MSPs' receipts and expenses to be made available online

The Scotsman reports that copies of every single receipt submitted by a member of the Scottish Parliament will be posted on the internet "in a drive to make the expenses system at Holyrood the most transparent in the world".

Officials are hoping to have the first phase of the new system online by the end of March and all receipts from this financial year should be available for scrutiny by the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Scottish Parliament said that staff are busy scanning every single receipt and expense claim made by every MSP this year. All of these images will be placed on the Parliament's website. An series of links will take members of the public from the name of their MSP, to their general expenses claims, to specific areas, like taxi bills, and on to the individual receipts.

The spokesman confirmed that some details will be blacked out, to prevent members of the public from finding out the names of specific hotels, staff salaries or the home addresses of MSPs, but everything else will be on the site: "It's about transparency and accountability. It will allow people to search for information which they would need a Freedom of Information request to do now. It will allow you to do Freedom of Information requests online."

MSPs' expenses to be posted online (The Scotsman, 18 February 2006)