Existing MEP guidelines on allowances introduced in April 2008

Guidelines for Conservative MEPs on the use of Members’ Allowances

General Principles

The Delegation of British Conservative MEPs in the European Parliament is committed to the highest standards of propriety in public life. In addition to complying with the Rules governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members (PEAM) of the European Parliament, Conservative MEPs must observe the following Guidelines.

  1. Declaration of InterestsFrom April 2008, Conservative MEPs shall publish, in the Declaration of Members’ Financial Interests, a list enumerating the assistants, service providers and paying agents employed by them. The list shall indicate the nature of the work performed, whether the employment is full or part-time and, specifically, any family connection to any assistant, service provider or paying agent employed by them showing the level of payment within bands of £10,000.
  2. Annual Statement At the end of the current European Parliament financial year (31 December 2008), and thereafter on an annual basis, each Conservative MEP shall submit, for certification, a statement of expenses to an independent, professionally qualified accountant.
  3. Scope of Annual Statement In addition to the existing annual reporting requirements of the European Parliament, Conservative MEPs shall include expenditure incurred under the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA), the Secretarial Assistance Allowance (SAA), the Travel Allowance and confirmation of the voluntary pension reimbursement.
  4. Independent Certification A copy of the certification statement, certified by the independent, professionally qualified accountant, shall be submitted to the Compliance Officer (appointed by the Chairman of the Delegation) by 31 March each year (but by 1 March in the year of a European Parliament election). This must demonstrate compliance with the rules of the European Parliament.

European Parliament Allowances

The rules on use of allowances are set out in Articles 13 and 14 of the European Parliament Rules Governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members (PEAM).

General Expenditure Allowance (GEA)

Article 13 of the European Parliament Rules Governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members (PEAM) sets out in detail the office costs that can be funded from the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA).

This allowance is intended to cover, inter alia, the following expenses incurred in the Member State of election:

  • travel and ancillary expenses.
  • office management and running costs, in particular rent and related charges (heating, lighting, insurance, cleaning),
  • the cost of purchasing or renting office equipment,
  • telephone and postage,
  • the purchase of office supplies,
  • the cost of purchasing books, periodicals and newspapers,
  • the cost of using public data consultation networks,
  • the expenses involved in equipping Members of Parliament with communications equipment, for example the purchase or rental of a computer, a modem or communications card, a printer, communications, word processing, file management and spreadsheet, etc. software packages and any other related equipment, and the cost of maintaining such equipment,
  • the cost of a subscription to the Internet and to databases,
  • the cost of purchasing, using or maintaining a telecopier.

Conservative MEPs shall include in their annual statement of expenses expenditure incurred under this allowance.

Secretarial Assistance Allowance (SAA)

Article 14 of the European Parliament Rules Governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members describes the provisions for the use of the secretarial allowance “to cover the expenses arising from the employment or of the engagement of one or more Assistants”.

Conservative MEPs shall include in their annual statement of expenses expenditure incurred under this allowance.

Travel Allowance

Article 10 of the European Parliament Rules Governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members describes the provisions for the use of this allowance.

Conservative MEPs shall include in their annual statement of expenses any claims made and reimbursed under this allowance.

Pension

Every MEP who contributes to the European Parliament voluntary pension scheme has their personal contribution to this scheme paid from the General Expenditure Allowance (GEA).

Conservative MEPs shall include confirmation of reimbursement in their annual statement of expenses.

Certification of MEP accounts

Conservative MEPs will be required to have their accounts examined and certified on an annual basis by an independent, professionally qualified accountant. The accountant will be provided with a copy of these guidelines and the rules of Parliament to ensure that all expenditure complies. An independent Compliance Officer will oversee the process. Conservative MEPs are expected to abide by these guidelines. Breaches of the guidelines will be subject to disciplinary measures.

APRIL 2008

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