Ministry of Justice
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Parliamentary Standards Bill gains Royal Assent
The Parliamentary Standards Bill has gained Royal Assent after successfully completing its passage through Parliament.
The new legislation brings to an end the self-regulation of MPs’ expenses and creates an independent, transparent and robust system for the regulation of MPs’ allowances and the registration of financial interests.
The Parliamentary Standards Act will:
- create a new Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, to decide and administer the allowances system for MPs, administer MPs’ salaries, draw up a code of conduct on financial interests and set the rules for investigations
- establish an independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Investigations with the power to investigate complaints against MPs in relation to the allowances scheme or the registration of financial interests, and report his or her findings to the House of Commons Committee for Standards and Privileges
- create a new criminal offence of knowingly providing false or misleading information in a claim for an allowance, for which the maximum sanction is up to 12 months’ custodial sentence or an unlimited fine.
Jack Straw, Justice Secretary, said:
‘I am very pleased that the Parliamentary Standards Bill has successfully completed its passage through Parliament and gained Royal Assent. We have acted decisively to put this legislation in place, responding directly to the depth of legitimate public concern over the expenses crisis. This Act will create a new system of independent oversight and will provide for greater transparency.
‘The rules regarding allowances and financial interests will now be clear to all and set and regulated independently. This is vital if we are to restore voters’ confidence and restore the reputation of Parliament.’
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will be made up of four members and a Chair, with selection to the Authority being on merit and by fair and open competition. Further details of the establishment of the IPSA will be announced in the autumn.
Notes to editors
For media enquiries please contact the Ministry of Justice press office on 020 3334 3536. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Justice public enquiry line on 020 3334 3555.