FOI 3-24: MLA mileage claims for recall petitions

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 3-24

14 February 2024

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 17 January 2024 in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request, you asked:

 “I would like to know if MLAs claim mileage for attending Stormont every time there is recall petition? If so could you send me the cost of mileage claims paid out by party for each recall petition since the assembly collapsed in February 2022.”

The Assembly Commission holds the following information in relation to your request.

The type of expenses and allowances which Members may claim are defined under the provisions of the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2016 as amended by the Assembly Members (Salaries and Expenses) (Amendment) Determination (Northern Ireland) 2020.  This includes recall expenses, where Paragraph 19 (2) of the Determination states that:

“a recall expense is an expense incurred by the member which is wholly and necessarily attributable to attendance at the Assembly during any recall which takes place during a recess.”

If the conditions of this paragraph are met, Members may claim any expense incurred to attend the Assembly for a recall, which could include mileage.

From February 2022 to the date of your request, 17 January 2024, no mileage claims attributable to the attendance of an Assembly Member at a recall of the Assembly have been paid.

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

Data Protection and Governance Officer

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