Freedom of Information and the MPs’ Expenses Crisis
Draft of Chapter for Hudson, J (2014) At the Public’s Expense? The Political Consequences of the 2009 British MPs’ Expenses Scandal OUP, pp. 27-43
22 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2015
Date Written: February 13, 2012
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act played a key part in triggering the MPs’ expenses crisis. Requests made under the Act led to the collation of all MPs’ expenses into one record, while the drawn out process of appeal and counter-appeal drew attention to the issue. The number of FOI requests submitted and their impact were shaped by Parliament’s unique governance arrangements, resistance to disclosure and the internal Commons culture. However, the crisis was not the result of a simple ‘disclosure’; it was an old-fashioned leak that finally exposed information on MPs’ expenses.
Keywords: Freedom of Information, MPs' Expenses
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