Letter from Andrew McDonald,
As Chief Executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking about IPSA's efficiency and effectiveness.
IPSA is improving both its efficiency and effectiveness.
The Main Estimate for 2012-13 included a 6% reduction in resources over the previous year to fund IPSA's operating costs. We achieved these savings in 2012-13 by:
sub-letting part of our accommodation, yielding savings of over £500,000; implementing new working practices to automate elements of the claims validation process; and improving the operation of the MPs' Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses by offering MPs the ability to purchase stationery on line, introducing a self service report allowing MPs to review current and projected spend on staffing, and introducing online timesheets for MPs' staff.
One example of the improved efficiency is the reduction in the time taken to process claims. In the financial year 2012-13 processing a claim for payment took, on average, 9.6 days from the receipt of the supporting evidence. Our current performance is 7.13 days.
The Estimate for 2013-14 includes a further 5% reduction in resources to fund IPSA's operating costs. IPSA is currently implementing changes to deliver the efficiency savings of 5% and to continue with operational improvements to the MPs' Scheme of Business Costs and Expenses.