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Bank of England is ‘behind’ in publishing Mark Carney’s expenses

BY Rachel | 13 May, 2014 | no comments

The Bank of England is failing to disclose the expenses, gifts and diaries of the governor and other senior staff in a “timely manner”.

The central bank published the information six months late ten days ago, records show, and has conceded that it is “running behind” on releasing the latest details.

MPs on the Treasury select committee raised concerns about the bank’s lack of transparency and said that they expected the committee to write to the Bank seeking answers.

Questions about the Bank’s openness come a month after Andrew Tyrie, the chairman of the Treasury committee, expressed concern with Mark Carney, the governor, over the Bank’s failure to disclose a sensitive shareholding of one its Financial Policy Committee members.

The Bank publishes expenses, gifts and diaries of MPC members with a lag of about six months from the end of the six months to which they relate. This compares with MPs’ expenses, which are published every two months, three months in arrears, by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, an external body set up in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

It means that Mr Carney’s expenses, gifts and diary are publicly available only for his first three months in charge. In his first month at the Bank, he received a cutlery box set from Russia at the G20 summit in Moscow and sterling silver cufflinks from a family jeweller in Birmingham. The value of the gifts is not disclosed. The cutlery was donated to supporting “community relations” and the cufflinks to the bank’s museum.

Mr Carney, who earns a salary of £480,000, spent £31,905 on expenses between July and September last year, £8,727 of which was on trips to Moscow, Geneva, St Petersburg and Frankfurt, £22,069 on the use of the bank’s pool of five “secure” cars and £339 on hosting a lunch and two dinners for two people each. It is not revealed who he entertained.

Mr Carney arrived in July last year promising to usher in an era of greater transparency in the Bank’s workings.

The Times requested details of the governor’s expenses under the Freedom of Information Act, but the Bank refused to disclose, stating that it “already proactively publishes on its website”. On appeal, pointing out that the information available was dated, John Footman, secretary of the Bank, said: “You are quite right, we are running behind.” The Bank was unable to explain why it was behind, but it expected to publish the latest information before the end of the year.