MPs expenses - more to come
One of the impacts of freedom of information is that people in important positions in public life are finding that their personal work expenses are under a new and sometimes intense scrutiny.
It also applies to MPs, even if they're the only group who can respond by trying to pass a law exempting themselves.
As FOI was about to come into force, the House of Commons decided to publish some limited information about MPs expenses, indicating the totals spent under various overall categories.
They have now been forced to disclose how their travel spending breaks down by mode of transport. This was resisted by the Commons authorities, but they were ordered to do so after a decision last month by the Informaton Tribunal.
The case was brought by Norman Baker, the LibDem MP for Lewes. Unsurprisingly, he is not top of the popularity charts with many of his Parliamentary colleagues. Just listen to the derisive laughter when he is mentioned during the committee debate on the Bill to exempt MPs from FOI (between 50 and 51 minutes in).
It looks like this disclosure today will be only one step in a continuing process. There are several forthcoming appeals at the Information Tribunal in which the Commons authorities are objecting to disclosing further details of MPs expenses, and there are yet further cases still being considered by the Information Commissioner.
These cases may well result in the gradual forced disclosure of an increasing level of detail, a process which many MPs will doubtless find uncomfortable and regard as unnecessarily intrusive.
We do not yet know if this process will end with the Commons providing the same immensely detailed information that is now provided by the Scottish Parliament for MSPs.
The revelations about MSPs expenses since FOI came into force have had two main consequences:
The first is a sharp drop in the level of allowances claimed by MSPs. I think it can be safely predicted that the same will happen at Westminster - whether it's because unnecessary claims are reduced or because the recipients decide it's more prudent not to claim for something they're entitled to.
The second is that some MSPs got into big trouble, notably the then Scottish Tory leader David Mcletchie. Whether that will also happen at Westminster remains to be seen.