Local MP’s expenses in Cardiff, and National Newspaper Crowdsourcing…

15Sep10

The Guardian are continuing  with the nation-wide enquiries  into MP’s elections expenses, this time focusing their efforts locally on Cardiff but mirroring the moves made by Helpmeinvestigate.

The article explains the precise but scarcely known figures behind the expenses claims for the short and long campaign respectively. The run-up to the elections, or the short-campaign, is where spending is at its most frantic and is the key point of interest for journalists.

This seems appropriate for Cardiff, as when the figures came in, successful candidate for Cardiff North Jonathan Evans had spent £9,968 of his £10,412 short campaign budget.

Upon having requested all of the receipts from the short campaign, just as Helpmeinvestigate members had done, it was found that there were various receipts missing or unaccounted for and dubious amounts were spent on DIY and a personal website.

The whole of the campaign was conducted and expenditure recorded in accordance with the laws in place, and, as per yet, there are no conclusions being drawn as the expenses are still being looked over by the electoral commission.

It’s good to see them leave the data open to the public and allow for crowd sourced interpretation and investigation, similar to the way in which they handled the new Birmingham council website and it’s questionable costings.

There may be other findings when the electoral commission complete their reviews of MP’s expenses nationwide, and other stories may be unveiled as they near completion.

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