) In section 6 (dealing with claims under the MPs' allowances scheme) after subsection (7) insert-

"(8) The IPSA must publish such information as it considers appropriate in respect of-

(a) each claim made under or by virtue of this section, and

(b) each payment of an allowance by the IPSA under or by virtue of this section.

(9) The IPSA must publish the information at times it considers appropriate and in a way it considers appropriate.

(10) The IPSA must determine procedures to be followed by the IPSA in relation to publication of the information, and in doing so must consult-

(a) the Speaker of the House of Commons,

(b) the Leader of the House of Commons,

(c) the House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges,

(d) the Compliance Officer, and

(e) any other person the IPSA considers appropriate.".'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 73


Parliamentary standards: MPs' salaries

'(1) For section 4 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (c. 13) (MPs' salaries) substitute-

"4 MPs' salaries

(1) Members of the House of Commons are to receive a salary for the relevant period.

(2) The salaries are to be paid by the IPSA.

(3) Salaries are to be paid on a monthly basis in arrears.

(4) The amounts of the salaries are to be determined by the IPSA (see section 4A).

(5) "Relevant period", in relation to a person who is a member of the House of Commons, means the period beginning with the day after the day of the poll for the parliamentary election at which the member was elected and ending with-

(a) if the person is a member immediately before Parliament is dissolved, the day of the poll for the parliamentary general election which follows the dissolution;

(b) otherwise, the day on which the person ceases to be a member.

(6) No payment of salary is to be made to a member before the member has made and subscribed the oath required by the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866 (or the corresponding affirmation).

(7) The duty of the IPSA to pay a salary to a member is subject to anything done in relation to the member in the exercise of the disciplinary powers of the House of Commons.


1 Feb 2010 : Column 89

4A Determination of MPs' salaries

(1) This section is about determinations under section 4(4).

(2) A determination may provide for higher salaries to be payable to members while holding an office or position specified for the purposes of this subsection in a resolution of the House of Commons.

(3) A determination by virtue of subsection (2) may make different provision for different offices or positions or different classes of member (and may include exceptions).

(4) A determination may include a formula or other mechanism for adjusting salaries from time to time.

(5) A determination (other than the first determination) may have retrospective effect.

(6) The IPSA must review the current determination (and make a new determination as appropriate)-

(a) in the first year of each Parliament;

(b) at any other time it considers appropriate.

(7) In reviewing a determination (and before making the first determination) the IPSA must consult-

(a) the Review Body on Senior Salaries,

(b) persons appearing to the IPSA to represent persons likely to be affected by the determination or the review,

(c) the Minister for the Civil Service,

(d) the Treasury, and

(e) any other person the IPSA considers appropriate.

(8) After making a determination, the IPSA must publish in a way it considers appropriate-

(a) the determination, and

(b) a statement of how it arrived at the determination.

(9) If the IPSA reviews the current determination but decides not to make a new determination, it must publish in a way it considers appropriate a statement of how it arrived at that decision.

(10) The IPSA may delegate to the Review Body on Senior Salaries its function of reviewing a determination (but not its function of deciding whether or not to make a new determination)."

(2) The first determination under section 4(4) of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 does not have to come into effect before 1 April 2012; and section 4A(6)(a) of that Act does not apply in relation to a Parliament that begins before that date.

(3) Until the first determination under section 4(4) of that Act comes into effect, the amounts of the salaries payable by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority under section 4 of that Act are to be determined in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the House of Commons.'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 74


Parliamentary standards: MPs' allowances scheme

In section 5 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (MPs' allowances scheme) after subsection (8) insert-

"(8A) Any duty of the IPSA to pay an allowance to a member is subject to anything done in relation to the member in the exercise of the disciplinary powers of the House of Commons.".'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.


1 Feb 2010 : Column 90

New Clause 75


Parliamentary standards: Allowances claims

'(1) Section 6 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (dealing with claims under the MPs' allowances scheme) is amended as follows.

(2) Omit subsections (4) and (5).

(3) In subsection (6) for paragraph (b) substitute-

"(b) provision for deducting amounts within subsection (6A) from allowances payable under the scheme or salaries payable under section 4;

(c) provision about how such deductions, and deductions under paragraph 5 or 12 of Schedule 4, are to be made."

(4) After subsection (6) insert-

"(6A) This subsection applies to amounts which a member (under section 9(8) or otherwise) has agreed to repay, in respect of amounts paid to the member under the MPs' allowances scheme which should not have been allowed."

(5) After section 6 of that Act insert-

"6A Review of IPSA's determination

(1) This section applies if-

(a) the IPSA determines under section 6(3) that a claim is to be refused or that only part of the amount claimed is to be allowed, and

(b) the member (after asking the IPSA to reconsider the determination and giving it a reasonable opportunity to do so) asks the Compliance Officer to review the determination (or any altered determination resulting from the IPSA's reconsideration).

(2) The Compliance Officer must-

(a) consider whether the determination (or the altered determination) is the determination that should have been made, and

(b) in light of that consideration, decide whether or not to confirm or alter it.

(3) The Compliance Officer must give the IPSA a statement of any decision under subsection (2)(b), and may include a statement of the Compliance Officer's findings about the way in which the IPSA has dealt with the claim.

(4) The IPSA must make any payments or adjustments necessary to give effect to the Compliance Officer's decision; but it must not do so until-

(a) it is no longer possible for there to be a relevant appeal, and

(b) all relevant appeals have been withdrawn or determined.

(5) A relevant appeal is-

(a) an appeal under subsection (6) brought before the end of the period mentioned in subsection (7), or

(b) a further appeal in relation to the Compliance Officer's decision which-

(i) is brought before the end of the usual period for bringing such an appeal, and

(ii) is an appeal against the determination of an appeal which was itself a relevant appeal.

(6) The member may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against a decision of the Compliance Officer under subsection (2)(b).

(7) The appeal must be brought before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day on which notice of the decision is sent to the member (unless the Tribunal directs that it may be brought after the end of that period).

(8) The appeal is by way of a rehearing.

(9) On an appeal under subsection (6) the Tribunal may-

(a) allow the appeal in whole or in part, or

(b) dismiss the appeal.


1 Feb 2010 : Column 91

(10) If the Tribunal allows the appeal (in whole or in part) it may-

(a) order the IPSA to make any payments or adjustments necessary to give effect to that decision;

(b) make any other order it thinks fit.

(11) If the Tribunal dismisses the appeal it may make any other order it thinks fit.

(12) The Compliance Officer must notify the IPSA of the Tribunal's decision (and the result of any further appeal).".'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 76


Parliamentary standards: MPs' code of conduct relating to financial interests

'Omit section 8 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (c. 13) (MPs' code of conduct relating to financial interests) and the italic heading before it.'.- (Mr. Straw.)

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New Clause 77


Parliamentary standards: Investigations

For section 9 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (investigations) substitute-

"9 Investigations

(1) The Compliance Officer may conduct an investigation if the Compliance Officer has reason to believe that a member of the House of Commons may have been paid an amount under the MPs' allowances scheme that should not have been allowed.

(2) An investigation may be conducted-

(a) on the Compliance Officer's own initiative,

(b) at the request of the IPSA,

(c) at the request of the member, or

(d) in response to a complaint by an individual.

(3) For the purposes of the investigation the member and the IPSA-

(a) must provide the Compliance Officer with any information (including documents) the Compliance Officer reasonably requires, and

(b) must do so within such period as the Compliance Officer reasonably requires.

(4) The Compliance Officer must, after giving the member and the IPSA an opportunity to make representations to the Compliance Officer, prepare a statement of the Compliance Officer's provisional findings.

(5) The Compliance Officer must, after giving the member and the IPSA an opportunity to make representations to the Compliance Officer about the provisional findings, prepare a statement of the Compliance Officer's findings (subject to subsection (7)).

(6) Provisional findings under subsection (4) and findings under subsection (5) may include-

(a) a finding that the member failed to comply with subsection (3),

(b) findings about the role of the IPSA in the matters under investigation.

(7) If subsection (8) applies, the Compliance Officer need not make a finding under subsection (5) as to whether the member was paid an amount under the MPs' allowances scheme that should not have been allowed.

(8) This subsection applies if-

(a) the member accepts a provisional finding that the member was paid an amount under the MPs' allowances scheme that should not have been allowed,


Next Section Index Home Page