The Scottish Parliament has today published online MSPs’ expenses data for the first three quarters of the financial year 2006/2007.
In keeping with the Parliament’s commitment to openness and transparency, members of the public are able to view online MSPs’ expenses in respect of allowances claimed while carrying out their parliamentary duties.
The latest updated information represents the second consecutive financial year for which MSPs expenses have been published online in a detailed, searchable format.
The search facility was commended last month by Scottish Information Commissioner K evin Dunion, when he said that “as a result of publishing the expenses of all MSPs on its website, the Scottish Parliament is now internationally recognised as one of the most transparent and accountable in the world”.
For the previous financial year 2005/06, MSPs’ allowances claims continue to be presented in the format of scanned images of claims forms. For 2006/07 onwards, the detailed individual figures from each claim will be presented in a more clearly disaggregated, legible electronic summary format.
An illustration of the new, more clearly presented format can be found in the online User Guide which accompanies the system. The improved format also has the benefit of requiring fewer parliamentary staff resources to upload expenses data onto the website, which should see quarterly information published more quickly.
The easy to use search facility allows the public to search for specific information by using any combination of four selection criteria:
By selecting the relevant Financial Year. In addition, the search can be narrowed by selecting a specific Claim Month or range of Claim Months if appropriate.
By selecting one, several or all MSPs.
By selecting the allowance type; whether it is all allowances, some, or just one. This would include allowance types such as Edinburgh Accommodation, Members’ Support and Members’ Travel.
By selecting the expenditure type claimed under each allowance type; all, some, or just one. This could include searching by motor mileage claims, utilities costs or rented accommodation costs.
Online information is not provided on matters such as personal security, bank details or data on third parties.
An Allowances Scheme Outline and Search User Guide document is available on the website to provide background information on each of the allowance types, the relevant rates for each financial year and how the online facility works.