Bulletin, 12 May 2022 (Year-end deadlines, form alerts tracker, log-in update)

Updated: 13 May 2022

We hope all is well with you and that you have had the opportunity to reflect on your mental health during Mental Health Awareness Week. Should you need any support, you can access various services via the Health and Wellbeing page on the parliamentary intranet.

As we continue our year-end process, please remember that all reimbursement claims for 2021-22 that were included on your year-end form must be completed in IPSA Online by tomorrow, 13 May 2022.

In April we made the redacted data covering claims from June 2021 to January 2022 available to you for review. You can view the data by logging in to the publication data service. We recommend that you check your data before we publish and if you think we have missed anything, please contact us by Wednesday, 1 June.

We hope to phase out the receipt of cheques for repayments by July 2022. See below for more details.

Year-end deadlines

All reimbursement claims for 2021-22 that were included on your year-end form must be completed in IPSA Online by Friday, 13 May 2022. After this date, all reimbursement claims will be allocated to your 2022-23 budgets.

We will begin to make movements in line with our year-end process and your requests in mid-May.

Form alerts and tracker

We are committed to improving our service and helping you to complete IPSA tasks as quickly and easily as possible so you can focus on what really matters, supporting and representing your constituents.

This week we launched a new tracker and alerts for payroll forms and the Contingency Application form. The alerts will send emails to the form originator, Payroll Proxy and/or MP as necessary and the tracker will be available for MPs and Proxies to check the status of submitted forms.

The form tracker can be found in IPSA Online under 'Reports'. Open 'MP Reports' and 'Form Trackers' and then select the type of form you want to check. The tracker will tell you the status of the form and who it is with to be actioned.

For more information, visit Tracking submitted forms.

We hope the alerts and tracker will be useful to you. Thanks to everyone in the MP Staff User Group and Office Managers meeting for helping to make these happen. If you have any issues, please let us know.

IPSA Online login update

We will be updating the IPSA Online log-in page next week, Wednesday 18 May at 5pm. You may experience difficulties logging in for up to two hours during this time. Following the update, your log-in screen will appear with the IPSA Online theme instead of UK Parliament (see below). You will be able to log in using the same email and password as before. You can see more details about the change to IPSA Online login – 18 May.

IPSA Online system improvements

We have made a number of improvements to IPSA Online recently, these include:

  • MP Budget v Expenditure report – Additional budget types have been added to the MP Budget v Expenditure report to make it more helpful.

  • MP Payroll Modelling report – the default reporting period on the payroll modelling report has been changed to the last months’ date to make the report more user friendly and a quick access option has been added to make it easier to access.

  • Report for mileage claims – a report has been added to show how much mileage you have claimed within the financial year.

  • Send for correction narrative – guidance has been added for the ‘send for correction’ button to help you know what to include.

  • Amalgamating accommodation budget – accommodation / hotel budget has been incorporated into the general Accommodation budget.

  • Overtime form name change – the MP Staff Overtime form will now be named the MP Staff Overtime and Casual form.

  • Rail expense type added – an expense type ‘rail without travelcard’ has been added to differentiate between rail tickets bought with and without a travelcard included.

  • Hard stop for future mileage claims – a hard stop has been added to avoid claims being made for mileage in advance of the date of travel.

  • Travel costs codes – there are now separate budget codes for ‘COVID’ and ‘COVID test’ to help with reporting.

  • Salary deduction – a new salary deduction comment box has been added for repayments to enable you to indicate over how many months you would like to make your repayment.

We have also added a new report, 'MP Office Rail Fare Limits' that enables you to search the standard single and return fare limits between London and any other UK station. This has been introduced to help when you receive an automatic stop in the system saying that your claim has exceeded the standard rail fare. Also, the email alert you receive will tell you what the standard rail fare is.

We hope these changes will be beneficial for you. If you have any feedback, please let us know.

Phasing out cheque repayments

We hope to phase out the receipt of cheques for repayments by July 2022.

Since the start of the pandemic, our people are working more flexibly from the office and home, and we have found that receiving and processing cheques creates delays and is no longer cost effective given the small number of cheques we receive.

We are already in contact with some offices who send us cheques to understand the impact this will have. We are also looking into ways of helping MPs to make repayments more easily.

If you have any feedback about this change, please let us know.

IPSA payment card authentication

As part of PSD2 regulations, cardholders will need to identify themselves when making online purchases by authenticating their transaction.

This can be done by requesting a one-time passcode either via SMS, physical PIN Sentry card reader device or, if a cardholder has a Barclays relationship, they can use the mobile authentication method provided within the Barclays Mobile App.

If you do not wish to use your mobile number or the Barclays Mobile App, you can also obtain a card reader. We can order one for you if you contact us. You can read more about authentication methods in Barclay's Guide to PINsentry.

You can also read more about our Payment card policy.

Correction to the printed Scheme

We have identified a minor error in the printed version of the Scheme of MPs' Staffing and Business Costs. The error is located on Annex B, Annual Staff Pay Ranges for 2022-23 on page 51.

Annex B: Non-London Area Staff

Text currently reads:

<Executive 1 (Caseworker)… Annual Maximum (£)… £32,938>

Text should read:

<Executive 1 (Caseworker)… Annual Maximum (£)… £32,983>

We have issued a correction slip and corrected the online version. If you have a physical copy of the Scheme, please update the figure on page 51.