Dear Humfrey Malins,
I understand that MPs plan to grant themselves the privilege of
exempting themselves from Freedom of Information requests concerning
Whenever I have a business expense, my employer asks for every receipt,
no matter how small. How else is it to correctly pay its tax and
protect itself against fraud?
I would like you to remember that it is MY money that you are spending.
I happily pay tax for the betterment of this country. I do not object
to paying your wages or any other reasonable expenses you may have as
you go about your business. What I object to is you hiding your
spending from me. How else am I to gauge whether you are defrauding me
or if you represent value for money?
As one of many people who is looking for a change of government at the
next election, you action on this matter will influence my vote.
A scant 2 hours later, I had a reply!
Dear Mr Eden, The House of commons authorities check our expenses to the
last penny, and I have no problem publishing mine. I wonder if you agree
that since Civil servants and the police are public servants whether
they too should publish all their expenses best wishes Humfrey Malins
So, I replied,
Dear Mr Malins,
Many thanks for your swift reply. It's great to see an MP engaging
with their constituents. Do you have a blog or website where you will
be publishing these figures?
I do believe that all Civil Servants should publish these expenses to
the people who employ them.
If, for example, a Police Authority sees that a PC is claiming
extortionate or unusual expenses, they should be able to challenge
them. Ultimately, voters chose whether or not to employ an MP.
Therefore, I think their expenses should be visible to the public.
That said, the same should go for anyone who is employed by the state.
I come from the Open Source Software world - one of our mantras is
"Many eyes make all bugs shallow". The more people you have looking
for a problem, the easier it is to spot and fix. It also means that
people are less likely to behave maliciously if they know there is a
good chance their misdeeds will be spotted.
Would you have any objection to me publishing this correspondence on
my blog - https://shkspr.mobi/blog - ?
Many thanks - and please encourage all those in your party to vote to
keep their expenses viewable by all.
Bizarrely, I received a written response a few days later
So, full marks to Mr Malins for being on the ball with this one. It really is great to see what a bit of effort will get you.