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Pest control (2020)

Request

Please could you detail;

  • The number of pest control incidents in the House of Commons over the past five calendar years (2015 up to end of October 2020). Please breakdown by calendar year.

Please provide all the details you have on each incident including but not exclusive to;

  • Pest involved (e.g. rat, mouse)
  • Cost to deal with each incident
  • The company used to deal with it

 

Response

Some information is held by the House of Commons in relation to your request. We do not hold information on a ‘per incident’ basis as you are requesting, and instead the information we hold that is relevant to your request can be split between incidents, costs and the contractor used for pest control.

Pest control incidents

Please note that while the House of Commons and the House of Lords are two separate public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), pest control is carried out across the whole of the parliamentary estate. Therefore, information about pest control incidents cannot be disaggregated between the two Houses of Parliament.

The House holds information about mice sightings from the start of 2015 to the end of October 2020.
• This information, for January 2015 to May 2019, is already publicly available on the House of Commons website. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure in accordance with section 21(1) and (2)(a) FOIA, which removes a public authority from the obligation to provide access to information which is already in the public domain. This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply. However, it may help you to know that information relevant to your request can be found on our Parliamentary website Transparency pages.
The remaining information, for June 2019 to October 2020 (Table 1).

 

The House also holds information about moth detections from the start of 2015 to the end of May 2020.
• This information, for January 2015 to May 2019, is already publicly available on the House of Commons website. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure in accordance with section 21(1) and (2)(a) FOIA, for the same reasons as outlined above. However, it may help you to know that information relevant to your request can be found at the same link provided above.
The remaining information, for June 2019 to May 2020 (Table 2).
• Information for the period from June to October 2020 is currently not held by the House because a new reporting system is currently being introduced by our pest control supplier.

 

Pest control costs

Costs relating to pest control are split between the House of Commons and the House of Lords on a 60%/40% basis. Therefore, the House of Commons does hold some disaggregated information about the cost of pest control.

However, the House does not hold this information on a ‘per incident’ basis. Instead, we hold the total cost of pest control, broken down by financial year and into categories of spending.

• This information, for the period from the start of the 2014/15 financial year to the end of the 2018/19 financial year is held, but is already publicly available on the House of Commons website. This information is therefore exempt from disclosure in accordance with section 21(1) and (2)(a) FOIA, for the same reasons as outlined above. However, it may help you to know that information relevant to your request can be found at the same link provided above.
This information, for the period from the start of the 2019/20 financial year to the end of October 2020 is held (Table 3).

 

Breakdown of total cost to both Houses, broken down by category (Table 4).


It may interest you to know that you can find further information about the controls in place in the ‘Pest control on the parliamentary estate’ publication available on our parliamentary pages.

Contractor for pest control

The company used to deal with pest control incidents on the parliamentary estate, by both Houses of Parliament, is Shield Pest Control.