Business costs publication – safe descriptions and checking claims

Published: 24 August 2023

IPSA publishes information about the claims made by MPs in support of their parliamentary role.

Some of the free-text information you enter when submitting a claim will be published.

Information we publish

We publish your individual claims for staffing and business costs every two months on our public website, four to five months in arrears.

For transparency, the information includes approved claims, those that have been refused, and those that have subsequently been repaid.

Certain categories of information – including payroll costs – are summarised and only published annually.

For more information about the information we publish, the publication schedule, and much more, you can watch our latest publication webinar.

The webinar is also available to watch in small sections, arranged by topic alongside our Publication Policy.

Using the “Description” field

The information you enter in this field when submitting a claim will be published.

This is your opportunity to explain each claim to the public.

Publication description

Use this field to name the exact item or service purchased and to give information that will help put the claim in the context of your parliamentary work.

For your protection, do not include any of the following details in the Description field:

  • Names – the names or initials of MPs’ staff, volunteers, or family members, and any sensitive personal information about them.

  • Addresses – any part of a home address or addresses not in the public domain.

  • Invoices – invoice numbers, account numbers, policy numbers, or references used for payment such as cheque numbers.

  • Contacts – personal telephone numbers, email addresses, or any contact details not in the public domain.

  • Cleaners – the name of your cleaner or cleaning company.

  • Security – the name of a security company, locksmiths, or any specific personal security arrangements.

  • Transport – specific information about transport or parking that could identify regular times of use.

  • Accommodation – names of hotels or venues the MP uses regularly.

We are unable to amend any of the text once the claim has been submitted. We can only redact personal information or a description that may represent a security concern, as specified in our Publication Policy.

Using the “Add information” field

The information you enter in this field is not published and will only be seen by IPSA staff.

You can include sensitive data that will help our validation team process your claim or any information that supports your claim but doesn’t need to be shared with the public.

Publication AddInformation

Information we redact

If we identify any personal data or information that may create a security risk in the Description field of your claim, we will redact the information, as specified in our Publication Policy.

The redacted information is replaced with [***] when it is published.

Always check your redacted claims before they are published by using the Publication preview service.

Your Publication preview service

Three weeks before we publish your claims, we will alert you – using a Notice on our MP website and by email in our Bulletin – that the latest release of business costs is available for review in the Publication preview service.

This is known as “Pre-publication data”.

You can access the service at any time using the Publication preview link in the footer of our MP website.

The data preview:

  • gives you advance notice of the claims that will be shared with the public

  • is your opportunity to make sure any sensitive information has been redacted

  • contains claims from a previous publication period that may have been delayed for various reasons

If you need to query anything or experience problems accessing your data, please contact your Account Manager.

For more information and a comprehensive guide to publication, visit How your claim data is published and our Publication Policy.