FOI 10-23: Daniel McCrossan MLA expenses

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FOI 10-23

25 May 2023

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 25 April 2023 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA 2000). In your request, you asked:

“The information I would request is:

All correspondence in relation to a claim for expenses submitted by MLA Daniel McCrossan last year in relation to the purchase of a desk from Oakfield Stores. On the MLA expenses section of the Northern Ireland Assembly website, the transaction date for this expense is dated as June 15, 2022. The amount of money claimed for the desk is £1,317.97. I would request a copy of the invoice submitted with this expense claim and all other emails/correspondence in connection with it.


The Assembly Commission holds the information that you have requested and it is attached separately in Appendix A.

Some of the information has been redacted as it refers to identifiable living individuals or contains financial information of the supplier that is deemed to be commercially sensitive.

S.40 Personal information

Some of the information relevant to your request relates to personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), namely, information relating to one or more identifiable living individuals.

The Assembly Commission considers this information to be exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the FOIA 2000 (Personal Information), whereby personal data is exempt from disclosure if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject and, as per section 40(3A) (a) of the FOIA 2000, disclosure of the information would contravene any of the data protection principles.In the present case disclosure of this personal data would contravene the first data protection principle (lawfulness, fairness and transparency).

S43 Commercial Interest

The Assembly Commission consider the supplier’s bank details to be exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) of the FOIA 2000 (Commercial Interests).

Section 43(2) of the FOIA exempts information from disclosure where disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (an individual, a company, the public authority itself or any other legal entity). Disclosure of the redacted information in this case would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the supplier of the office furniture.

Section 43(2) is a qualified exemption and therefore it is necessary to carry out a public interest test to identify whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption from disclosure is greater than the public interest in providing the information. In this case the Assembly Commission considers that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

The Assembly Commission recognises the significant public interest in ensuring proper scrutiny of the Assembly Commission’s spend of public money and in ensuring that its commercial activities are conducted in an open and transparent way. The Assembly Commission ensures transparency and accountability in spending public money through publication of all Members’ Salaries and Expenses including Constituency Office Expenses.

In relation to the redacted information in the present case, there is a countervailing public interest in maintaining the exemption to protect the commercial interests of the supplier. Accordingly, the bank details of the supplier have been redacted.

Appendix A


You have the right to request a formal review by the 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 may appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF which will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and its official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.

Yours sincerely




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