Members: Allowances

Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, how much the new system for reimbursing hon. Members' expenses cost to implement.

Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee

I have asked IPSA to reply.

The original April 2016 business case for IPSA’s new IT system, IPSA Online, estimated a cost of £4.641 million. IPSA expected the programme to be completed in 2017-18. The full costs incurred to ensure IPSA could go live with IPSA Online at the beginning of the current financial year were £8.253 million.

The increase in cost was due in part to the unexpected General Election of June 2017 which diverted IPSA work for up to nine months to supporting MPs who left or joined parliament, and increased supplier costs. Costs also increased following a change of suppliers in September 2018 to improve the quality of IT support. Testing the system took longer than anticipated in order to ensure it was fully secure and free of technical problems. The increases in cost have been partly mitigated by savings elsewhere in IPSA’s budget. A full internal audit of the programme is currently taking place. IPSA will report to the Speaker’s Committee for the IPSA later in the year on the overall costs and benefits of IPSA Online.

IPSA is committed to supporting MPs and their staff during this transition and will make appropriate adjustments to improve the system as it beds in, while ensuring strong financial control, improvements in value for money, and high data quality and data security.

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