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It is that time of week when the various institutions within Parliament decide they should probably tell everyone else what they have been up to. Two updates today, first from everyone’s favourite IPSA. They report back that due to the fact their expenses filing system is so complex, that they are having to train bag-carriers how to claim their bosses expenses back:

Training for MPs’ Staff

To date, over 350 members of staff have booked onto IPSA’s training sessions, which run until early July.
Staff can book onto one of the sessions below by calling the IPSA training helpline on 020 3334 3377 or by emailing training@parliamentarystandards.org.uk.

IPSA are stalling on how these sessions are organised, and more importantly, how much they cost per hour. Staffers are told to pencil in three hours for the session though. It’s clearly an efficient system…

Meanwhile over at the PRU – the Parliamentary Resources Unit – the Tories pooled research team, they are doing something similar:

IPSA Claims Support Service

We’ve now assisted eight Members and their staff in getting started with making claims on the IPSA system. This personal tuition approach has proven very effective as we can focus on the particular circumstances of the Member. We’ve successfully covered hotels, mileage, software, train fares, office furniture, stationary, subsistence etc.

It takes about 45 minutes on average to get both Members and staff logged in, circumstances registered, and big ticket claims made. We also help you develop a smart way of working together to ensure receipts are saved and submitted, as well as considering budget planning.

Why is the taxpayer picking up the tab for two different organisations doing the same job, at the same time? And secondly, if the PRU can do it in forty-five minutes with one member of staff, why is IPSA racking up the meter and taking three hours? The farce continues…

UPDATE: IPSA got in touch to say that they are using two private contractors from Marton House for their sessions. Two IPSA staff also take part in class that caters for up to thirty people at a time. So four people are being paid, for three hours at a time, for a job that can seemingly be done by one person in forty minutes. Still trying to work out how much this is costing the taxpayer.

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