Please note that our response only deals with information held by the House of Commons. Some of the information you seek may be held the House of Lords, which is a separate public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Therefore you may wish to consider forwarding your request to them.
Please provide any information asset registers (IARs) held by Parliament
The House of Commons holds information asset registers for some teams and departments.
PED - Programme office ( PDF 192 KB)
Executive Office ( PDF 163 KB)
ALS Executive office ( PDF 172 KB)
Catering Back of House ( PDF 202 KB)
Catering Directors office ( PDF 172 KB)
DCCS - Journal office ( PDF 112 KB)
DCCS - Table office ( PDF 161 KB)
Media and Communication Services ( PDF 159 KB)
PED - Architects ( PDF 234 KB)
PED - Design Authority ( PDF 290 KB)
PED - Directors office ( PDF 167 KB)
PED - Environment team ( PDF 163 KB)
PED - Fire Safety team ( PDF 320 KB)
Public Information office ( PDF 157 KB)
Service Delivery team ( PDF 152 KB)
WIS ( PDF 192 KB)
Please note that some information has been redacted as the House has concluded they are exempt under the following sections of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA):
Section 40 – Personal data
The names of operational staff are exempt by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the exemption for personal information), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). This is an absolute exemption and the public interest test does not apply.
Section 24(1) – National security
Section 24 provides an exemption from disclosure where provision of the information would make the UK or its citizens more vulnerable to a national security threat. This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test applies.
There is a public interest in understanding what documentation Parliament produced which is published into the public domain, parliamentary documentation being identified and stored efficiently and securely so as not to allow these documents into the hands of individuals or groups who may use them to cause harm. Whilst there may be a public interest in the registering and safe storing of this information, it is considered that in this case it is not in the wider public interest to disclose as there is a risk of national security being compromised.
The documents contain details of physical and electronic locations of some information assets including maps, plans, project documentation, etc. referring to the Parliamentary Estate, which if disclosed would reveal detailed information on the layout, procedures and systems within Parliament, giving valuable information to those wishing to harm the Parliamentary Estate or individuals thereon. This would impact directly on national security. As groups planning attacks are known to conduct extensive research into the opposition they might face and how best to gain access to the information they require. Releasing details of the locations of these documents into the public domain would allow them to be targeted by criminals, terrorists or fixated individuals and subsequently compromise the tactics of those responsible for security on the Parliamentary Estate. In these circumstances it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Section 31(1)(a) – Law enforcement
The release of this information would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime and is therefore exempt by virtue of s.31(1)(a) FOIA. This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test applies.
There is a public interest in the adequate security and protection of individuals visiting and working on the Parliamentary Estate, the buildings and their contents. This is outweighed by the risks of criminal activity being undertaken if the information was disclosed. In providing details of the physical and electronic locations of some information assets such as detailed, unpublished maps and plans of the buildings, we would fail in our duty to prevent details of security arrangements from falling into the hands of individuals with malicious or criminal intent against the Estate or individuals thereon. The information would assist those seeking to gain unlawful access to or plotting attacks against our Estate by enabling them to identify access means and routes not publicised. In turn this would fail in our duty to assist those services providing us with law enforcement.
Section 38(1) – Health & Safety
Some information contained in these documents is being withheld on the basis that its disclosure would be likely to endanger the physical health and safety of individuals working on the Parliamentary Estate, as well as those visiting or within the vicinity and is exempt from disclosure under the provisions of section 38(1) (a) and (b). This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test applies.
We have considered the public interest in knowing that documentation giving details of the Parliamentary Estate (such as maps, plans, etc.) is held effectively and securely, ensuring Members, Peers, staff and visitors are provided with adequate protection of their health and safety when on the Estate. There is a countervailing public interest that the health and safety those individuals may be harmed by the release of the physical and electronic locations of some information assets detailing these maps and plans. The disclosure of this information enable these documents to be targeted by individuals or groups with malicious or criminal intent who would use the information contained therein to cause harm to those visiting and working on the Estate. This would actively prejudice the ability of those providing protection by identifying measures put in place to protect that health and safety. In all the circumstances of the case it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
We also have taken into account your request for any other relevant indexes or registers of information. The House of Commons maintains a number of Registers of Sensitive Information Assets (RSIAs). These registers identify the sensitive information held and allow managers and House authorities to ensure it is adequately protected. These RSIAs have been withheld as the House has concluded they are exempt under the same sections of the FOIA as above, and the same public interest tests apply.
In addition, you may find it helpful to know that information held by the House is subject to the Parliamentary Information and Records Management Policy, which provides the structure for managing the House’s information and content. This policy is available on the parliamentary web pages. The classification scheme for this material, together with details of disposal and sample records that may be held, is laid out in the Authorised Records Disposal Practice.
Lastly, the parliamentary website provides a huge amount of information for requesters. You will see that a great deal of information about the House of Commons is already published on the FOI pages of the website. This includes proactively published transparency documents, disclosures of many responses to FOI requests and the House of Commons Publication Scheme (which is currently being revised). This information will help you understand the sort of data held by the House.
Please provide copies of your departmental cost codes. I use the term cost codes to refer to codes used by your department to refer to specific areas of spending.
The House of Commons accounting system is split into two ledgers. The first holds details of all the administration expenditure. Costs are classified by use of two series of codes:
Account codes - classifying subjectively (i.e. to use your terminology “what the spend accounts for”)
Cost centre codes – classifying objectively (i.e. “where spending occurs”)
These are listed in the documents titled Accounts List CA ( PDF 203 KB) and Cost Centre List CA ( PDF 191 KB).
The second ledger holds details of other expenditure.
Again, costs are classified in the same way but through a different series of codes.
These are listed in the documents titled Accounts List CM ( PDF 181 KB) and Cost Centre List CM ( PDF 165 KB).