The House of Commons has given certain Public Bill Committees the power to receive written submissions - known as memoranda - from outside organisations and individuals.
These notes are intended to help you if you wish to make a written submission to a Public Bill Committee.
Which Public Bill Committees can receive submissions?
If a Government Bill is referred to a Public Bill Committee, you will be able to submit written evidence.
Examples of Bills which do not fall within the above category are:
- Bills that will be examined in Committee of the whole House (because they are very uncontroversial, need to pass very quickly through the House or make major constitutional changes) and
- Bills introduced by an individual backbench MP, known as Private Members' Bills.
If you are uncertain whether the Committee on the Bill you are interested in is likely to be receiving written submissions, please contact Ian Hook in the Scrutiny Unit for advice.
What should written evidence cover?
Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware.
Your submission could most usefully:
- suggest amendments to the Bill with explanation; and
- (when available) support or oppose amendments tabled or proposed to the Bill by others with explanation
It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere.
If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact Ian Hook in the Scrutiny Unit.
Timescale for submitting
Submissions can be accepted after the second reading debate on the bill. The sooner you send the evidence to us, the better. If you are in doubt about the timing of your submission, please contact Ian Hook in the Scrutiny Unit.
Submissions received before the Committee is nominated will be circulated to Committee members as soon as the Committee is nominated. Subsequent submissions will be circulated to Committee members on a regular basis.
Please be aware that the Government Minister in charge of the Bill is a member of the Committee and will therefore see all written submissions.
How should written evidence be submitted?
Your submission should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.
Guidelines on making a submission
It also assists the committee if those submitting evidence adhere to the same guidelines as those making a submission to a select committee inquiry.
Publication of evidence
- Evidence which is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is so published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege.
- Once you have received acknowledgement that the evidence has been published you may publicise or publish your evidence yourself. In doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee, and you should be aware that your publication or re-publication of your evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
Who to contact
Telephone: 020 7219 8387
Address: Ian Hook
Senior Executive Officer
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA