Instead of ensuring that MPs conform to rigidly high standards, this allegedly independent organisation has devoted itself to protecting offending Members from the law, engaging in one whitewash after another.
It is unfit for purpose.
Parliament’s expenses watchdog is using a procedural ruse to hide the identity of dozens of MPs who have been investigated for misusing public money.
Under rules set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), MPs under investigation for unjustified or fraudulent expense claims must be publicly identified.
But the organisation’s compliance officer, Peter Davis, has avoided naming individuals by carrying out detailed “assessments” of the complaints, denying they amount to formal “investigations”.
The loophole last week allowed Mr Davis to refer two MPs to the police over expenses fraud without ever launching a formal investigation, which would have triggered a public announcement.
It has also allowed other MPs to avoid publicity about using taxpayer-funded websites for party-political material by paying back website domain fees to Ipsa, or simply removing content from sites.
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