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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Expenses watchdog accused of “splashing out” £293,000 on office furnishings

Monday 7 March 2011

The new Commons expenses watchdog has spent almost £300,000 of taxpayers\' money furnishing its central London offices, it emerged today.
The bill for kitting out the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority\'s HQ included seven chairs which cost £538 each.
There were also 25 cabinets at £2,295 each, 14 \"relaxer\" loungers at £465 each and 71 seats for visitors at £242 each. The total bill for office furniture since May last year was £293,436.59.
MPs were reported to have “reacted with fury” at the figures, which were revealed in Freedom of Information requests by the Politics Home website.
Tory Adam Afriyie, who has led a campaign for the body to be reformed, said the costs were \"unnecessarily high\".
Conservative member for Witham Priti Patel questioned whether Ipsa was applying the same rules to itself as it uses for MPs. \"I think in this age of austerity Ipsa has to realise that this is hard-pressed taxpayers\' money it is spending,\" she told the website.
It is the latest blow to Ipsa, which was accused of \"incompetence\" last month and was forced to apologise after several MPs were named as having their claims rejected when they were actually paid in full.
The body, which was formed in the wake of the expenses scandal, looks set to be scrapped or cut down after floods of complaints about errors and red tape.
But a spokesman for Ipsa defended the spending as part of one-off set-up costs and said proper procedures had been followed.
\"Last year we walked into a shell of an office and needed to equip it - there is a cost associated in doing so,\" the spokesman said.
\"The costs represent 22 per cent of our accommodation project costs - better than the industry standard of 25-35 per cent. But we would stress, these are one-off costs.
\"Ipsa has committed publicly to get cheaper year on year and we will.
\"As part of the exercise to equip the office, we purchased some chairs for guests, and these did cost more than standard office chairs. Again, this was a one-off expenditure which we will not be repeating.\"

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