FOI - Lords - How to obtain information

Website

Much information about the House of Lords and its work is already available freely from our website www.parliament.uk. This includes:

  • information on forthcoming business in the House;

  • the Official Report (Hansard) a transcript of Daily Proceedings;

  • Public Bills in progress;

  • Select Committee reports and programmes of work; and

  • judicial business and judgments.

Publication Scheme

The publication scheme gives details of information available and sets out the classes of information published and how the information is made available.

Information Office

Tel: 020 7219 3107 Fax: 020 7219 0620

e-mail: hlinfo@parliament.uk

The Information Office is a central focus for queries from the public and the press on the work of the House including: membership, current and future business.

Parliamentary Archives

Tel: 020 7219 3074 Fax: 020 7219 2570

e-mail: archives@parliament.uk

The Parliamentary Archives provides an archives service for both Houses of Parliament and facilitates public access to records. These include:

  • original Acts of Parliament from 1497;

  • Journals from 1510, papers laid before Parliament from 1531;

  • Peerage papers from 1597;

  • Judicial papers from 1621; and

  • plans of canals, roads, railways and other public works deposited in connecton with private bills from 1794.

How to request information held by the House of Lords 

Before making your request you may wish to check whether the information you require is already available from one of the sources detailed above.

How do I make a request?

Requests should:

  • be in writing (including e-mails);

  • include your name and either an email or postage address, other contact details are optional but may assist us in responding to your request; and

  • describe clearly the information you require.

You may specify how you wish to receive the information e.g. you may wish to inspect the records, receive copies or a digest or summary of the information. It is not always possible for us to comply with this (e.g. it may not be possible to supply copies of paper records in electronic form). We will let you know our reasons if we are unable to meet your preferences.

You may find it helpful to use the form included at the end of the document when making a request to the House of Lords.

Where do I send my request?

The House of Lords and the House of Commons are separate public authorities under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests should be addressed to the appropriate House. Addressing requests to 'Parliament' will delay receipt of your request and accordingly, our response.

E-mail

In common with many organisations, our e-mail addresses receive large quantities of SPAM (i.e. junk mail). Including 'Request for information' in the subject line of your e-mail will assist us in prioritising your request.

Requests should be sent to foilords@parliament.uk.

Letter

Requests for the House of Lords should be sent to the House of Lords Information Office, London SW1A 0PW. Please do not send the same request to more than one recipient within the House of Lords. 

Advice and assistance

Advice and assistance in making FoI requests to the House of Lords is available from the Freedom of Information Officer, Parliamentary Archives, House of Lords. London SW1A 0PW. Telephone 020 7219 0100. E-mail: foilords@parliament.uk

If your request relates to the nomination process, including the vetting for propriety of nominations for peerages, you should address your request to the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which is the independent body which responds to these requests:

House of Lords Appointments Commission
35 Great Smith Street
London 
 

How long will it take to process my request?

Under the FOI Act, the House of Lords has a duty to reply to your request and to provide the information, unless it is subject to an exemption, within 20 working days. Working days are defined as Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays and other public holidays.

In some cases, where an exemption may apply, the process might take slightly longer. The House will inform you if this is the case.

Procedure for requests for information the Lords does not hold

If we have reason to believe that some or all of the information you requested, but which we do not hold, is likely to be held by another public authority we will contact you and inform you that we do not hold the information you are seeking but it may be held by another public authority. We will provide you with contact details for this public authority.

Will I have to pay?

It is possible that some charges may apply e.g. for the provision of more than 50 pages of photocopies. You will be advised in the acknowledgement letter we will send in response to your request.

Restrictions on how I can use the information I receive

The Act does not transfer copyright on any information supplied in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act. Information may be subject to parliamentary copyright or to third party copyright.

Any infringement of copyright is the responsibility of the applicant. You will need to check whether copyright restrictions apply before copying or publishing (including in the Internet) information you receive in response to a Freedom of Information request.

What if I am dissatisfied with the response I receive?

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the House has handled your request you may write to the Freedom of Information Officer, Parliamentary Archives, London SW1A 0PW. The Freedom of Information Officer will forward your letter to the relevant office.

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review you may apply to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow. Cheshire SK9 5AF.