Labour MEPs' Transparency Arrangements
Labour Members of the European Parliament are committed to the highest standards of propriety. This guidance note lays down the standards that European Parliamentary Labour Party Members are expected to follow.
This guidance note clarifies the European Parliament's own rules on use of expenses as explained in the Implementing Measures for the Statute for Members of the European Parliament, and imposes an additional requirement on all UK Labour MEPs to carry out a full, professional annual audit of the use of these Allowances. The auditor must be given a copy of this guidance note and the European Parliament's rules to assist in their work. The audit will show that proper accounting records have been kept; that the financial statements are in accordance with the accounting records; that financial statements comply with statutory or other requirements.
Please note that online transparency information may be amended in light of information provided during the independent annual audit of Labour MEPs' expenditure of allowances which must be submitted by the end of each financial year.
As of the new parliamentary mandate (July 14, 2009) EPLP Members have agreed to publish online Quarterly General Expenditure Accounts, including information relating to their staffing complement, and travel and subsistence claims.
Labour MEPs will provide the EPLP with:
- A list of staff positions names and job titles, including any family members
- The name of their recognised professional auditor
- A copy of the auditor’s letter of certification by the 31st March each year
- A breakdown of expenditure from the General Expenditure Allowance according to agreed headings
- The number of return journeys to Brussels and Strasbourg
- Other Travel Allowances claimed
- Number of days claimed under the Subsistence Allowance
The current Transparency Statements can be downloaded below
European Parliament Allowances
The rules on use of allowance are set out in Chapter 4, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Chapter 5, Assistance from Personal Staff, of the Implementing Measures for the Statute for Members of the European Parliament.
Article 28 describes in detail which office costs can be funded from the general expenditure allowance, inter alia:
- office management and running costs, in particular rent and related charges (heating, lighting,insurance and cleaning),
- the cost of purchasing or renting office equipment,
- telephone, including mobile telephone, and postal charges,
- the cost of purchasing office supplies and stationery,
- the cost of purchasing books, periodicals and newspapers,
- the cost of using public data consultation networks,
- the expenses involved in equipping Members with communications equipment and maintaining that equipment, for example the purchase or rental of a telephone, a fax machine, a computer, a modem or communications card, a printer, other IT equipment, computer peripherals and software packages,
- the cost of a subscription to the Internet and to databases,
- representation activities,
- expenses incurred in travelling in a Member’s Member State of election.
The general expenditure allowance "shall be reserved exclusively for the funding of activities linked to the exercise of a Member’s mandate and may not be used to cover personal expenses or to fund grants or donations of a political nature." (Article 62.1 of the Implementing Measures of the Statute of Members of the European Parliament)
Article 33 sets out provisions for use of this allowance to cover "expenses for assistance which is necessary and directly linked to the exercise of a Member’s parliamentary mandate.
" This can be taken to include costs related to the employment of staff in the UK and/or Belgium/France, including a contribution to a pension scheme, staff training, staff recruitment costs, employer's insurance, staff travel and missions, health and safety costs, redundancy, sickness and maternity cover.
Staff includes permanent, temporary, special project staff, stagiaires and staff employed jointly with other members.
All staff employed by MEPs must have contracts of employment in accordance with UK/Belgian/French law and must be actively encouraged to join the Labour Party and a trade union.
Members of staff employed in Brussels and/or Strasbourg are paid directly from the European Parliament. Members of staff employed in the UK are paid through a named and independent paying agent. Where a member of staff is paid directly from the European Parliament, documentary evidence of payments made to that person and their contract of employment must be provided to the auditor.
Where the amount remitted from the Parliamentary authorities has exceeded the costs incurred under the Secretarial Assistance Allowance, a surplus may arise. This surplus must be repaid to the parliamentary authorities in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the European Parliament.
Article 10.1a outlines the reimbursement of Members' travel expenses for journeys to and from Parliament's places of work from their home, known as 'ordinary travel expenses'.
Ordinary travel expenses are reimbursed on receipt of relevant travel documents and attestation of attendance at the European Parliament in Brussels or Strasbourg. Only the costs actually incurred will be reimbursed.
Article 10.1b and c outline the reimbursement of Members' travel expenses for journeys within their constituency and Member State, known as 'additional travel expenses'.
Additional travel expenses are reimbursed on receipt of relevant travel documents. Only the costs actually incurred will be reimbursed.
Article 24 outlines the entitlement to subsistence allowance, namely MEP's full or part day attendance at the European Parliament in Brussels and/or Strasbourg.