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Offices in the House of Lords

Black Rod's Department

Black Rod's Department provides security and control of public and media access to the House and its Chamber.

Black Rod is Her Majesty's representative in the Palace of Westminster and looks after all Royal property, including Westminster Hall, the Robing Room and the Gallery. He or she is responsible for the planning and conduct of all ceremonial events, for Royal and State occasions in the Palace of Westminster.

Clerk of the Parliaments Office 

The Office supports the Clerk of the Parliaments in carrying out his functions and responsibilities as 'chief executive'. It also supports the Clerk Assistant, Reading Clerk and Chairman of Committees. Additionally the Office provides administrative support for the House Committee, the Audit Committee and the Management Board. It has responsibility for the production of the Minute of Proceedings and Order Paper; and carries out finance, internal audit and staff advice functions.

Background information about the Clerk of the Parliaments is available from the Lords FAQ web page The Clerk of the Parliaments: Role and Functions.

Committee Office 

The Committee Office provides select committees with procedural and legal advice.

It also provides the administrative support necessary to fulfil the committees' orders of reference and assist them in disseminating their reports and promoting their influence.

The Committee Office serves the Select Committee on the European Union, which has seven sub-committees under it, the Select Committee on Science and Technology, which has two sub-committees under it, and the Economic Affairs Committee, the Constitution Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights. From time to time, the Committee Office also undertakes ad hoc committees. Committees are responsible for carrying out inquiries on chosen areas. These inquiries culminate in the preparation and publication of reports.

Further information about the current work of the committees can be found on the Parliamentary Committees web page.

Finance Department

The aim of the Office is to provide accounting and financial services to the House. Areas of operation include:

  1. financial management and administration;
  2. financial advice;
  3. financial reporting;
  4. resource and cash management;
  5. payments to Members, suppliers and staff; and
  6. accounting for receipts from Members, staff and the public.

Human Resources Office

The House of Lords Human Resources Office provides a personnel service for all House of Lords' staff. The responsibilities of the Office include recruitment of staff; maintenance of the pay and grading systems and other conditions of service; pay negotiation and authorisation; occupational health, safety and welfare; training and superannuation.

The Office is responsible for ensuring that the House provides a satisfying working environment in which staff are treated with respect.


Communications provides information to the public and the press on the role, work and membership of the House of Lords. It does this through printed publications and online content, a press and media office, and a telephone and email enquiry service that responds to questions from the public.

It supports the Lord Speaker and Information Committee in developing and delivering the House of Lords Outreach Programme, including outreach initiatives.


The House of Lords Library provides research, information and bibliographic services which support the parliamentary functions of the House.

Parliamentary Archives 

The Parliamentary Archives provide a records management service and an archives service for each House of Parliament, answers enquiries about the archives and history of Parliament, and makes records accessible to Members and the public in the Search Room. Outreach activities aim to enhance public awareness of the historical and informational value of the archives as a core resource of Parliament. 

The Freedom of Information Officer has responsibility for ensuring compliance of the House Administration with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998.

Further information about the current work of the Parliamentary Archives can be found on the Parliamentary Archives web pages.

Journal Office 

The Journal Office provides a research and record-keeping service and advises on present and past procedural developments.

It maintains records of membership and business of the House and compiles the Journals of the House (the authoritative record of proceedings).

Legislation Office 

The Bills Office 

a) manages and assists the processes relating to the House's consideration of public legislation and authorises, on behalf of the Clerk of the Parliaments, the publication of Acts of Parliament and Measures; and

b) supervises the passage of private legislation in accordance with the requirements of the House.

Delegated Legislation Office

The office supports the scrutiny work of the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee and the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee.

Further information about the current progress of legislation can be found on the Bills Before Parliament web pages.

Official Report (Hansard) 

The Office provides a record of the proceedings of the House. The Official Report (Hansard) is an edited verbatim report of proceedings in the Chamber and Grand Committees. It also contains Written Answers and Written Ministerial Statements. Daily Parts are produced in printed form by 7:30 am the following day and by 8 am on the Internet. Weekly editions and Bound Volumes (the document of record) are also produced.

Further information relating to the publication of the Official Report can be found on the Hansard web pages.

Printed Paper Office

The Office is responsible for providing documents required by Members of the House for the discharge of their parliamentary functions.

It is also provides a procurement service to the House and aims to meet the needs of the House for stationery and office supplies. 

Property & Office Services

The Department of Facilities provides office services, including cleaning, mail, photocopying and stationery to Members and Staff of the House of Lords. It administers the allocation of House of Lords Staff accommodation and works with the Whips' Offices in the House of Lords in facilitating Members' accommodation. It manages the booking and set up of committee, meeting and banqueting rooms for Members and Staff of the House of Lords. Through the Catering and Retail Division of the Department, catering and hospitality facilities are provided to Members of the House, Staff and guests.

The Department plans, supervises and controls works, maintenance and conservation projects across the House of Lords Estate in conjunction with the House of Commons Director-General of Facilities and the Parliamentary Director of Estates.

The Property and Office Services Division of the Department of Facilities manages service contracts and is also responsible for medical and fire services within the House of Lords.

Catering and Retail Services

The department provides catering services for Members, staff of the House and guests through a number of different styles of restaurants, cafeterias and bars. The department employs over 100 permanent staff and operates entirely within the confines of the Palace of Westminster and Millbank House serving an average of 1500 meals per sitting day.

It also provides a completely self-funding private function service for Members and guests for events ranging from receptions for up to 350 guests and sit down lunches and dinners from 12 to 120 guests. There are over 900 events held each year serving in excess of 45,000 guests.

The extremely popular House of Lords gifts and souvenirs are also retailed by the department and are available to Members, staff and guests. In the summer, the Gift Shop supplies the Westminster Hall Kiosk with gifts and souvenirs which are available to the general public.

Parliamentary Procurement and Commercial Service

The Parliamentary Procurement and Commercial Service (PPCS) provides professional procurement and contract management advice and support to the departments and offices of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and Parliamentary Digital Service for contracts of any size.

The role of PPCS is to work in partnership with budget holders, project leaders, project managers, contract managers and end users, and to ensure that, through the application of professional procurement skills and knowledge, our procurement processes are compliant and contracts are delivered to requirements.