Making a Freedom of Information request
- The House of Commons and the House of Lords are separate public authorities. Requests for access to information should be directed to the relevant House which may hold the requested information.
Is it already published?
- Both Houses of Parliament publish huge amounts of information on the parliamentary website. In 2015, more than 1 in 5 requests to the House of Commons alone were for information already published. So, before making a request, you may wish to check whether the information you require is already available.
- The Finding information web page contains further details on how to access available information about the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
What about research information?
- We welcome FOI requests from academic researchers. However, this can be very resource-intensive and you are encouraged to contact the relevant House to discuss your projects prior to making requests, particularly if you require large volumes of information.
- The UCL Constitution Unit has produced a Guide to Making Freedom of Information Requests for academic researchers.
What about social media?
- The House of Commons and the House of Lords also have a number of social media channels. However, we don't recommend that you use these channels for making FOI requests.
- In channels such as Twitter, the character limitations make it difficult for us to give you the information you want, and you will need to provide us with your real name and an address for correspondence (this may be an email address).
- The best way to submit your request is to email it to the relevant House.
How do I contact the House of Commons?
To make an FOI request to the House of Commons please email the Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service.
How do I contact the House of Lords?
General queries regarding the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations should be directed to the Information Commissioner's Office, as the independent authority set up to promote access to official information.