Details of inadmissible expenses claimed by Members

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 27- 19

15th November 2019

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission holds information relevant to your request of 07 October 2019.  In your request you asked for the following information:

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to request details of expenses recovered from MLAs after the claims were found to be inadmissible.

For example in 2018-19, DUP MLA Pam Cameron repaid £52.50 of inadmissible Sundry Expenses, but the NI Assembly website does not detail the nature of the expenses claimed or any individual or business which was paid.

I would like to request more information on the nature of the expenses and individuals or firms paid, beyond what is disclosed on the NI Assembly website.

For each MLA and for each inadmissible expense recovered since 2017-18, please disclose the following:

1. The Account Name; Transaction Date; Transaction Amount; Expenditure Description; and Supplier Name.

2. If the NI Assembly website does not detail the specific nature of the expense (for example, only says 'Sundry Expense'), please disclose:

- The specific nature of the expense.

- The name of the individual or business which ultimately provided the service.

3. The amount recovered due to it being inadmissible.

4. The reason why the expense was deemed inadmissible”

 

The requested information is provided by MLA at Appendices A-O and split between:

  • Inadmissible expenditure that was identified in respect of a prior year. The expenditure recovered is paid to the Consolidated Fund and the published MLA expenses in respect of the prior year  are not adjusted to exclude this expenditure as recovery was received in a subsequent year.
  • Inadmissible expenditure that was identified and recovered in the same financial year. Details of this expenditure will not appear in the published MLA expenses as there is no net expenditure.

The majority of the inadmissible items relate to sundry expenses. The Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016 does not require Members to retain a record of sundry expenses but, following a review by HMRC, Members were asked to submit any receipts that were held for sundry expenses that had been claimed previously. These receipts were reviewed for compliance and payments for any expenses that were found to be inadmissible were recovered.

Where an item was claimed as sundry expenses but could have been claimed under a different category of expenditure under the Determination (e.g. Mobile Phones), the cost was allocated to the correct category of expenditure provided the maximum recoverable expenditure had not been exceeded. If the maximum recoverable expenditure had been exceeded, the surplus amount was recovered.

 

If you feel that the information we have provided does not meet your request fully, please contact this office as soon as possible.  You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,  Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

INFORMATION STANDARDS

 

APPENDICES A-O

 

Appendix A

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 13 Feb 18 £4.12 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 13 Feb 18 £8.20 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 06 Mar 18 £12.32 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 12 Apr 18 £4.12 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 12 Apr 18 £8.20 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Telephones 04 Jan 17 £83.40 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 14 Feb 17 £83.52 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 14 Feb 17 £84.81 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 21 Apr 17 £85.91 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 21 Apr 17 £83.46 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 16 Jun 17 £83.40 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 16 Jun 17 £83.44 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 26 Jul 17 £83.40 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 20 Sep 17 £83.40 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
S Aiken Telephones 20 Sep 17 £84.35 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
             
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £4.12 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £31.15 Website Domain Fee One.Com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £4.12 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £4.12 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.
S Aiken Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website hosting Wix.com Party Information included on website.

 

Appendix B

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
S Agnew Sundry Expenditure 09 Jan 18 £45.50 Newspapers Eurest Services Newspapers were for Party, not MLA

 

Appendix C

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
J Allister Sundry Expenditure 16 Mar 18 £40.00 Room hire for constituency surgery Unknown No provision in the Determination for room hire
J Allister Sundry Expenditure 13 Apr 18 £40.00 Room hire for constituency surgery Unknown No provision in the Determination for room hire
J Allister Sundry Expenditure 12 Feb 18 £30.00 Room hire for constituency surgery Unknown No provision in the Determination for room hire

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
J Allister Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £40.00 Room hire for constituency surgery Unknown No provision in the Determination for room hire
J Allister Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £40.00 Room hire for constituency surgery Unknown No provision in the Determination for room hire

 

Appendix D

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 31 May 17 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 04 Aug 17 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 06 Oct 17 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 30 Nov 17 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 06 Apr 18 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
P Cameron Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £52.50 Photocopier Servicing SBM Printer/Copiers not admissible.

 

Appendix E

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
P Bradshaw Sundry Expenditure 25 Jan 17 £85.00 Website Hosting WordPress.com Party Information included on website.

 

Appendix F

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
R Butler Sundry Expenditure 26 Nov 16 £23.90 Website Hosting WordPress.com Electioneering material  included on website.
R Butler Sundry Expenditure 18 Dec 17 £52.32 Website Hosting WordPress.com Electioneering material  included on website.

 

Appendix G

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
G Lyons Sundry Expenditure 27 Mar 18 £58.00 Mobile Phone Cables Telefonica Inadmissible as a sundry expense however it is admissible under a separate category but insufficient funds available to allow transfer

 

Appendix H

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
C McGrath Sundry Expenditure 13 Oct 16 £55.00 Sandwich Platter Unknown Not an Assembly function
C McGrath Sundry Expenditure 05 Dec 16 £4.63 Ribbon for opening ceremony Unknown Not an Assembly function

 

Appendix I

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 10 Aug 16 £12.54 Food items - Bread, Sandwiches, butter JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 20 Mar 17 £6.00 Food items - Bread, Sausage Rolls JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 08 Nov 17 £2.35 Food items -Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 17 Nov 17 £35.00 Bank Overdraft Facility Fee Bank of Ireland Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 17 Nov 17 £13.07 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 23 Jan 18 £13.01 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 07 Feb 18 £2.09 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 07 Feb 18 £6.18 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 13 Apr 18 £9.74 Food items - Bread, Ham, cheese JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 13 Apr 18 £8.43 Mobile top up Post Office Inadmissible as a sundry expense however it is admissible under a separate category but insufficient funds available to allow transfer

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £6.36 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £1.79 Food items - Bread JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function
J O'Dowd Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.17 Food items - Bread, Ham JS Barry Ltd Not an Assembly function

 

Appendix J

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
M Storey Sundry Expenditure 28 Apr 17 £100.00 TV Licence TV licensing Constituency Office TV Licences not allowable
M Storey Sundry Expenditure 03 Jul 17 £47.00 TV Licence TV licensing Constituency Office TV Licences not allowable

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
M Storey Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £100.00 TV Licence TBV licensing Constituency Office TV Licences not allowable

 

Appendix K

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 01 Sep 16 £15.75 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 01 Sep 16 £12.46 Domain Name Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 01 Sep 16 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 12 Oct 16 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 14 Nov 16 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 02 Dec 16 £22.95 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 02 Dec 16 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 02 Dec 16 £9.00 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 02 Dec 16 £16.00 Gift for Volunteer Asda Volunteer expenses not admissible
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 11 Jan 17 £13.50 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 11 Jan 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 14 Feb 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 16 Mar 17 £1.20 Deodorant Tesco Not an Assembly function
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 16 Mar 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 10 Apr 17 £4.95 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 10 Apr 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 18 May 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 07 Jul 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 03 Jul 17 £21.15 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 13 Jul 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 13 Aug 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 21 Sep 17 £12.46 Domain Name Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 31 Oct 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 29 Nov 17 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 11 Jan 18 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 31 Jan 18 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 07 Mar 18 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 30 Mar 18 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 30 Mar 18 £4.50 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £36.90 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £54.00 Train Travel Stansted Express MLAs cannot claim travel through COOE
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £9.80 Train Travel Underground MLAs cannot claim travel through COOE
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £26.35 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £9.00 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 20 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £20.65 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £12.46 Domain Name Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £8.20 Website Wix.com Website removed and could not be verified for content
K Armstrong Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £15.30 Staff Travel Staff Member No provision in the Determination for staff travel

 

Appendix L

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
R Hussey Telephones  22 Sep 16 £312.39 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
R Hussey Telephones  22 Sep 16 £119.45 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
R Hussey Telephones  13 Oct 16 £118.60 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
R Hussey Telephones  10 Nov 16 £118.20 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
R Hussey Telephones  19 Dec 16 £118.20 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
R Hussey Telephones  06 Jan 17 £119.93 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU

 

Appendix M

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
D McCrossan Telephones  05 Jul 17 £112.01 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
D McCrossan Telephones  05 Jul 17 £148.38 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
D McCrossan Telephones  04 Aug 17 £109.95 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
D McCrossan Telephones  04 Sep 17 £110.98 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
D McCrossan Telephones  04 Oct 17 £111.51 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU
D McCrossan Telephones  04 Jul 17 £152.36 Telephone Charges Plan.com Company registered outside the EU

 

Appendix N

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
P Catney Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £33.11 Electricity Energia Expense should have been claimed in previous year

 

Appendix O

FOI 27/19 - Inadmissible Expenses Recoveries

The following expenses related to prior years and the recovery was not shown in the published figures.

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 04 Sep 17 £10.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 04 Sep 17 £5.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 04 Oct 17 £5.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 06 Nov 17 £5.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 13 Feb 19 £10.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 13 Mar 18 £10.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 13 Mar 18 £5.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 20 Apr 18 £5.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function

 

The following expenses were recovered in the financial year in which they were paid, so were included in the published figures

MemberAccount NameTransaction DateAmountDescriptionSupplierReason for expense being inadmissible
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £5.00 Fruit Not Known Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £10.00 Fruit F Arlown Not an Assembly function
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £70.66 Telephone Bill Causeway Telecom Ltd Expense should have been claimed in previous year
M Bradley Sundry Expenditure 19 Feb 19 £10.00 Photographs for IDs Alan Leighton Photography Not an Assembly function

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