How much Members paid for flights and claimed back in their expenses over the last five years
Information Standards Freedom of Information Response
Our Ref: FoI 01-20
30 January 2020
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I can confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission holds information relevant to your request of 2 January 2020. In your request you asked for the following information:
"Under the Freedom of Information Act, please can you provide me with the following information?
1) For each of the last five financial years, broken down by financial year, how much has been spent by MLAs on flights (that have been claimed on Northern Ireland Assembly expenses)
2) For each flight detailed from the figure within (1), please can you provide details of:
a) MLA who has claimed for the flight
b) The flight destination
c) Date of flight
d) Purpose of flight
e) Whether trip was booked in economy or business class."
Clarification of your request was sought on 16 January 2020 as follows;
1. I would like to know if the details of your request for the last five years include 1 April 2019 - 2 January 2020
2. What do you mean by the term "claimed on Northern Ireland Assembly expenses?" Do you mean flights that a Member may have claimed for and then claimed back through their expenses?
Your response of 17 January 2020 provided the following clarification:
1. If possible, please could you include the most recent figures for the 19-20 financial years? For example, 1 April 2019 - 2 Jan 2020
2. Yes, this is what I mean. I mean flights claimed for by an MLA on their expenses
For each of the last five financial years up to and including 02 January 2020, there have been no incidences of a Member claiming for flights on their expenses. Members do not book flights, pay for them and then claim the cost through expenses. If a flight is required, the relevant Business Area within the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission completes a Travel Authorisation Form detailing the flights required. Once authorised by a Director within the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the flight is booked and paid for centrally by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Travel Team.
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.