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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Part 3: Parliamentary Standards etc

9.Part 3 of the Act amends the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (“the 2009 Act”) and makes provision for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (“the IPSA”) to make a scheme providing for the payment of resettlement grants for Members of the European Parliament who have opted-out of the common arrangements under the single Statute for MEPs which came into effect on 14 July 2009 (“opted-out MEPs”). It also makes provision for IPSA to make a MPs’ pension scheme and to make a scheme dealing with the administration and management of the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund, and for the Minister for the Civil Service to make a pension scheme in relation to Ministers and certain other office holders.

10.The amendments to the 2009 Act provide for:

  • the appointment by the IPSA of a Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (“the Compliance Officer”) to police the MPs’ expenses regime;

  • the abolition of the office of Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations;

  • a review by the Compliance Officer of a refusal by the IPSA to pay the whole or part of an MP’s expenses claim;

  • the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Compliance Officer in relation to suspected and proven overpayments of MPs’ expenses;

  • MPs’ rights of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the decisions of the Compliance Officer;

  • the abolition of the IPSA’s functions in relation to MPs’ financial interests;

  • the IPSA to be under certain duties to promote efficiency, cost-effectiveness and transparency in the way it discharges its functions;

  • the IPSA to determine MPs’ pay;

  • the duty on the IPSA to pay MPs’ salaries and allowances to be subject to the exercise of the disciplinary powers of the House of Commons in relation to an individual MP;

  • the extension of the membership of the Speaker’s Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to include three lay members; and

  • the repeal of the sunset provisions in section 15 of the 2009 Act.

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