Freedom of Information in the House of Lords
The Information Compliance team answers enquiries about the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act within the House of Lords.
- What the Freedom of Information Act does
- How to obtain information about the House of Lords and its work
- House of Lords Publication Scheme
FOI Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the information frequently sought by applicants via FOI requests is already published on the Parliament website.
Where information is already publicly available, it may be exempt under section 21(1) of the Freedom of Information Act, which provides an exemption from the duty to disclose information which is reasonably accessible by means other than making an FOI request. We encourage you to check whether the information you are seeking is already published.
This section will give you links to some of the information already publicly available and may answer your queries without the need to submit an FOI request.
Most Members of the House of Lords do not receive a salary for their parliamentary duties. They are eligible to receive allowances and, within certain limits, travel expenses.
Expenses claims for each member are published monthly at Allowances and expenses claims 2021-22 - UK Parliament along with explanatory notes to help users to understand the data.
In this section you can find members’ expenses and allowances claims for every year since 2001/02. This information is routinely published on a monthly basis five months in arrears, to allow time for the process of the submission, checking and approval of claims.
Register of interests
We hold limited information relating to members’ interests outside of the House. The types of information members are required to register about their outside interests are set out in the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Code of Conduct. Information registered under the Code of Conduct is published in the Register of Interests.
The Code of Conduct, the Guide to the Code of Conduct and the Register of Interests are available to access and search at:
Members’ correspondence with third parties
The House of Lords Administration does not hold information or correspondence relating to members’ private business or in relation to any role they may have outside the House of Lords. Individual members of the House of Lords are not public authorities for the purposes of the 2000 Act and are not required to respond to FOI requests in that capacity.
As with most organisations, the Administration is more likely to hold information relating directly to its work and to have copies of correspondence conducted by its staff in the course of their employment. If you are looking for information relating to members’ roles outside the House, such as correspondence they may have had with third parties, the House Administration won’t hold this information as it has no involvement in members’ roles outside the House. In such cases, the information is most likely to be held by the parties involved, which could be another public authority.
Business and financial information
The House of Lords publishes its business plans, annual reports and accounts at Business and financial information - UK Parliament. Here you can find resource accounts from 2002/03 to 2020/21, business plans from 2006 to 2020/21 and annual reports from 1998/99 onwards.
Transactions over £25,000 are published monthly at Payments and transactions - UK Parliament. Quarterly reports of government procurement card transactions over £500 can also be viewed here.
Catering and banqueting
Events at the House of Lords can be held with or without the involvement of a Member of the Lords. Members can hold personal events at the House of Lords or sponsor an event on behalf of an organisation.
A log of such events held at the House of Lords is published quarterly at Hospitality events at the House of Lords - UK Parliament.
House of Lords Management Board
The Management Board makes decisions about the management and delivery of services in the House of Lords and together with the House of Lords Commission provides the corporate leadership for the House of Lords.
Expense claims made by board members from April 2010 is published at Expenses - UK Parliament and updated quarterly.
A register of gifts and hospitality received or offered by members of the Lords Management Board of a value estimated to be greater than £10 is also published quarterly at Lords Management Board gift and hospitality register - UK Parliament.
The Lord Speaker
The Lord Speaker's travel, gift and official entertainment registers are published quarterly at The Lord Speaker's travel, gift and official entertainment registers - UK Parliament.
Pest control on the Parliamentary Estate
The Parliamentary Estate is made up of a large number of buildings of various ages, covering approximately 258,000 square metres close to the River Thames in Central London. It is therefore vulnerable to pests, such as moths and mice, that can cause significant damage to the fabric of the buildings as well as health and safety issues.
The costs of Parliament’s pest control programme covering the entire Parliamentary Estate (House of Commons and House of Lords) are published annually by the House of Commons at:
Pest control on the Parliamentary Estate - transparency publications - UK Parliament.
Total costs of pest control for each year since 2013 can be found at this link. The total costs and figures for pest sightings are also available to download as a csv file.
Costs of pest control on the Estate are split 60/40 between the House of Commons and House of Lords. The breakdown is shown below the total cost figures.
The pay scales for staff working in the House of Lords, including senior staff, are published annually at: Pay Ranges for Staff of the House of Lords - UK Parliament.
Management Board salaries are published within the House of Lords annual reports and resource accounts at Business plans, reports and accounts - UK Parliament.
Works of Art
Information about the work of the Lord Speaker's Advisory Panel on Works of Art, including minutes of committee meetings, can be found at Lord Speaker's Advisory Panel on Works of Art - Summary - Committees - UK Parliament.
More information about the works of art in Parliament can be found at Home - Heritage Collections UK Parliament.