House of Commons publication schemes
The current Publication Scheme and Guide to Information for the House of Commons is available on the parliamentary website and was last updated in February 2021:
What is the role of the House of Commons?
The House of Commons is the lower House of the UK Parliament. Its main functions are:
- Examining and challenging the work of the government (scrutiny)
- Debating and passing all laws (legislation)
- Enabling the government to raise taxes
The job of supporting, informing and recording these functions is carried out by the House of Commons Service.
The House of Commons makes available a wide range of information about its functions and supporting services, in accordance with its strategic aim of “ensuring that Members, staff and the public are well-informed”.
It also contributes to parliamentary democracy by sharing its knowledge with Parliaments and Assemblies worldwide.
The House of Commons Service has adopted and maintains a Publication Scheme that has been approved by the Information Commissioner.
This is a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 but, more importantly, the Publication Scheme is a valuable tool for those wishing to find information about the House of Commons.
This Scheme comprises the following seven broad subject areas:
1. Who we are and what we do
This class covers organisational information, structures, locations and contacts.
2. What we spend and how we spend it
This class covers financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit.
3. What our priorities are and how we are doing
This class covers our strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews.
4. How we make decisions
This class covers our decision making processes and records of decisions.
5. Our policies and procedures
This class covers our current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities.
6. Lists and registers
This class covers our current lists and registers.
7. The Services we offer
This class covers the information about the services we offer, including leaflets, guidance and newsletters.
Further details about Publication Schemes can also be viewed on the Information Commissioner's website.
The most up to date information that the House of Commons Service makes publicly available is usually available on our parliamentary website.
Some information may also be available in hard copy format on request and, in order to assist the public, reference is also made to commercial publications and external sources of information which may be useful in providing information about the House.
No charge will be made for accessing the majority of the information made available to the public under the Publication Scheme, as this is available on our website.
The House of Commons Service reserves the right to make a reasonable charge to cover photocopying and postage costs when providing paper copies of information under its Publication Scheme. These charges are in line with those outlined on the Parliamentary Archives webpage.
Comments and Enquiries
If you have any comments regarding the House of Commons Publication Scheme or to request copies of information, please contact the House of Commons Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service:
The Information Rights and Information Security Service
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA